NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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It's about routine, affordable, and safe access to and from space...

Space Transportation Systems Operations

Above: 2013 Public-Private Partnerships for Space Capability Development

Above: 2009 Review of Human Space Flight Plans Committee Report

Above: The 2008 NASA Cost Estimating Handbook

Above: 2005 NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS)

Above: 1994 Commercial Space Transportation Study - Full Text as Searchable .pdf, 661 Pages, 42MB (or shorter Executive Summary)

Within Reach, Within Us, Video in mpg format 4 MB

Above: Within Reach, Within Us (video)

Click Images Below for Past Programs

NASA Kennedy Space Center

How can we achieve routine, affordable, and safe transportation to and from space? It is the goal of this site to assist in answering that question.

Enabling future space transportation systems growth requires improving multiple elements and their processes. This includes the flight vehicle, the spaceport, and the organization. It requires all of these be optimized, together. Customers, developers, designers and operators working from a whole systems perspective, building on the lessons of the past - that is our emphasis in the next generation of designs for access to space.

May 7, 2013

  •  [Paper .pdf] [Presentation .pdf] "New Approaches in Reusable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling", presented at the 2013 Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) conference, April 29-May 3, Colorado Springs, CO, by E. Zapata, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

1990: “Overhead costs were neither visible nor understood, so common practice was to use poorly documented (sometimes proprietary) factors to "burden" the labor estimates. The practice has persisted, even though direct manufacturing labor has nearly disappeared as a cost driver, and overhead has grown to represent more than half the cost of defense systems, and may rise to represent two-thirds of these costs." --"Trends in a Sample of Defense Aircraft Contractors Costs”, James McCullough, Stephen Balut, Institute for Defense Analysis.

2011: “About three-quarters of the 84 recommendations in the EELV should-cost review are associated with overhead and indirect costs”. [link]

July 27, 2012

United States Government Accountability Office, GAO-12-822 (.pdf) "EVOLVED EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE - DOD Is Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Its New Acquisition Strategy", Report to Congressional Committees, July 2012.


"On May 2, 2007, the Air Force waived the requirement for Boeing to provide certified cost or pricing data for a significant amount of hardware associated with the production contract. The hardware is still being used, and the waiver, while officials believe it afforded DOD a reduced price, has limited government insight into cost or pricing data on a large lot of launch vehicle hardware, including engines, purchased at that time. The lack of certified cost or pricing data for this hardware has contributed to years of Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) reports that consistently find ULA proposals inadequate for government evaluation and contract negotiation." Pg. 13.

July 24, 2012

  • “I think it’s fair to say that our review group drew the short straw, and I drew the shortest by having to actually do this presentation”. -Sally Ride, the introduction to “Scenario Affordability Analysis” in 2009.

May 25, 2012

In "-ilities"...>

May 18, 2012

In "-ilities"...>

May 11, 2012

In "Reusable Booster Systems"...>

April 3, 2012

In "-ilities"...>