Estimating the Life Cycle Cost of Space Systems



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


A space system’s Life Cycle Cost (LCC) includes design and development, launch and emplacement, and operations and maintenance. Each of these cost factors is usually estimated separately. NASA uses three different parametric models for the design and development cost of crewed space systems; the commercial PRICE-H space hardware cost model, the NASA-Air Force Cost Model (NAFCOM), and the Advanced Missions Cost Model (AMCM). System mass is an important parameter in all three models. System mass also determines the launch and emplacement cost, which directly depends on the cost per kilogram to launch mass to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The launch and emplacement cost is the cost to launch to LEO the system itself and also the rockets, propellant, and lander needed to emplace it. The ratio of the total launch mass to payload mass depends on the mission scenario and destination. The operations and maintenance costs include any material and spares provided, the ground control crew, and sustaining engineering. The Mission Operations Cost Model (MOCM) estimates these costs as a percentage of the system development cost per year.


Bellevue, Washington
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.
Harry W. Jones, NASA Ames Research Center, USA