Space System Architecture
Framing document (02010 week_2_framing.pdf)
Wertz, James R. and Larson, Wiley J.,
Space Mission Analysis and Design
Chapters 1 to 4 (02020 SMAD1 to 4.pdf)
Report of the DSB/AFSAB Joint Task Force on Acquisition of National Security
Space Programs, a.k.a. Tom Young Report (02030AcquisitionReport_2003.pdf)
Charles F. Lillie, Michael J. Wehner and Tom Fitzgerald, “Multidiscipline Design
as Applied to Space,” AIAA Paper, 1998 (02050 Multidiscipline.pdf)
Cost Estimating Viewgraphs (02999 Cost Estimating. pdf)
NASA Systems Engineering Handbook
For over 40 years, space systems have been successfully designed, built, and operated.
Over this time, a methodology has evolved for determining an initial architecture for such
systems, refining it, and transitioning to detailed design of the space vehicles and other
systems in the architecture. These methods were built on a legacy of large, well financed,
technology driven programs such as the Apollo lunar exploration missions, early
communication satellite work, and a variety of national asset programs focused on cold
There are good technical and historical reasons for current practices. The overwhelming
technical reason is that, if done competently and with sufficient resources, they work.
Systems engineering practices growing out of the aerospace and defense industries of the
1950’s and 60’s have allowed the creation of systems of unprecedented complexity and
technical sophistication. Historically, they were developed in an environment of
relatively abundant resources and the attention of a large and highly competent
workforce. Most systems were doing either unprecedented new missions, pushing the
limits of performance, or incorporating new technologies – often all three at once.
Performance and mission success, for national defense and prestige, were the driving
With the conclusion of the cold war, shrinking budgets and shifting national needs in the
1990’s lead to experiments in “Cheaper, Faster, Better” programs designed to do simpler
tasks, much faster with much less money. These programs were not always successful, as
in general lower cost and tighter schedules were accomplished by accepting increased
technical and program risks.