VAB personnel have been developing an efficient, cost-effective method of bringing humans to and from Mars.
VAB personnel have been detailed to work with NASA Langley’s Research Directorate (RD) to provide a systems level assessment of RD technologies currently under development and new technologies of interest to RD.
VAB personnel have a long history of involvement in hypersonics, from X-planes to the Space Shuttle. Today, they provide significant support to NASA’s Hypersonic Technology Project (HTP), part of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD).
NESC Independent Assessments
VAB personnel frequently provide an independent assessment capability for the NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC). Previous NESC work includes the Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) Flight Test Vehicle 2 and trajectory design and optimization for the Ares I-X flight.
Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL)
VAB personnel have supported several Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL)-based activities for Earth and Mars EDL mission applications. Some examples include Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), Multi Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV) design, and Comet Sample return.
Orion Crew Module
VAB has used simulation software to test flight controls and system capabilities of the Orion Crew Module.
Space Launch System
The Space Launch System is being developed by NASA to send astronauts further into the solar system than ever! VAB has contributed critical expertise to the stage separation modeling and the development of the universal stage adapter and fairing.
VAB personnel have provided critical Subject Matter Expertise (SME) support for crew and cargo delivery systems with the commercial space sector. One important example is the “Dream Chaser” system which was based on a lifting body design developed at NASA Langley called the HL-20.