Kennedy Space Center NextGen Website

Space Launch Systems Operations Simulations

For costs - see Models

The term "simulation" is used here in the sense of an abstraction, an elaborate thought experiment, where mathematical formulas come together to create a predictive framework for the analysis and understanding of future systems. A simulation is different than a model, with simulations generally focusing on processes, especially "where" and "when" these occur, for example one test on a launch vehicle stage completing and another starting.

Objectives in these space launch and processing simulations:

  • Understand the effort and processes for preparing, launching and returning space transportation systems
  • Understand space transportation systems characteristics and processing in relation to the goal of significantly more routine and affordable access to space

The system includes:

  • The flight vehicle design, technology and technical characteristics
  • The ground infrastructure, facilities and equipment
  • The organization of government and industry partners; processes, practices and business approaches

Older (inactive/archival) simulations:

  • Earth-to-Orbit (E2O) Supply Chain Simulation (2006-2009)
  • The Earth-to-Orbit (E2O) Supply Chain Simulation project begins by treating information flows (sustaining engineering, requirements management, configuration control, scheduling, planning, administrative, financial, etc.) as integral to material flows, such as flight and ground hardware processing, assembly, launch, return for refurbishment, reuse, disposition and servicing.

  • Exploration Launch and Landing Analysis (ELLA) simulation (2006-2007)
  • Developed a discrete event simulation of the Constellation program Orion Ares I Ground Operations project. This includes all processing and flight and ground systems element integration post "DD250", that is post delivery of individual flight hardware elements to the Kennedy Space Center.

    The software was created for NASA by Productivity Apex Inc., Mansooreh Mollaghasemi PhD, Chairman and CEO.

  • Activity Based Costing (2004-2005)
  • Developed an integrated Activity Based Costing – Discrete Event Simulation (ABC-DES) system by incorporating an ABC methodology into the previously developed Space Shuttle simulation "Shuttle-Ops".

  • SpaceSim (2004-2007)
  • The SpaceSim Spaceport and Launch Systems Simulation
    The SpaceSim Spaceport and Launch Systems Simulation

    SpaceSim was created to provide insight for many aspects of decision making while early in the planning or development process. SpaceSim used a Java based platform, requiring no further software to run. The software was created for NASA by Nevins Software, with Mike Nevins as lead developer and product manager.

  • Generic Simulation Environment for Modeling Future Launch Operations (GEM-FLO) simulation (2003)
  • The generic space launch simulation
    The generic space launch simulation

    GEM-FLO is a generic simulation of launch operations processing for space transportation systems. With a graphic user interface (GUI), an underlying discrete event simulation (DES) is easily populated with the description of the system of interest. The underlying simulation, a flexible structure, awaiting specific values and user choices, was created using Arena Simulation software by Rockwell Automation.

    The software was created for NASA by Productivity Apex Inc., Mansooreh Mollaghasemi PhD, Chairman and CEO.

  • ShuttleOps simulation (1999-2002)
  • The Shuttle operations simulation
    The Shuttle operations simulation

    ShuttleOps is a discrete event simulation (DES) of the Space Shuttle ground processing operations, representing operations from the start of a launch flow through the return landing of the Shuttle orbiters. The DES was constructed using Arena Simulation, a software package from Rockwell Automation. A graphic user interface (GUI), pictured above, was also developed to provide an easier way of entering inputs into the underlying simulation. ShuttleOps was used to explore changes to the Shuttle ground operations processes, quickly providing insight into "what-if" scenarios such as changes in resources (such as the number of facilities or bays available, or vehicle fleet size), or off nominal probabilities, such as alternate launch site landings.

    The software was created for NASA by Productivity Apex Inc., Mansooreh Mollaghasemi PhD, Chairman and CEO.

    Grant Cates, "Space Shuttle Launch Probability Analysis: Understanding History so We Can Predict the Future," IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2014. [ABSTRACT ONLY]

Other Papers & Presentations:

External Links: