Systems Engineering Seminar

Perspectives on NASA Mission Cost and Schedule Performance

Presented by:
David A. Bearden
Principal Director, NASA Advanced Programs
Civil & Commercial Operations
The Aerospace Corporation

June 3, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium


Perspectives on NASA Mission Cost and Schedule Performance

This presentation provides an objective examination of NASA missions over the last decade-and-a-half using a complexity metric and other data to compare development time and system development costs. A discernable threshold exists where system complexity coupled with a lack of sufficient resources results in cost/schedule growth and/or an increased potential for failure. A critical factor in successful mission development is the quality of upfront cost and schedule estimates and an a priori understanding of the sources and magnitude of cost/schedule growth.

Key questions to be addressed include:



David A. Bearden is Principal Director of The Aerospace Corporationís NASA Advanced Programs Office, where he manages and provides technical direction to staff supporting various NASA interplanetary and earth-science programs. These include the Mars Program, Astrophysics Program, Discovery/New Frontiers programs and other science missions both at NASA HQ and field centers. His expertise lies in project management and space systems architectural assessment including conceptual design, simulation and programmatic analysis of space systems. He led the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Analysis of Alternatives which earned him the 2006 Aerospace Corporationís Presidentís Award. He has also led various mission studies including the Lunar Robotic Exploration Architecture study and Mars Sample Return studies and served on a number of Standing Review Boards. Dr. Bearden led development of the Small Satellite Cost and Complexity-based Risk Assessment (CoBRA) models and their application to NASA independent reviews. He also led deployment of the Concurrent Engineering Methodology at JPL's Project Design Center. He has authored chapters in Space Mission Analysis and Design and Reducing the Cost of Space Systems. He was the recipient of the Aviation Week & Space Technology Annual Aerospace Laurels in 2000 for conducting ďthe first quantitative assessment of NASA's faster-better-cheaper initiative in space exploration.Ē He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of Utah.



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