The Reinventing Space Project is a joint effort between Microcosm and USC aimed at near-term research, training, and workshops in methods to dramatically reduce space mission cost and schedule. It is headed by Dr. James Wertz, President of Microcosm and Adjunct Professor of Astronautics at the University of Southern California, and Dr. Mike Gruntman, USC Professor of Astronautics. Near-term activities, courses, reports and several relevant professional papers are shown below. For a press release on the formation and purpose of the Reinventing Space Project, click here.
The purpose of this website is to make information available on "Reinventing Space—Dramatically Reducing Space Mission Cost." Most of the material here is drawn from background material prepared for the Spring, 2013 USC graduate course on the "Design of Low Cost Space Missions" and from related material that Microcosm has created over the last decade. We welcome comments, suggestions, and additional material which you believe is relevant to the broad topic of reinvigorating the space program at dramatically lower cost. Please send your comments and questions to Nicola Sarzi-Amade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we can help your organization create a proactive program to reduce mission cost, please get in touch with us. We look forward to supporting cost and schedule reduction efforts throughout the community.
Thank you for your interest in the Reinventing Space Project.
Jim Wertz, email@example.com
Mike Gruntman, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a series of Op-Ed articles in Space News on how to go about the process of dramatically reducing space mission cost in a much shorter schedule, while maintaining a high level of mission utility. The complete set of articles, along with references and a bibliography are available here:
Individual articles are available in Space News as follows:
As with any inherently challenging technical problem, dramatically reducing cost and schedule requires hard work and good engineering, not simply a set of rules or procedures to follow. To disseminate information the existing knowledge base on this topic, on what has historically worked (and not worked) and why, and various approaches that have been proposed for future programs, the Reinventing Space Project is offering a series of seminars, professional short courses, and a for-credit graduate course, each of which is described in the flyers below. For information on holding these at your facility, or joining the USC graduate course via the Distance Education Network, contact Julie Jackson at email@example.com or 310-219-2700.
For credit USC graduate course (ASTE 523) “Reinventing Space—the Design of Low-Cost Space Missions.” Syllabus
5-day professional short course on “Reinventing Space—Dramatically Reducing Space Mission Cost” (intended to cover practical and pragmatic approaches) More Info
Approximately 2-hour overview seminar on “Reinventing Space: Methods for Making Dramatic Reductions in Space Mission Cost and Schedule” More Info
The two most established annual conferences oriented toward this topic are the Utah State University SmallSat Conference, held in August in Logan, Utah, and the AIAA Reinventing Space Conference, to be held Oct. 14–17, 2013 in LA. Note that the Reinventing Space Conference website also includes all papers presented at past conferences in a searchable listing.
Basic reference material relevant to this topic.
The Major Objections to Reducing Space Mission Cost — Introduction to the 2013 USC course explaining why many people are not interested in reducing cost, in spite of today's obvious economic problems
Reducing Space Mission Cost Bibliography — A complete bibliography of all of the references on reducing mission cost that we are aware of.
These are copies of the most relevant current professional papers or, in cases where copyright material must be paid for (typically papers sold by one of the professional societies or books), a source where it can be purchased.
"Methods for Achieving Dramatic Reductions in Space Mission Cost," J. Wertz, et al., RS2011 — An overview of the methods most widely known or used as of early 2011.
Design Solutions for Low-Cost Space Missions – S. Speretta, 2012 book on building a smallsat at ESA.
"Moderately Elliptical Very Low Orbits (MEVLOs) as a Long-Term Solution to Orbital Debris" — J. Wertz, et al., paper presented at the 2012 SmallSat Conferene.
"Designing and Managing for a Reliability of Zero," Mike Hurley (NRL) and Bill Purdy — an excellent summary of the current problem
International Study on Cost Effective Earth Observation Missions — book edited by Rainer Sandau, 2006
"Assessment of SmallSat Utility and the Need for Dedicated, Low-Cost, Responsive Small Satellite Launch," J. Wertz, RS2010 — paper from the 2010 Reinventing Space Conference.
For a much longer list of papers on this topic see both the bibliography listed above and the Reinventing Space Conference website, www.reinventingspace.org
Microcosm. In addition to research and support on methods for implementing much lower cost, high utility space missions, Microcosm is engaged in the development of a number of key low-cost technologies. If you would like more specific information about Microcosm’s low cost spacecraft, launch vehicles, or supporting technologies click here, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USC. The University of Southern California has one of the largest astronautics Master’s programs in the US (including enrollment via the Distance Education Network) and also engages in relevant astronautics research. For information on graduate astronautics courses (including “Space Mission Analysis and Design” and "Reinventing Space—the Design of Low-Cost Space Missions") click here. For information specifically on the MS program, click here.