The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is the next generation space vehicle to follow the Space Shuttle. A design with the inclusion of a Composite Pressure Vessel (CPV) has been assessed for its thermal response. The temperature distribution on the CPV that results from the heat produced by internal spacecraft systems and external space environments was calculated as part of a project-level assessment to understand thermomechanical stresses.

The United States Air Force and commercial aerospace industry recognize the importance of moving towards smaller, better, and cheaper spacecraft to support the nation’s increasing dependence on space-based technologies. Whether large or small, all spacecraft will require the same basic bus systems and environmental protection, simply scaled to fit the mission. The varying thermal environment in space is particularly important to spacecraft design and operation because of its affect on hardware performance and survivability.