Alternatives for future United States space launch capabilities

Alternatives for future United States space launch capabilities

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Currently available launch vehicles have the capacity to lift payloads into low earth orbit that weigh up to about 25 metric tons, which is the requirement for almost all of the commercial and governmental payloads expected to be launched into orbit over the next 10 to 15 years. However, the launch vehicles needed to support the return of humans to the moon, which has been called for under the Bush Administration's Vision for Space Exploration, may be required to lift payloads into orbit that weigh in excess of 100 metric tons and, as a result, may constitute a unique demand for launch services. What alternatives might be pursued to develop and procure the type of launch vehicles necessary for conducting manned lunar missions, and how much would those alternatives cost. This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study-prepared at the request of the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee-examines those questions. The analysis presents six alternative programs for developing launchers and estimates their costs under the assumption that manned lunar missions will commence in either 2018 or 2020. In keeping with CBO's mandate to provide impartial analysis, the study makes no recommendations.Plans. Worldwide Capacity and Demand for Launch Services Governmental Demand Worldwidea. ~h -the exception of plans for ... space flight to the moon required the capability to launch about 140 mt into LEO, which was provided by a single Saturn V launcher. ... In addition, NASA plans to use the crew exploration vehicle (CEV), the spacecraft that will be used to fly to and return from the moon and toanbsp;...

Title:Alternatives for future United States space launch capabilities
Author:United States. Congressional Budget Office
Publisher: - 2006


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