NASA is currently studying design architectures for a 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV); the first generation being the Space Shuttle, with the goals to increase safety of spaceflight by an order of magnitude and to decrease the cost of access to space to the range of $1000 per pound of cargo. Three different contractor teams are developing flight vehicle concepts, and numerous contractors are working on individual technology programs in the systems and subsystems area. One of these technology areas is Densified Propellants (DP), or subcooling the liquid oxygen and hydrogen to obtain an increase in density. The use of densified propellants will decrease vehicle size and weight, and provide safety margins in engine turbomachinery. Two of the three architecture contractors have identified DP as an enabling technology for their designs.

Since the 2nd Generation RLV will probably use DP, ground systems must be designed to accommodate them. In addition, ground operations costs will make up a substantial portion of flight costs, and more efficient and reliable methods of storing and handling cryogenic propellants must be utilized.

The Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) are pleased to announce the NASA Spaceport Engineering Design Student Competition 2003 (NASA Spaceport 2003).

WE INVITE YOU to compete for a chance to make a real contribution in support of a Spaceport.

If selected, you and your teammates will conduct engineering trade and design studies in support of a Next Generation Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Distribution System (CPSDS).

If you choose to enter, your team will compete with other student teams by writing and submitting a proposal to the NASA Spaceport Design Review Committee. In so doing, you will venture into the world of proposal-writing and procurement.

From all proposals received, up to five teams will be selected to investigate CPSDS issues that are important to NASA’s Spaceport Design Review Committee and to design solutions addressing them.

Then, in the spring of 2003, representatives of your team will attend NASA Spaceport 2003 Design Conference at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. This conference will provide a forum for:

  • the presentation of your team’s work;
  • interaction with leading NASA, industry and university community professionals;
  • receipt of status reports on the progress of exploration missions and programs;
  • and, receipt of updates on new systems, technologies and approaches to the development of a spaceport.

As a member of a selected team, NASA plans to incorporate innovations from your work into its engineering trade studies and evaluate them against other leading concepts.

All six student teams will receive cash awards of $500 (a) upon selection as a Finalist Team, (b) upon receipt of a satisfactory Preliminary Design Report (PDR), and (c) upon receipt of a satisfactory Detailed Design Review (DDR) – for a total of $1,500 each. Teams will also receive international recognition for their contributions to NASA’s Spaceport planning effort.

The NASA Spaceport Engineering Design Student Competition 2003 program is jointly sponsored by NASAKennedy Space CenterFlorida Space Grant Consortium, and Florida Space Research Institute and administered by the Florida Space Grant Consortium andFlorida Space Research Institute.