Inside-Out Systems Architecting: An Approach to Architecting the NASA Orbital Space Plane


NASA has published the Level One requirements for the Orbital Space Plane development. Those requirements leave open opportunities for creative development of a spacecraft that not only will provide the world with efficient travel to and from low-earth orbit, but also for crew rescue capability from the International Space Station. The success of the Orbital Space Plane development phase will depend strongly on the ability of competing contractors to establish criteria for gathering the needs of the stakeholders and develop models which are technically achievable, have acceptable risks, have acceptable costs, while adequately meeting the NASA needs. This paper proposes a hypothesis for architecting the NASA Orbital Space Plane. Beginning with the level one system requirements, this approach defines a "system of systems%" approach that moves from the "inside-out" in an iterative fashion. This process allows the system architect to understand the out-lying systems and when/where the architecting process should stop. Systems are inherently boundless and knowing also where are the client's core needs versus what are the "desirements". Fundamentally, both the System Life Cycle functions (process architecting) and the System Functions (product architecting) need to be addressed in this way and in an integrated fashion. Each system level would address both the System Life-Cycle Function as well as the System Functions.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

System Life Cycle Functions; Crew Rescue Capability; Space vehicles

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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