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NESC Abort Loads Analysis Task

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s (NESC) mission is to perform value-added independent testing, analysis, and assessments of NASA's high-risk projects to ensure safety and mission success. Over the past several years DCI has participated as a member of the NESC ascent abort loads tool development team to create analysis tools that can quickly and easily be used to calculate the loads that occur on a manned spacecraft during a launch vehicle abort event. The methodology is based on the use of a generalized vehicle load indicator algorithm capable of predicting loads and other structural responses for an abort situation that occurs during the ascent of the launch vehicle. The method can include effects due to spacecraft separation “twang” vibrations as well as response to applied aerodynamic loading such as buffet and gust. Monte Carlo type simulations can easily be conducted with this tool to asses a wide variety and combination of possible abort trajectories and conditions. The tool has been tested on the SLS vehicle and is currently being extended to include aborts that may occur on the lauch pad or shortly after liftoff. In addition, this tool as well as associated SLS analyses will be certified to NASA Standard 7009 for Models and Simulations.

Test of the Orion Abort System

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