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Encyclopedia > Orbital Space Plane

Contents


Background

The Orbital Space Plane program (now defunct and replaced by the Spiral series of CEV — Crew Exploration Vehicles) was designed to support the International Space Station requirements for crew rescue, crew transport and contingency cargo such as supplies, food and other needed equipment. Boeings CEV concept The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is NASAs proposed series of human spaceflight spacecraft, intended to succeed the space shuttle system. ... ISS Statistics Crew: 2 As of June 17, 2005 Perigee: 347. ...


After the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, NASA scrapped the OSP (Orbital Space Plane) in favor of the Project Apollo style capsule based Crew Exploration Vehicle system, with separate crew and service modules. Shuttle debris falling over Texas The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was the disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) over Texas on February 1, 2003, during reentry into the Earths atmosphere. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which was established in 1958, is the agency responsible for the public space program of the United States of America. ... Apollo Program insignia Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961-1972. ... Boeings CEV concept The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is NASAs proposed series of human spaceflight spacecraft, intended to succeed the space shuttle system. ... A spacecrafts service module is a compartment containing a variety of support systems used for spacecraft operations, but not any habitable area. ...


Origin

Initially hailed as a more flexible replacement for the Shuttle, NASA had envisioned the capabilities for crew rescue and crew transfer could result in different versions of the same Orbital Space Plane vehicle design. The Space Shuttle Columbia seconds after engine ignition, 1981 (NASA). ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which was established in 1958, is the agency responsible for the public space program of the United States of America. ...


Since it was designed to support the International Space Station, the Orbital Space Plane was initially designed to serve as a crew rescue vehicle for the Station; this replaced the previous plans for a dedicated station Crew Return Vehicle, which had been sidelined by budget cuts. ISS Statistics Crew: 2 As of June 17, 2005 Perigee: 347. ... ISS NASA Crew Return Vehicle cancelled in 2001. ...


This early version of the plane had been expected to enter service by 2010.


Function

The Orbital Space Plane was also designed to provide safe, affordable access to the International Space Station, as a replacement for the aging Shuttle. ISS Statistics Crew: 2 As of June 17, 2005 Perigee: 347. ...


Top level requirements for the Orbital Space Plane and its related systems were approved in February 2003. In March 2003, the program began evaluating system operations to ensure the alignment of systems design between the NASA mission and the contractor design.


Program halt

The program was put on indefinite hold after the Columbia breakup, and was eventually cancelled in favor of the CEV program.


The CEV program emerged from the initial OSP proposals, which had been based on four groups of concepts are being considered for the physical design of the space plane itself - or the vehicle architecture: a capsule, a lifting body, a sharp body with wings and a blunt body with wings.


After the Columbia accident investigation, the capsule design with a separate escape system was considered the optimal design for crew safety.


Other program components

Other components of the OSP program were the X-37 and the DART.


The X-37 vehicle was designed to flight test advancing technologies to reduce the risk of future reusable launch vehicle systems, including the Orbital Space Plane. The Boeing X-37 is a demonstration spaceplane that is intended to test future launch technologies while in orbit and during atmospheric reentry. ...


The Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology or DART, was another flight demonstrator vehicle designed to test technologies required to locate and rendezvous with other spacecraft. Although Russia has mastered this technology for years, this is the first for NASA. Using onboard guidance sensors, DART would have performed a series of maneuvers around a retired satellite. However, after a succesful launch, unknown problems with the guidance system caused the vehicle to run out of thruster fuel prematurely, ending the mission before all objectives could be carried out. NASAs DART spacecraft DART, or Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology, is a NASA sponsored project. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which was established in 1958, is the agency responsible for the public space program of the United States of America. ...

 
United States government manned space programs
Active: Space Shuttle | ISS (joint) | Crew Exploration Vehicle (future)
Past: Mercury | X-15 (suborbital) | Gemini | Apollo | Skylab | Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (joint) | Shuttle-Mir Phase 1 (joint)
Unbuilt: Project Orion | Dyna-Soar | Manned Orbiting Laboratory | Space Station Freedom (now ISS) | Orbital Space Plane

 
 

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