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Space Transportation Systems "-ilities"

Affordability, Reliability, Safety, Maintainability, Operability, Complexity, Sustainability & Responsiveness


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Affordability, Competition, Business Models and Acquisition Approach

"Air Mail Act of 1934 - Aerospace history can provide us some inspiration on this subject. The air transportation world in the early 1930s ran into the ethical problems that can often occur in completely vertical business arrangements with a narrow set of players. The issue was finally resolved through anti-trust legislation in the Airmail Act of 1934."


Affordability, Operability, Design for Operations


It is envisioned that dramatically safer, lower cost, and higher flight rate access to space is possible by applying the wealth of experience gained from human space flight launch operations. Shuttle launch operations, particularly the world’s only reusable space plane elements, the orbiters, have accumulated a vast set of ideas, lessons learned, insight and “design for ops” experience.


"Designers of space launch systems should be cognizant of the impact of their design assumptions on operational characteristics. Operational metrics such as turnaround time, recurring cost, and headcount are critical factors for the future viability of such systems. The results presented here are from a study that seeks to determine in what manner design approaches can improve the operability of future space launch systems. This is accomplished by applying such operational approaches at the start of the concept design process."


Responsiveness, Direct Labor

"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future." -Niels Bohr


While scheduling a series of launches results in a plan that is worked to, system reality involves uncertainty, variability, and randomness. The long-view question becomes not "when are we planning to launch", or "how many launches are we planning for any year". The long view asks "what are the chances we will launch by a given date" or "what are the chances we will achieve a given number of launches by a set time in the future".

The Process for Simulation Modeling and Analysis of Space Shuttle Manifest Options

Shuttle Launch Pad Operations Added Work Days Post the Delta Launch Site Flight Readiness Review



Reliability, Safety



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Website Contact: Edgar Zapata, NASA Kennedy Space Center