Making Spacecraft Affordable: An Assessment of Alternatives 901020

This paper evaluates four proposals for reducing the costs of spacecraft and other payloads. It concludes that: (1) Using a standard bus, if available, could save up to two-thirds the cost of using a customized bus. (2) Payloads could cost less if allowed to be heavier. A Titan-class payload might cost about $130 million less if allowed to be five times as heavy. (3)Anticipating greater-than-expected payload weight growth during development reduces risks of delay and expense for redesign. The optimal weight margin to allow at the beginning of full-scale development is about 11 to 12 percent for a Titan-class payload. (4) A swarm of small satellites might be as effective for some missions as a single large satellite, and possibly more economical, because smaller satellites typically cost much less per kilogram than do large ones.


Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »


Members save up to 40% off list price.
Login to see discount.
Special Offer: With TechSelect, you decide what SAE Technical Papers you need, when you need them, and how much you want to pay.