National Launch System comparative economic analysisResults are presented from an analysis of economic benefits (or losses), in the form of the life cycle cost savings, resulting from the development of the National Launch System (NLS) family of launch vehicles. The analysis was carried out by comparing various NLS-based architectures with the current Shuttle/Titan IV fleet. The basic methodology behind this NLS analysis was to develop a set of annual payload requirements for the Space Station Freedom and LEO, to design launch vehicle architectures around these requirements, and to perform life-cycle cost analyses on all of the architectures. A SEI requirement was included. Launch failure costs were estimated and combined with the relative reliability assumptions to measure the effects of losses. Based on the analysis, a Shuttle/NLS architecture evolving into a pressurized-logistics-carrier/NLS architecture appears to offer the best long-term cost benefit.
Prince, A. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)