|Future Of Aviation And Aerospace Technology|
|The X-33 Program will
demonstrate the key design and operational aspects of a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO)
Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) rocket system so as to reduce the risk to the private sector
in developing such a commercially viable system. The X-33 program will implement the
National Space Transportation Policy, specifically Section III, paragraph 2(a): "The
objective of NASA's technology development and demonstration effort is to support
government and private sector decisions by the end of this decade on development of an
operational next-generation reusable launch system."
X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle Program
On August 28, 1996, NASA awarded to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) a contract for the design, development, and testing of the X-34 technology testbed demonstrator vehicle. The intent of the X-34 program is to demonstrate "key technologies" integratable to the Reusable Launch Vehicle program. This vehicle is the bridge between the Clipper Graham (DC-XA) and the X-33. This contract will be managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).
X-34 Reusable Launch Vehicle Program
|The NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP) is focused on enabling the threshold characteristic of 100 times reduction in cost and improved reliability and safety. The ASTP is structured in four major elements (or projects) which correlated with the three technology needs proposed by the 1986 Report of the National Commission on Space. The commission stated the needs of the first technology area in two parts that would result in four technology need areas. These are (1) significantly lowering the cost to achieve low-Earth orbit by (a) lowering the cost of unpiloted launches and (b) reusable vehicles that are reliable and robust, (2) safe, reliable, low-cost transportation in space, and (3) increased propulsion performance to allow higher velocity changes in space to reach distant locations.|
Advanced Space Transportation Program
|(1) To create a permanent orbiting science institute in space capable of performing long-duration research in the materials and life sciences areas in a nearly gravity-free environment. (2) To develop new materials and processes in collaboration with industry. (3) To accelerate breakthroughs in technology and engineering that will have immediate, practical applications for life on Earth -- and will create jobs and economic opportunities today and in the decades to come. (4) To maintain U.S. leadership in space and in global competitiveness, and to serve as a driving force for emerging technologies. (5) To forge new partnerships with the nations of the world. (6) To inspire our children, foster the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs, and satisfy humanity's ancient need to explore and achieve.|
|International Space Station|
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