NROL-41 go for launch
Burniston, Matthew P.
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The current national economic situation has forced every Department of Defense program to find ways to accomplish more with fewer resources. Spacelift, as one of the most expensive government programs, has continuously been scrutinized and challenged to lower costs and work more efficiently. This thesis reviews a summarized history of events that brought the current launch community to its present state and then details the events of the NROL-41 launch campaign. NROL-41 was the most efficient launch campaign to date and a study of the work completed on the launch shows the depth of effort required to achieve mission success. Spacelift is an expensive and dangerous endeavor, but the risk of launch failures and loss of satellites is worth every penny spent to deliver mission success. This thesis provides the data to justify those costs as well as recommendations of studies that could be performed to define more appropriate places to cut spending without increasing risk.
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