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Space Systems Cost & Process Data

NASA has a long history of sharing data so that US industry can take advantage of the knowledge gained for their own applications, which also advances the NASA mission.


The NASA Authorization Act of 2005 states:

"(2) CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION.—In carrying out the programs of NASA, the Administrator shall— (A) consult and coordinate to the extent appropriate with other relevant Federal agencies, including through the National Science and Technology Council; (B) work closely with the private sector, including by— (i) encouraging the work of entrepreneurs who are seeking to develop new means to launch satellites, crew, or cargo; (ii) contracting with the private sector for crew and cargo services, including to the International Space Station, to the extent practicable; (iii) using commercially available products (including software) and services to the extent practicable to support all NASA activities; and (iv) encouraging commercial use and development of space to the greatest extent practicable; and (C) involve other nations to the extent appropriate."

From "The First Century of Flight: NACA/NASA Contributions to Aeronautics" -

"All research projects undertaken by the NACA sought to compile fundamental aeronautical knowledge applicable to all flight, rather than working on a specific type of aircraft design, because that looked too much like catering to a particular aeronautical firm.”

Similarly, the spread of knowledge about human space flight safety, cost and reliability helps industry grow. This furthers a growing, open space frontier, in the same way that the sharing of wind-tunnel data helped with the growth of aviation in the early days of NASA's predecessor, the NACA.


The term "data" is used here almost exclusively with reference to quantitative, hard-data of the sort that comes from actual space flight. One example is the data on the process times or labor-hours to prepare a Shuttle propulsion sub-system for launch. Data compilations that include averages, curve fits, sums or such distillations, showing the raw data, fit this definition of "data" as well, adding value to that raw data. The term is not used here in the sense of an output of a tool, model or simulation. That would be analysis, studies, lessons learned, etc.


Above: Sample Cost Data, the Shuttle Program circa 2002. Jim Costello, NASA JSC, circa 2000.

Above: Data sample of Space Shuttle processing and integration time in the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Grant Cates, NASA KSC, circa 2000.

The following data is also available at the "-ilities" pages.


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Website Contact: Edgar Zapata, NASA Kennedy Space Center