ENAE 483/788D
Principles of Space Systems Design
Fall, 2002

Question 9:

The Saturn IB launch vehicle had the following development costs, in millions of real-year dollars:

 Year  1964  1965  1966  1967  1968  1969
 Cost ($M)  146.8  262.7  274.2  236.6  146.6  41.3
 Flights*      1  3  3  3

For both ENAE 483 and ENAE 788D:

a) Convert all costs in the table above to 2002 dollars.

b) These figures cover nonrecurring costs and production and operations costs for 10 vehicles. Find the cost/flight (in 2002$) that would provide break-even.

c) Repeat (b) with an 8% discount rate, based on Net Present Value in the first year of the program.

d) NASA quotes an average production cost of $107M (in 1967$) over the first 10. Assuming an 85% learning curve, find the first unit production cost. What would it cost (in 2002$) to build an additional 15 vehicles?

For ENAE 788D only:

e) Using the assumptions of (d), extend the program for 8 more years, buying and flying an additional five vehicles each year. (The total production is now 50 vehicles.) Repeat (c) for this case.

f) Bill Gates wants to finance the mission model from (e), but requires an equivalent discount rate of 75%. Now how much do you have to charge per flight to break even?


*This is not historically accurate - Saturn IB flights were moved around based on the requirements of the Apollo program. I made this flight pattern up for the purposes of this homework problem.