June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1537.1 - 22.1537.20
Towards a More Accurate Framework to Predict Cost and Schedule in Space Vehicle Development Projects – Insight from the Apollo Lunar Module Systems thinking is an important aspect in the development of space vehicles and spacesystems because of the responsibility that the space systems engineer has to define a systembased on requirements and constraints and to oversee its creation from a variety of technologiesand subsystems. In particular, the ability to accurately predict the cost and schedule of thedevelopment of a space vehicle is of major importance to project managers. This paperinvestigates one aspect of systems thinking that focuses on the interaction between designiterations and budget (cost and schedule) iterations that occur in the process of developingspacecraft. This interaction of these two different iteration processes is very interesting as itrepresents two different learning phenomena that are taking place. This paper studies specificallythe Apollo Lunar Module (LM) as an interesting example of building a manned space vehiclewith no similar precedent. The goal is to identify trends that occur in the highly iterative processof designing spacecraft by looking at possible relationships between the profile of vehicleconfiguration changes, and, consequently, impacts on cost and schedule predictions. Using thework of Stephen Johnson in his book The Secret of Apollo: Systems Management in Americanand European Space Programs, we build on his definition of systems management that stemsfrom the interaction between three social groups; the engineers (seeking dependability), thescientists (seeking novelty), and the managers (seeking predictability of the cost and schedulebudgets). Following a narrative research design, the book Moon Lander: How We Developed theApollo Lunar Module by Tom Kelly, the father of the LM, will be the data for this research. Thepaper is organized in four sections. The first section describes the development of systemsengineering practices early in the Apollo space program and illustrates a need for projectmanagers to better estimate cost and schedule without prior history of development of vehicles ofsimilar kind. Here, the effect of social interactions is emphasized in addition to a discussion onthe presence, or absence, of awareness of the role of iteration in the design process. The secondsection analyzes the work of Tom Kelly using a narrative research design. The third sectionpresents findings as a framework that suggests a relationship between modifications ofconfigurations of space vehicles and the consequences on predicting cost and schedule. Finally,in the fourth section, we try to generalize this framework for current practices in space systemsengineering where prior history of similar developments do exist.
Ali, H., & Adams, R. (2011, June), Towards More Effective Teaching Strategies of Iteration and Systems Management in Spacecraft Design Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18344
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