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 Kennedy Space Center



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, Full (.pdf)


Past Programs




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.


November XX, 2017

[Paper] Allison F. Zuniga, Mark Turner, Daniel Rasky, Mike Loucks, John Carrico, Lisa Policastri, "Building an Economical and Sustainable Lunar Infrastructure to Enable Lunar Industrialization," American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2017 Forum.

"A new concept study was initiated to examine the architecture needed to gradually develop an economical, evolvable and sustainable lunar infrastructure using a public/private partnerships approach."

October 23, 2017

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, "An Assessment of Cost Improvements in the NASA COTS/CRS Program and Implications for Future NASA Missions," September 2017

"The goal here is to do the math, to bring rigorous life cycle cost (LCC) analysis into discussions about COTS program costs. We gather publicly available cost data, review the data for credibility, check for consistency among sources, and rigorously define and analyze specific cost metrics."

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, "The Opportunity in Commercial Approaches for Future NASA Deep Space Exploration Elements," September 2017

"This work joins the previous two events, showing the potential for commercial, public private partnerships, modeled on programs like COTS, to reduce the cost to NASA significantly for “…other required deep space exploration capabilities.”

[Paper] [Presentation] Edgar Zapata, "NASA Human Spaceflight Scenarios - Do All Our Models Still Say ‘No’?," September 2017

"Assuming the value of long-term life cycle cost analysis, where due diligence meets reconnaissance, and accepting past shortcomings, the work here approaches life cycle cost analysis for human spaceflight differently."

May 2, 2017

[Air University Website] "Fast Space: Leveraging Ultra Low-Cost Space Access for 21st Century Challenges," January 13, 2017, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

"This study, conducted by a team of leaders in industry, research and development, finance, policy and strategy, explores whether and how the USAF can form private sector partnerships to create a virtuous cycle of launch cost reductions of between 3 and 10 times lower than today’s costs. Doing so could enable completely new approaches for the Air Force to defend American values, protect American interests, and enhance opportunities to exploit the unique global advantages of the ultimate high ground."


NASA team members from Kennedy Space Center, Langley Research Center and Ames Research Center participated in this study.

May 1, 2017

Lunar Surface Cargo Transportation Services Request for Information (RFI)

"The requirement is to provide a commercial launch and landing service on existing or forthcoming FAA licensed commercial missions to the lunar surface for NASA primary payloads, NASA secondary payloads, or NASA hosted payloads, with the potential to also procure data from any commercial lunar surface missions and/or return payloads or samples to the Earth."

September 13, 2016

[Paper] 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 and Astronautics Space 2016 Forum.


July 22, 2016

M. Elvis,  "What can Space Resources do for Astronomy and Planetary Science?", Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2016.

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, 2015.


August 31, 2015

[Paper] 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 and Astronautics Space 2015 Forum.



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