A Critique of Spacecraft Cost Models

by James Dryden, Joseph P. Large


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback88 pages $15.00 $12.00 20% Web Discount

Examines the estimation accuracy of a group of parametric cost models used for a variety of spacecraft. For two major reasons, it reinforces the caveat of model builders that models should not be used mechanically but should reflect changing spacecraft characteristics: (1) weight, the most widely used independent variable, should be less constraining in the next generation of spacecraft with space-shuttle launching; and (2) spacecraft are becoming cheaper on a per-unit-of-performance basis. In estimating nonrecurring costs, none of the models are generally applicable to any subsystem except structure, but several SAMSO models are useful for estimating total nonrecurring cost. All the models do better in estimating recurring costs. The SAMSO models appear most reliable for the user who lacks detailed knowledge of a program and wishes to base an estimate on such characteristics as weight and maximum array output.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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.