risk-adjusted life-cycle cost and schedule estimates. QuickCost was also used to estimate the development span that would be expected for missions of the space-based missions’ size and complexity.
The QuickCost database includes approximately 100 data fields on more than 120 past space science flight projects. QuickCost provides means, medians, standard deviations, and coefficients of variation and interquartile ranges for all 100 descriptive parameters in the model’s database. SAIC examined “cross-parameter” trends to spot outlying technical descriptions for the missions being estimated. Missions with parameter relationships that lie outside these norms were flagged for further attention to determine if there is some underlying difference in assumptions or other bias in the mission descriptions. As a result of this exercise, some missions were found to have data voids such as total spacecraft masses, power, data rates, design lives, new design percentage, and instrument complexity. In these cases, SAIC estimated the parameters.
For the launch cost of the space-based missions, SAIC used the NASA Expendable Launch Services Model. (In “References,” see “Cost Models.”) This model estimates launch cost as a function of payload mass, destination (i.e., orbital inclination or escape), and payload shroud (fairing) size.
A range of costs was estimated for each of the eight projects, following along with the project description including technology development requirements, technology readiness, and risk rating.
The S curves of a potential range of costs for each concept are provided in Figures A.1 through A.8. These present a top-level snapshot at this stage of the independent cost-estimating process of each concept’s range of potential budgeting requirements. Given the conceptual level of definition at this stage of the project development and the fact that the reconciliation between the project team and model estimates has not been performed, clearly the end points of this range for most of the projects also have a high probability of changing as the designs become more defined and the basis for the difference in current estimates is understood.