NASA's Langley Research Center has designed a Multifunctional Boost Protective Cover (MBPC) for a Launch Abort System (LAS). In the event of a crewed launch, the innovation provides a redundant means of saving the crew, and for an unmanned launch, it provides the means for recovering a very expensive, sensitive, and/or dangerous payload. In addition, costs are reduced by minimizing insurance premiums and costly delays to fabricate new, complex satellite systems in the event of a failed launch. NASA is seeking development partners and potential licensees.

The NASA team has defined the best alternate launch abort system configurations for ascent performance, crew exploration vehicle abort controllability, and acoustic loads.

The current design enables this increased redundancy with no detrimental impact on mass-to-orbit capability and, in effect, can increase the payload-to-orbit capability of the spacecraft by enabling the firing of the launch abort motor (LAM) during nominal missions to produce an increased delta-velocity or increased mass-to-orbit capability. The invention enables the launch abort function, and minimizes the generation and transmission of acoustic pressure to the pay-load and/or crew. In addition, the design accommodates inertial, structural, and thermal loads.

The innovation also reduces the structural mass of the crew or payload module by transferring the load-carrying structure to a multi-functional boost protective cover that is jettisoned early in the launch trajectory (prior to reaching the orbital velocity), thus reducing mass to orbit. The MBPC also has a very efficient aerodynamic shape that reduces drag and enables increased pay-load/mass to orbit.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact The Technology Gateway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link for more information: here.