Int J Performability Eng ›› 2013, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (6): 599-608.doi: 10.23940/ijpe.13.6.p599.mag

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimating the Risk of a New Launch Vehicle Using Historical Design Element Data


  1. NASA Safety Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration


As part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Constellation (Cx) Program, a data-based approach was developed to estimate the probability of a loss of vehicle for the Ares I-X flight. This approach, called the Complexity Risk Assessment Method (CRAM), utilizes historical data to estimate the failure probability of elements of given designs. Particular elements are then combined to obtain a generic vehicle design with an associated generic failure probability. The generic failure probability is then further modified to account for features of a new launch vehicle. CRAM is used only for ascent until the vehicle is in a proper and stable orbit. This paper provides a discussion of CRAM as well as an example as applied to the Antares launch vehicle. CRAM is still being refined as part of ongoing methods development with the Common Standards Working Group (CSWG) consisting of NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Air Force.

Received on April 12, 2013, revised on April 15 and June 10, 2013
References: 1