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Reliability Programs and the Problem of Attaining High Probabilities of Mission Success in Space Exploration

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1 Author(s)
Golovin, Nicholas E. ; Office of Science and Technology, Executive Office Building Washington, D. C.

The major obstacles to attaining high probabilities of mission success in future space exploration are described to be as follows: dependence on large numbers of propulsive stages in a given vehicle development of relatively many more long-lived components and subsystems than has been possible to achieve to date heed to improve the development process so that a reletively much ower volume of ground and flight testing is needed than formerly to provide confidence in system reliability and fragmentation of responsibilities for flight tests and for technical direction of major programs. Moreover, it is suggested that several aspects of current approach to ``reliability'' might be doing more harm than good, It is then argued that Broader and more uninhibited discussion of difficulties to attainment of high probabilities of mission success is much needed, as well as more widespread, systematic, and intense search for posible failure modes at the system, subsystem, component, and part levels; 3) general persuasion that when reduction in funds occur, that the must largely go into stretching out schedules and not into reducing the volume of ground and flight testing; integrity of communication throughout the mtitiplicity of participating elements and the conviction that, reliability engineering is an inseparable integral aspect of systems engineering.

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Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:R-13 ,  Issue: 2 )