Mission Analysis and Conceptual Design of a Space Ambulance Utilizing the Boeing X-37B Platform

by Blaesser, Nathaniel James, M.S., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, 2014, 92 pages; 1585047


This paper discusses the concept of operations and modifications for a crew return vehicle from the International Space Station based on the Boeing X-37B platform. The modifications necessary include accommodating a three person crew, adding an environmental control and life support system and modifying the propulsion system to be more conducive to a fast evacuation. Two crew seating configurations were considered and traded for vehicle mass, crew envelope and ease of loading and unloading the injured patient. Computer models were generated to determine key parameters, and the models were validated using physical mock-ups. The mission is considerably shorter than the design reference mission, meaning that there are significant reductions in propellant mass and volume. The results showed that by utilizing the space saved from smaller propellant tanks, and combining the crew's oxygen supply with the propulsion system, the vehicle can be retooled without modifying the outer mold line..

AdviserStephen Robinson
Source TypeThesis
SubjectsAerospace engineering; Mechanical engineering
Publication Number1585047

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