The Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment was a NASA effort commissioned by then Office of Space Flight, Associate Administrator, Fred Gregory, in March 2002, to identify and prioritize the future investments required to safely and effectively fly Shuttle through 2020. At the time the 2020 Assessment was commissioned, the Shuttle service life was planned through 2012. This assessment was viewed as a prudent step to better understand what might be required to extend the planned service life of the Space Shuttle.
The Space Shuttle Program office, working with its contractors, conducted the preliminary effort between March and August of 2002, with activities planned to continue through August of 2003 leading to specific recommendations for new activities to start in FY 2004. Preliminary results of this assessment were briefed to NASA Headquarters in August of 2002 and provided information used during formulation of the revised Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP) and development of the FY 2003 Budget Amendment. As elements of the revised ISTP and the amendment, the Shuttle Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) was created to extend the life of the Shuttle to the middle of the next decade.
While the August 2002 preliminary results of the 2020 Assessment were very helpful for formulating the ISTP revision and FY 2003 Budget Amendment, a more rigorous assessment process was sought in support of the new Space Shuttle Service Life Extension Program. In December 2002, the Office of Space Flight Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs, Michael C. Kostelnik, established plans for an annual SLEP Summit as a process to both prioritize short-term needs and endorse long-term requirements to safely fly the Space Shuttle to meet the needs of the ISTP.
The initial SLEP Summit was held in March 2003 in Michoud, Louisiana at the plant where Shuttle external tanks are produced. Results from the Summit are currently being worked as part of NASA's internal budget formulation process in preparation of the FY 2005 budget request.
The August 2002 NASA HQ briefing of the Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment is attached and provided for historical interest only and does not serve as an endorsement of project recommendations.
Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment - (Excerpts)
ISTP Study for FY04 Budget Why are we here?
TASK 1. Assess Space Shuttle Strategy
a. Provide basis for figures of merit for selecting competitive sourcing business options and candidates for 2020 assessment. Also, provide methodology that links Shuttle safety with budget investments that goes beyond just Shuttle Safety Upgrades but include other activities (e.g., supportability, personnel facilities, competitive sourcing results).
b. Provide recommended Shuttle investment strategy for 2010 retirement date within budget guidance.
c. As retirement date is extended, recommended priority investments and competitive sourcing approach based on affect to figures of merit. Investment should be based on two scenarios: (i) within budget guidance, and (ii) over guidance.
d. Reconcile findings from independent studies (i.e., Rand competitive sourcing business study, and ICE for ops and upgrades, ASAP).
Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment: Strategy
Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment: Objectives
Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment: Observations
Space Shuttle Program 2020 Assessment: Forward Work Plan