ISPCS Session: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA

ISPCS Panel: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA

Bill Gaubatz — President, SpaceAvailable
Jess Sponable — Technical Advisor Air Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
Frederick Bachtel — Director of Strategic Planning & Initiatives, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
David Masten — President and CEO, Masten Space Systems
Nino Polizzi — Vice President, Universal Space Network
James Ball — Senior Manager Flight Engineering, The Boeing Company
Yoshifumi Inatani — Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Neil Milburn — Vice President Program Management, Armadillo Aerospace

Bill Gaubatz — President, SpaceAvailable

— DC-X SSTO was projected to be flight operational by 2005…
— Didn’t quite get there…

Jess Sponable — Technical Advisor Air Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory

— DCX was the vehicle that got things started on reusable launch systems
— Work continues on other programs
— Was able to fly something as complex as DC-X in two years for only $60 million
— Pete Conrad wanted to turn vehicle over 8 hours, fly three times in a day..
— Someone wanted Sponable to stop Conrad — he wasn’t going to tell the third man on the moon to stop
— No reason to have a standing army to launch a rocket
— looking for small reusable vehicles that will lead to larger systems
— can build prototype systems with a small program office
— focus on incremental steps, don’t try to do everything at once
— DC-X was very successful, spawned a number of ventures

James Ball — Senior Manager Flight Engineering, The Boeing Company

— DC-X was one of eight programs commissioned by Strategic Defense organization

Yoshifumi Inatani — ISAS/JAXA

— Working on future reusable vehicles – including R&D on higher performance vehicles and reusable system architecture
–Reusable sounding rocket study and development
— Sounding rocket 120 km in altitude, quick turnaround and multiple flights within a month

David Masten — President and CEO, Masten Space Systems

— DC-X was headed in the right direction
— Masten Space Systems is using a very similar approach — rapid turnaround, small team, design for safety and maintainability
— Masten has a smaller team and far less money — $3 million in the last three years
— Masten builds smaller vehicles, more iterations

Neil Milburn – Vice President Program Management, Armadillo Aerospace

— huge fans of DC-X, it’s the reason I’m here today
— Approach closely matches DC-X, spend as much money as possible with off-the-shelf technology including avionics
— if you can’t turn the ship around in a very short period of time, then it’s not very reuseable
— One engine now with a 1000 ignitions on it, could go for another 1000
— Can run the vehicle with 3 people
— Done three flights in 2 hours
— Next year will be a huge year for us on testing