Physics/Math/Engineering

NASA Parallel Distributed Processing Project

PDP: A paradigm shift for NASA Space Shuttle Flight Design During my time working on the Space Shuttle I developed at NASA/Johnson Space Center a Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) package to distribute tasks such as Space Shuttle trajectory simulations across the Unix workstation network we had at Rockwell Space Operations. The basic idea is very …

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Optimized Space Shuttle 1st Stage Guidance Targets

This project researched the application of Sequential Simplex Optimization and Experimental Design concepts to the problem of optimizing some of the target values used in the Space Shuttle first stage guidance subsystem. Shuttle first stage employs “open-loop” guidance, essentially flying an attitude profile based on current speed. I first found the optimum targeting values and …

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Optimum Space Station Orbit Inclination for Space Shuttle Support Missions

When the Space Shuttle launches due-east from the Kennedy Space Center the inclination of the vehicle’s orbit is 28.45 degrees. This is the same as the Space Center’s latitude. The “orbital inclination” is nothing more than the angle between the orbit and the equator, i.e., how “inclined” or “tilted” the orbit is. If the orbit …

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Project Management Challenges in the Space Shuttle Flight Design Program

Many of the same competing project forces which are common in the business world are also well represented in the Shuttle Program. The Space Shuttle has always been a work-in-progress, constantly being reviewed, revised, studied, and improved. How is this constant change managed? Projects compete for scarce resources (knowledgeable staff, funding, time, etc.). Complicating the …

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