Original Post Date: 05/15/2015

The Space Missions Catalog for TruePlanning has been out in the field now for over 6 months now, and as estimators get to understand these new cost objects, many questions arise.  As you may know, the Space Missions Catalog was designed to estimate the total cost (or price) of NASA Robotic Earth and Space Science Missions, and while it is very valuable to understand the total expected cost of a mission, you always want more details.  In the case of Space Missions, one often heard question is, “How much of this is associated with the NASA organization, and how much is associated with the contractor?”  Mostly this needs to be broken out at the Space System Object, which combines the effort of the organizations to a total amount by resource.  Of course every organization and every project is different, so you will have to make some assumptions or do some research on historical projects.    

If we look at an average from the many projects that went into the analysis for this catalog, we can assume the following breakdowns for Project Management, System Engineering, and Mission Assurance, and Integration and Test:

Of course, depending on the history of a particular NASA Division or specific contractor, you may find that the costs tend to break down differently.

Once you can assume breakdowns for various activities or resources, you can use TrueMapper to create a report that clearly shows your estimate allocated into the appropriate buckets for NASA and the primary contractors. 

Better yet, if you can perform all of the mappings at a generic level in TrueMapper, you can create a reusable mapping to process many projects or many variations of the same project very quickly.