Date of Award
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Milton E. Franke, PhD
This study analyzes current expendable launch procedures and identifies truly lean, value-added steps in launch operation enterprises as they relate to the Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI). LAI and the concepts of lean thinning are discussed and followed by a review of current and future launch system requirements and their opportunities for lean practices. The study also discusses in detail current Delta II expendable launch processing operations and presents results in a case study that show how lean principles have helped the Delta II launch team drastically reduce on-pad time, restructure its testing philosophy, and streamline its operations flow. Many of these practices can be applied to re-engineering other expendable launch operations and provide a strong systems baseline for the next generation of launch vehicles such as the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV).
DTIC Accession Number
Endicott, Troy L., "Space Launch Operations and the Lean Aerospace Initiative" (1999). Theses and Dissertations. 5160.