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Risk Assessment of an Unmanned Planetary Mission

Rick Kossik -

This is a model that simulates an unmanned scientific mission to another planet. It illustrates how GoldSim's Reliability Module can be used to carry out a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) of a complex system.

The mission can end in six ways: the launch vehicle is lost before land is cleared; the launch vehicle is lost after land is cleared, but before orbit is achieved; the vehicle is lost before the separation of the spacecraft; the spacecraft reaches cruise phase but fails to achieve minimal mission objectives; minimal scientific objectives achieved, and full scientific objectives achieved.

This model is based on an example from Appendix D of the Probabilistic Risk Assessment Procedures Guide for NASA Managers and Practitioners (NASA, 2011).


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  • reliability
  • failure
  • risk
  • PRA
  • space
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