The National Aerospace Plane (NASP): Development Issues for the Follow-on Vehicle

Executive Summary

by Bruno Augenstein, Elwyn Harris, Jerry Aroesty, Irwin Blumenthal, Nathan Brooks, David R. Frelinger, T. B. Garber, Rose E. Gottemoeller, John R. Hiland, David Shiao-Kung Liu, et al.

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback50 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

The National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program plans were to develop an experimental aircraft, the X-30, to explore the entire hypersonic velocity flight range. The program's objectives included support of future national security, civil applications, and a reduction in the costs of space launch. This Executive Summary provides an independent assessment of the NASP program. The report discusses a number of features that should be included in demonstration programs with the goal of proving that relevant technologies are sufficiently mature to support the development of vehicles capable of hypersonic missions over a range of flight goals, including, but not restricted to, the special X-30 case as originally proposed (single stage to orbit, very major reliance on multicycle air heating engines.) This Executive Summary includes a review of the early NASP program, from which the authors draw several conclusions concerning NASP, then presents a comparative assessment of NASP's role in the military, and a discussion of missions. This is followed by discussion of critical considerations in technology, prudent risk management, cost estimates, and programmatic issues.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.