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New Approaches in Reuseable Booster System Life Cycle Cost ModelingThis paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model and use genetic algorithms to explore results. A strong business case occurs when viable paths are identified for an affordable up-front investment, and these paths can credibly achieve affordable, responsive operations, characterized by smaller direct touch labor efforts at the wing level from flight to flight. The results supporting this approach, its potential, and its conclusions are presented here.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Zapata, Edgar
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2013
Subject Category
Economics And Cost Analysis
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2013 Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF) Conference
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Country: United States
Start Date: April 29, 2013
End Date: May 3, 2013
Sponsors: Department of the Air Force, NASA Headquarters, Department of the Navy, Department of the Army
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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