Vehicle Analysis Branch – Projects Hercules VAB personnel have been developing Hercules, an efficient, cost-effective and reusable method of bringing humans to and from Mars. RD-SACD Collaboration VAB is working along side Research Directorate (RD) to provide a systems assessment of RD technologies currently under development. Hypersonics VAB provides significant support to NASA’s Hypersonic Technology Project (HTP), part of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). NESC Independent Assessments VAB ensures the safety of American astronauts by providing an independent assessment for the NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC). Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) As NASA plans missions to the moon and Mars, VAB analyzes the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) trajectory of America’s spacecraft. Orion Crew Module VAB has used simulation software to test flight controls and system capabilities of the Orion, which will take the first woman and next man to the moon. Space Launch System As NASA develops its most powerful exploration rocket, VAB is making significant contributions to the trajectory and separation analysis. HL-20 The HL-20 was a spaceplane concept studied by VAB for over fifteen years. The design utilizes a lifting body configuration, which could make a conventional runway landing on return from orbit. Mars Swing Designed to minimize the risks of Mars missions, the Mars Swing is just one of the concepts VAB analyzed to support future space exploration.