Space Mission Analysis and Design, 3rd edition (Space Technology Library, Vol. 8)

Author: Wiley J. Larson, James R. Wertz
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by TheHideout   2022-01-12
It's unfortunate that the article speaks so much of NASA engineers and managers, but fails to mention the actual engineers that designed, built, and tested it: TRW (now Northrup Grumman) and Ball Aerospace.

> The concepts used to create the JWST are built on the same concepts used on the first satellites and space probes in the 1950s.

AKA, the field of Systems Engineering [0]. Further reading if you really want to take a deep dive [1].


by Spirit_jitser   2019-08-24


Find one of these for the earth-moon system, if you haven't already.


Did your prof say how much they weigh delta-v vs time of flight? Knowing how they are going to grade is probably better for making a cost function than assuming how much consumables/fuel you need.


There is this, I have no idea how helpful it will be:


A copy of SMAD may be available at your local uni library:


Barring that, you could assume a rate for consumption of well, consumables (food, air, etc) and use that to find a mass budget for that. You can then assuming a launch cost per lb. Do something similar for your propulsion system, but assuming an engine with a certain ISP/propellant.

by BlazingAngel665   2019-08-24

First, let's rephrase your statement 'SpaceX showed significant cost savings during Falcon 9 development, compared to traditionally procured launchers' The distinction is important, especially since you don't have insight into SpaceX's accounts to back up that claim, but rather tertiary sources through the GAO.

Secondly, developing launchers and developing spacecraft art nothing alike. I'm almost a full stack launch vehicle engineer. I'd be so far out of my depth on a spacecraft development campaign, it'd be funny. SpaceX was able to develop Falcon 9 for so cheap because:

  1. Using available technology (Fasttrac, PICA)
  2. Leveraging 21st century information technology
  3. Iterative development cycles using operational flights for technology development.
  4. Economies of scale
  5. Significantly different risk stance.

Planetary science missions (especially to Europa):

  1. Have no COTS or prior art solutions
  2. Don't benefit as significantly from enterprise information systems due to being one-offs
  3. Have cycle times of decades, due to interplanetary flight times at minimum, limiting the Silicon Valley 'fail fast' mentality
  4. Are one-offs
  5. Can't accept significant risk, due to cost, and probably due to nuclear materials onboard.


You ignored the precedent of ISI's Beresheet lander, and my indictment of your ad revenue model. Please read SMAD before commenting again.