NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Home Welcome to the KSC Next Gen Site

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

Website Curator: Edgar Zapata, NASA KSC

The NASA Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station - a Multi-user Spaceport



The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight (.pdf)

2014 The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight



2013/14 Public-Private Partnerships for Space Capability Development [Report .pdf] [Presentation .pdf]

2013-2014 Public-Private Partnerships for Space Capability Development [Report] [Presentation]



2009 Review of Human Space Flight Plans Committee Report

2009 Review of Human Space Flight Plans Committee Report



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

1994 Commercial Space Transportation Study (661 pages, searchable pdf, 42MB, or shorter Executive Summary)



Within Reach, Within Us (video)

Within Reach, Within Us (video)



Past Programs



NASA Kennedy Space Center


How can we achieve routine, affordable, and safe operations to, from and in space?


The goal of our work here is to assist in answering this question.


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


September 13, 2016

[Paper] [Presentation] Allison F. Zuniga, Mark Turner, Daniel Rasky, Robert B. Pittman, Edgar Zapata, "Kickstarting a New Era of Lunar Industrialization via Campaigns of Lunar COTS Missions," American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Space 2016, 2016


December 15, 2015

Edgar Zapata, "Emerging US Space Launch Trends and Space Solar Power," IEEE International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments, 2015


August 31, 2015

[Paper] [Presentation] Allison F. Zuniga, Daniel Rasky, Robert B. Pittman, Edgar Zapata, Roger Lepsch, "Lunar COTS: An Economical and Sustainable Approach to Reaching Mars," American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Space 2015, 2015


July 29, 2015

Brand Griffin, Roger Lepsch, John Martin, Edgar Zapata, Carey McCleskey, et al,  "Evolvable Mars Campaign Small Habitat Commonality Reduces Cost and Improves Operations," Future In-Space Operations Working Group, 2015


July 27, 2015

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, Alan Wilhite, "Exploring NASA Human Spaceflight and Pioneering Scenarios," 51st AIAA / SAE / ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, 2015


July 22, 2015

Charles Miller, Alan Wilhite, David Cheuvront, Robert Kelso, Howard McCurdy, Edgar Zapata, "Economic Assessment and Systems Analysis of an Evolvable Lunar Architecture that Leverages Commercial Space Capabilities and Public-Private-Partnerships," NexGen Space LLC under a grant from NASA, 2015

"Based on the experience of recent NASA program innovations, such as the COTS program, a human return to the Moon may not be as expensive as previously thought."

April 23, 2015

"The Report of the Independent Review Committee on SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Certification," Institute for Defense Analysis, Larry D. Welch, General, USAF (Ret.), 2015

"There is a lack of clarity regarding what the Certifying Official is actually addressing."


"Neither view was the intent of the original certification plan. The intent was a partnership that leveraged the commercial practices and experience of SpaceX and decades of Air Force experience to meet the needs of the Air Force for confidence in the capability and reliability of the SpaceX launch system. In particular, it was never envisioned that the Air Force would drive changes in design, processes, and organization to achieve certification. Neither was it expected the Falcon 9 launch experience would suffice to provide the needed confidence in Falcon 9 v1.1 for national security payloads. Instead, it was expected there would be a manageable set of issues requiring resolution, some requiring resolution at the top level."


"The Balance between the What and How

The daily focus of members of the NECT for the past decade or so has been intensely on confidence in individual successful deliveries to orbit. That requires assessment of specific processes and hardware associated with the specific launch vehicle. The traditional approach is prescriptive."

March 6, 2015

Edgar Zapata, "Nano-Launcher Technologies, Approaches, and Life Cycle Assessment, Phase II," 2014


September 24, 2014

"The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight," NASA Emerging Space Office (ESO), 2014 (Point of Contact: Alexander MacDonald)

"The next era of space exploration will see governments pushing technological development and the American private sector using these technologies as they expand their economic activities to new worlds. NASA's next objectives for exploration--visits to asteroids and Mars--are more complex than any previous space mission attempted.


They will happen in the context of relatively smaller NASA budgets and an expanding commercial space economy. Teaming with private sector partners to develop keystone markets like low Earth orbit (LEO) transportation and technological capabilities like asteroid mining will help NASA achieve its mission goals, help the space economy evolve to embrace new ambitions, and provide large economic returns to the taxpayer through the stimulation and growth of new businesses and 21st century American jobs."

July 30, 2014

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, Carey McCleskey, "An Analysis and Review of Measures and Relationships in Space Transportation Affordability," 50th AIAA / SAE / ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, 2014


June 26, 2014

Nano-launcher Technology

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, Carey McCleskey, John Martin, Roger Lepsch, Tosoc Hernani, "Life Cycle Analysis of Dedicated Nano-Launch Technologies," Commercial and Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE), 2014

"Recent technology advancements have enabled the development of small cheap satellites that can perform useful functions in the space environment. Currently, the only low cost option for getting these payloads into orbit is through ride share programs - small satellites awaiting the launch of a larger satellite, and then riding along on the same launcher. As a result, these small satellite customers await primary payload launches and a backlog exists. An alternative option would be dedicated nano-launch systems built and operated to provide more flexible launch services, higher availability, and affordable prices. The potential customer base that would drive requirements or support a business case includes commercial, academia, civil government and defense. Further, NASA technology investments could enable these alternative game changing options."


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