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Hearing Charter: NASA's Integrated Space Transportation Plan and Orbital Space Plane Program (part 2)

Status Report From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2003

Part 1|2

NASA's FY04 Orbital Space Plane Program request ($'s in Millions)

Orbital Space Plane Program FY 03 FY 04 FY 05 FY 06 FY 07 FY 08 Total FY 03-08
Technology & Demonstrations 285.7 226.0 186.4 87.1 785.2
X-37 230.4 178.0 165.2 73.7 647.3
DART 25.5 18.0 43.5
PAD 29.8 30.0 21.2 13.4 94.4
Design Development & Production 97.6 324.1 423.5 629.5 894.7 916.0 3285.4
Orbital Space Plane Total 383.3 550.1 609.9 716.6 894.7 916.0 4070.6

Note: All estimates are full-cost [6]

Appendix 3

Orbital Space Plane Program Level 1 Requirements

1. The system, which may include multiple vehicles, shall provide rescue capability for no fewer than four ISS crew as soon a practical but no later than 2010.

2. The system shall provide rescue capability that allows the safe return of deconditioned, ill or injured crewmembers with ongoing treatment until arrival at definitive medical care within 24 hours. Crew should not require suits in the vehicle, but the vehicle should support crew wearing suits if the situation warrants.

3. The system for rescue shall provide for rapid separation from the ISS under emergency conditions followed by return to Earth.

4. Safety requirements - system for crew rescue:

a. The availability (defined as "a full-up vehicle able to perform it's mission") for the escape mission shall be at least:

  • i. Objective: 99%
  • ii.Minimum Threshold: 95%

b. The risk of loss of crew shall be, with high confidence, lower than the Soyuz for the rescue mission.

5. The system shall provide transportation capability for no fewer than four crew, to and from the ISS as soon a practical, but no later than 2012.

6. Safety requirement - system for crew transport: The risk of loss of crew shall be, with high confidence, lower than the Space Shuttle for the transport mission.

7. The system shall be designed for minimum life cycle cost.

8. The system shall meet all applicable ISS requirements for visiting and attached vehicles.

9. Compared to the Space Shuttle, the system shall require less time to prepare and execute a mission and have increased launch probability.

10. Compared to the Space Shuttle, the system shall have increased on-orbit maneuverability.

Orbital Space Plane Program Concept of Operations

1. The vehicle(s) shall initially launch on an ELV.

2. The system shall be operated through at least 2020. However, the system should be designed so that I could be operated for a longer time.

3. NASA envisions that the systems for crew rescue and crew transport could be different versions of the same vehicle design.

4. The system shall provide contingency capability for cargo delivery to or from the ISS to support a minimal level of science.

5. The system shall support a nominal ISS crew rotation period of 4-6 months.

Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP) [click on image to enlarge]


[1] The Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP) consists of three elements: (1) The Space Shuttle; (2) The Orbital Space Plane (OSP); and (3) Next Generation Launch Technologies (NGLT). See chart in the Appendix.

[2] NASA, CRV acquisition cost estimate, November 2002

[3] P.L.108-7, H.Rpt.108-10

[4] NASA, Justification for FY 2003 Budget Amendment, pg. 5

[5] H.Rpt.108-10 is the Conference Report to the FY2003 Omnibus Appropriation (P.L.108-7)

[6] Care should be taken when comparing amounts shown in the two tables. Amounts in the first table are not full-cost. Those in the second table are full-cost. All the figures were provided by NASA. NASA has not provided the appropriate full-cost conversions. Congress appropriated funding for FY 2003 based on the FY 2003 categories, with no full-cost accounting.

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