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Space Solutions

Powering innovative, responsive, and affordable solutions from subcomponent to full system

Space systems and technologies are critical to our nation’s economic, scientific, and national security capabilities.

Today, space affects everything in our lives—from activities such as instant approval of point-of-purchase sales, routine interbank transfers, disaster relief support, and weather monitoring to providing our warfighters with the latest intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data. Innovative, affordable, and responsive space systems are needed to meet such ever-increasing demands.

Dynetics is your provider of innovative, affordable, and responsive space systems solutions, meeting Government and commercial needs.

Space Capabilities

Propulsion Systems

Our expertise in design, analysis, systems engineering, integration, manufacturing, and test provides full-spectrum support for launch vehicles, missile systems, and spacecraft. We have experience with most rocket propellants:

  • Liquid and gaseous oxygen, methane, and hydrogen
  • Propane and ethane
  • Nitrous oxide and hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) and various solid and hybrid fuels
  • Hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) (AF-315E) and hydrazine

Mechanical and propulsion testing

We have the experience, capabilities, and facilities to provide rapid, cost effective propulsion, mechanical, and environmental testing solutions for our customers:

  • Propulsion testing of up to 50,000-lbf thrust-class engines and stages, including liquids, solids, hybrids, and gases; hypergolic storable propellants; and green propellants
  • Mechanical testing of pneumatic and hydraulic systems, including cryogenics to hot gases, structural development and qualification, and proof and burst
  • Environmental testing, including vibration, temperature cycling, and thermal shock and vacuum

Mission design and vehicle sizing

We offer extensive mission design, advanced concepts, and vehicle sizing capabilities to meet customers' needs:

  • Mission concept studies
  • Spacecraft and launch concept development
  • Vehicle sizing, configuration, and performance modeling and simulation
  • Trajectory and orbital modeling and analysis

System integration and assembly

We provide systems engineering; assembly, integration, and test (AI&T); operations; and program management support across all system elements:

  • Human-rated mechanical components
  • Build-to-print assemblies
  • Large aerospace structures

Vehicle structure design and manufacturing

From concept development through low-volume manufacturing, we provide comprehensive design, analysis, and manufacturing solutions:

  • Aerospace structural components and assemblies
  • Towed aerial targets
  • Assembly tools
  • Ground support equipment

Small satellite development and manufacturing

We offer low-cost, rapid-response, and end-to-end small satellite development capabilities:

  • Hot-fire testing for up to 50,000-lbf thrust-class propulsion systems
  • Cryogenic propellant testing
  • Large cryogenic structures testing
  • Testing using water-cooled thrust chambers

Programs

Universal Stage Adapter (USA)

Dynetics is the prime contractor building the USA for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). The SLS is a powerful, advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to be flexible and evolvable for deep-space destinations. The SLS will begin using the USA on the Block 1B configuration, which is scheduled for launch in the early 2020s. The USA will also be used on future SLS configurations.

The USA will integrate the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) to the Orion crew module while providing structural, electrical, and communication paths. The USA will also provide environmental control to payloads during integrated ground operations, launch, and ascent phases. The USA will integrate primary, comanifested, and secondary payloads on the EUS.

The USA is 32.4 ft long and 18 ft in diameter at the forward skirt and 27.6 ft in diameter at the aft skirt. The maximum payload and internal volume area will be 10,100 ft3.

The USA will be made of four composite honeycomb-core quarter panels and umbilicals and disconnects. At liftoff, the USA will weigh approximately 9650 lb. Once the Orion is deployed, the USA will separate to release payloads.

The key USA structural components will be manufactured in Northern Alabama at the Dynetics Research and Development facility in Huntsville, as well as the Dynetics Aerospace Structures Complex and RUAG Space USA facility—both in Decatur.

The substructure parts will be shipped to the Decatur facilities for integration and assembly with the composite panels. Once assembled, the USA will be tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

After the USA is assembled and tested, it will be delivered by barge to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SLS Core Stage Pathfinder

Dynetics played an integral role in the completion of NASA’s SLS Core Stage Pathfinder, critical hardware for reducing the risk of first-time operations with the 212-ft tall core stage of the rocket. NASA awarded Radiance Technologies the Pathfinder vehicle delivery order under the Engineering Solutions and Prototyping contract, with Dynetics as the technical lead. G&G Steel was added to perform the final welding and major assembly operations in their commercial facility on the Black Warrior River.

The Pathfinder vehicle will be used to demonstrate core stage operations and transportation, including routes for testing, assembly, and launch. The vehicle, constructed from steel, replicates key core stage characteristics—212 ft long with a 27.6 ft diameter, weighing 228,000 lb.

The companies began construction in early 2016. NASA will accept the hardware after it is delivered by barge to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, Louisiana. NASA will use the Pathfinder to demonstrate core stage handling and transportation at MAF; NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; and the Kennedy Space Center.

Pathfinder