ULA has often used the AIAA SPACE conferences as a venue for discussing technical ideas they were working on. In fact, I’ve written several blog posts over the years summarizing or commenting on previous versions of their papers. This year’s papers represent the first batch of AIAA SPACE conference papers since Tory Bruno took over as CEO in 2014, and to me show how strongly he’s backing his team’s efforts to accelerate implementation of some of these ideas that they’ve been pursuing for years.
You can find all of these papers on their publication page, here: http://www.ulalaunch.com/Education_PublishedPapers.aspx. At my request, ULA was kind enough to label all of the SPACE 2015 papers so you can pick them out of the crowd. I haven’t read all of the new papers, but here are three I wanted to provide summaries for:
ACES Stage Concept: Higher Performance, New Capabilities, at a Lower Recurring Cost
Distributed Launch – Enabling Beyond LEO Missions
Launch Vehicle Recovery and Reuse
There was also a paper on the Emergency Detection System for commercial crew flights, and a presentation by George Sowers talking about potential cis-lunar architectures enabled by their Vulcan/ACES vehicles, but I won’t review those here. I ...