Major objectives of the next generation space transportation system (STS) are outlined and discussed. Although the initial impetus for considering a new STS stems from a need for cost reduction in space operations, other objectives related to flexibility and versatility of the transportation system may ultimately be just as important as the economics. A number of the major objectives in the areas of economics, operations, and design are described. The measure of satisfaction of these objectives is a key element in developing evaluation or selection criteria. Also important are issues related to the specified operational requirements and the approach chosen for system development. Some of the implications of these issues on the selection process are discussed briefly.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
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.