Independent Flight Safety Analysis: Falcon 9 Upper Stage and Dragon Payload Reentry Aerodynamic Heating and Demise Evaluation

The Contractor shall develop and deliver analyses pertaining to reentry heating and breakup of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle upper stage and fueled Dragon payload, in accordance with the regulations listed in 14 CFR Part 417 and industry recognized best practices. The analyses shall include computation of initial state using trajectory analysis software; development of a thermal model using data sets and supporting analyses conducted and developed under task order 7; aero-thermal demise calculations under end-on, side-on, and tumbling reentry orientations; and analysis of results. The analysis scope is limited to address the planned configuration for the second flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and the potential for an explosive impact on the African continent as well as for flights in the same configuration to the International Space Station to address the potential for an explosive impact over Europe. These analyses will use the best available data, including data sets provided by SpaceX, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As such, the number of analyses performed and the extent to which they are conducted may be constrained by the availability of the required data. Data to be provided by SpaceX and the 45th Space Wing include: (1) vehicle and payload characteristics, such as weights, dimensions, aerodynamic and thrust parameters, and descriptions of vehicle systems and subsystems; (2) structure and material properties; and (3) trajectory state vectors. Where possible the Contract shall utilize data sets and supporting analyses conducted and developed under task orders 3, 4 and 7 of this contract, or perform the work in parallel to minimize the effort and resources involved. The FAA will use the results of the analyses described above to inform its licensing determination of the proposed operation. The Contractors shall make all requests for data through the FAA point of contact.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Program Information: Commercial Space Transportation, Vehicle Safety -- Analysis


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Davidian, Ken

  • Performing Organizations:


  • Start Date: 20091228
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20101227
  • Source Data: RiP Project 34416

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01483839
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: DTFAWA-06-D-00013
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 14 2013 1:00AM