Affordable Access to Space

Images from wind-tunnel testing of a proposed SLV concept courtesy of Dynetics, Inc.

Images from wind-tunnel testing of a proposed SLV concept Courtesy of Dynetics, Inc.

The Affordable Access To Space (AATS) project is a set of agreements / studies to enable NASA missions with affordable, dedicated access to space by continually maturing new technologies and implementing new approaches to reduce the price point for space payloads.

Affordable Vehicle Avionics is looking into development of next-generation, very low-cost guidance, navigation and control avionics systems aimed as a possible solution for a family of low-cost suborbital to orbit launch vehicles. The Towed Glider Air Launch System seeks to validate proof-of-concept of a towed, high lift-to-drag, airborne launch platform. Advantages over traditional “mothership” launch platforms are hyposthesized to be in cost, logistic efficiency and performance. The Nanolaunch Study is investigating the feasibility of developing a small launch vehicle as a technology demonstrator. Results of the study will include use of advanced manufacturing techniques for potential cost savings, and affordable launch platform technologies, avionic technologies, and termination system trades.

TECHNOLOGY/TASK PRINCIPAL TECHNOLOGIST PROJECT MANAGER
AATS: Affordable Vehicle Avionics Ron Litchford Rudy Aquilina
AATS: Towed Glider Air Launch System Ron Litchford Chris Miller
AATS: Nanolauncher Ron Litchford Jonathan Jones