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Instrument Schedule Delays Potential Impact on Mission Development Cost for Recent NASA Projects (Follow-On Study)

Management Track



This study explores instrument schedule delays and their potential impacts on mission development cost for recent NASA projects. Schedule data collected at key milestones for a number of NASA instruments is used to compare planned and actual instrument development times. The study shows average instrument development schedule growth is on the order of 30%. Comparing last instrument delivered development time and mission development cost growth shows a positive correlation, indicating that instrument schedule delays may increase total mission development cost. Instruments are binned by various categories such as instrument type, mass, power, etc. to explore specific trends. The results of this study can be used for planning purposes by project and program managers in charge of future NASA development efforts.


Kristina Alemany Kipp
The Aerospace Corporation
Kristina Kipp is a senior member of the technical staff in the Space Architecture Department at The Aerospace Corporation. She is responsible for developing and evaluation space architectures, concepts, and system performance. Her key areas of expertise and interest include: multidisciplinary design & optimization; trajectory analysis & design; entry, descent, and landing systems design; technology cost estimation & forecasting; and program budget and affordability assessments.
Kristina Kipp received a bachelor’s of engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. She also received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, where she studied under Bobby Braun in the Space Systems Design Lab.

Stephen Ringler
The Aerospace Corporation
Stephen C. Ringler is a senior member of the technical staff in the NASA Programs Division, Civil and Commercial Operations at the Aerospace Corporation. He has conducted independent cost and schedule estimates for NASA proposal evaluations and independent assessments for a variety of different NASA missions and organizations. He has led studies which have evaluated historical cost and schedule performance of NASA spacecraft, instruments, and subsystems. Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Erin Chapman
The Aerospace Corporation
Erin has 6 years of experience in the Aerospace industry working as a technical consultant for the DoD and NASA as an employee of The Aerospace Corporation. Erin’s technical background is in the area of GPS and inertial navigation systems as well as satellite control systems. While with the Aerospace Corporation, Erin has worked on numerous launch vehicle and satellite programs. Her current position involves programmatic level risk identification and mitigation related to both technical and economic sources. Erin has a B.S from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. from the University of Michigan. She is currently working on her M.B.A at the Anderson School of Business at U.C.L.A.

Luke Rinard