NASA Lessons Learned: Space Shuttle/Ground Processing Infrastructure/Aging and Obsolescence

Status Report From: NASA Public Lessons Learned System (PLLS) Database
Posted: Wednesday, October 1, 2003

PLLS Database Entry: 1164

Lesson Info

  • Lesson Number: 1164
  • Lesson Date: 01-feb-2001
  • Submitting Organization: HQ
  • Submitted by: David M. Lengyel


Space Shuttle/Ground Processing Infrastructure/Aging and Obsolescence

Description of Driving Event:

Aging Ground Processing and Launch Infrastructure at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)

Lesson(s) Learned:

The KSC facilities, ground support equipment, and test and checkout gear to support Space Shuttle processing and launch operations continue to age. The status of the potential readiness of these essential assets has been projected, but there is no detailed, funded plan to ensure that this aging infrastructure can safely support the Space Shuttle for its likely operational life.


Develop a detailed plan and budget to maintain and upgrade the KSC assets that are essential to the safe operation of the Space Shuttle for its reasonably expected flight life so that an appropriate infrastructure life extension program can be implemented.

Evidence of Recurrence Control Effectiveness:

Code M - Concur: Infrastructure support and upgrades requirements for the KSC facilities, ground support equipment, and test and checkout equipment are well defined and are updated yearly. The SSP initiated an Infrastructure Revitalization Team to develop a detailed plan to upgrade the infrastructure at all element sites, in addition to KSC, for identified life through at least 2012. Infrastructure remains a top program initiative and significant investment is needed. Since there were no new initiatives funded from the FY 02 budget process, other programs within Human Space Flight are being considered to support infrastructure requirements.

Applicable NASA Enterprise(s):

  • Human Exploration & Development of Space

Applicable Crosscutting Process(es):

  • Manage Strategically
  • Provide Aerospace Products & Capabilities: Implementation

Additional Key Phrases:

  • Administration/Organization
  • Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
  • Ground Operations
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Operations
  • Lifting Devices
  • Parts, Materials, & Processes
  • Policy & Planning
  • Risk Management/Assessment
  • Test Facility
  • Transportation

Approval Info:

  • Approval Date: 18-mar-2002
  • Approval Name: Bill Loewy
  • Approval Organization: HQ
  • Approval Phone Number: 202-358-0528

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