Space Systems "ilitys" - Affordability,
Sustainability, Reliability, Maintainability, Productivity
(Flight Rate & Responsiveness) & Safety
Data: Costs & Processes
Website Curator: Edgar
Zapata, NASA KSC
The NASA Kennedy Space Center and the Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station - a Multi-user Spaceport
2014 The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight
2013-2014 Public-Private Partnerships for Space Capability Development
2009 Review of Human
Space Flight Plans Committee Report
1994 Commercial Space Transportation Study (661 pages, searchable
pdf, 42MB, or
Within Reach, Within Us (video)
How can we achieve routine, affordable, and safe operations to, from and
The goal of
our work here is to assist in answering this question.
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
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,
July 22, 2016
M. Elvis, "What
can Space Resources do for Astronomy and Planetary Science?", Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2016 (Also
Though not on space transportation per se, this
papers observations on the unsustainable difference between project cost
inflation vs. increases in project budgets applies just as
well. Reduced launch cost and approaches for cheaper spacecraft,
including commercial paths, are presented.
"But we are in trouble. Our telescopes have
grown in expense far faster than the economies they depend on. “If
something cannot go on forever, it will stop” as Herbert Stein’s Law
states in economics."
"But the price was high. Figure 3 shows how the
(inflation-corrected) cost of these missions increased by a factor of
about 20 over 30 years. This is an exponential growth rate of 10% per
year. The same plot for other wavelength bands would be much the same.
Ian Crawford has shown that Mars landers have grown even faster, at
about 15% per year. Historical growth rates for the US GDP have been
fairly steady at about 2% a year for the past century and more
(1871–2001). Clearly, growth rates for astronomy that are four
times faster than that of the economy are unsustainable."
December 15, 2015
Edgar Zapata, "Emerging
US Space Launch Trends and Space Solar Power," IEEE
International Conference on Wireless for Space and Extreme Environments,
August 31, 2015
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,
July 29, 2015
Brand Griffin, Roger Lepsch, John Martin, Edgar
Zapata, Carey McCleskey, et al,
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
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
"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."