The Cosmos on a Shoestring
Small Spacecraft for Space and Earth Science
Small spacecraft have become popular for a number of reasons, most prominently the needs to reduce overall cost, be built more quickly, and spread mission risks. NASA has been challenged with crafting a program that continues to produce meaningful science within the constraints of the available budget. Still, pound for pound, small spacecraft are not precisely inexpensive, given the effects of complexity, launch costs, and a greater degree of risk. Historically, science spacecraft have demonstrated increasing reliability, but this trend might not continue, given the shift to managed risk. There is generally less money available to smaller programs to test spacecraft functions and operational procedures prior to launch. Small spacecraft are also generally less robust. Efforts to reduce failure potentials through the application of more reliable components, better testing, and advanced design techniques should receive greater attention. Despite the risks, however, small spacecraft fulfill important roles in earth science, astrophysics, space physics, and planetary science. NASA's current generation of small spacecraft is capable of impressive levels of performance.
Download eBook for Free
|PDF file||5.2 MB||
Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.
- Copyright: RAND Corporation
- Availability: Available
- Print Format: Paperback
- Paperback Pages: 221
- List Price: $15.00
- Paperback Price: $12.00
- Paperback ISBN/EAN: 0-8330-2528-7
- Document Number: MR-864-OSTP
- Year: 1998
- Series: Monograph Reports
Small Spacecraft in the Civil Space Program
Meeting National Objectives with Fewer Resources
Advanced Technology for Small Spacecraft
Process Improvement and Risk Management
Evaluating Small Spacecraft Missions
Conclusions and Recommendations
Spacecraft Cost Comparisons
Failure in Spacecraft Systems
Testing for Reliability in Space Systems
High Reliability Systems
New Approaches to Spacecraft Design
Small Spacecraft World Wide Web Links
This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.