Physics Based Risk Assessment of Launch Vehicles

  • Gaspare Maggio
  • Frank Hark
  • Dev Sen


To provide NASA with the most comprehensive and sophisticated launch vehicle risk modeling system possible, a physics-based approach that models dynamic failure processes using systems and environmental variables has been developed and implemented in a collaborative engineering environment. The methodology is an extension of, and a departure from conventional, well-known techniques used to evaluate risk in complicated systems, such as fault-tree and event-tree analysis. This approach has been used to analyze the main risk drivers for NASA’s Next Generation Launch Technology program launch vehicles. This paper describes how this methodology is used to assess launch vehicle risks with examples from the thermal protection and main propulsion system.


Space Shuttle Launch Vehicle Thermal Protection System Probabilistic Risk Assessment Fault Tree Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaspare Maggio
    • 1
  • Frank Hark
    • 1
  • Dev Sen
    • 1
  1. 1.Safety and Risk Section of the Technology Decisions DivisionScience Applications International CorporationNew YorkUSA

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