To Infinity and Beyond: Supporting NASA’s Constellation Program

Posted by Jim Ploeger on 12/4/15 9:17 AM

NASA's Constellation Program Mission To Mars

Over the last 8 years, Lewis Fowler has provided key support to NASA’s Constellation Program which is the next spaceflight vehicle replacing the retired space shuttle program. The manned vehicle, known as Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle, is planning human flights after 2020 - eventually reaching Mars.

On December 5, 2014 Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) was successfully completed. This non-manned Orion vehicle boosted into space and completed a four-hour flight while performing two orbits of Earth.  Peak altitude during the flight was about 3500 miles above Earth’s surface (15 times higher than the International Space Station) and speed at entry into Earth’s atmosphere was 22,000 mph.

The test results were almost flawless.

Lewis Fowler has provided planning, development, and ongoing support in multiple areas:

  1. Integrated Schedule and Cost Management
  2. Earned Value Management and System Implementation
  3. Program and Project Management Delivery


Integrated Schedule and Cost Management

Orion is a very complex program with thousands of milestones that need to be planned, worked to, and achieved, all combined with performance tracking.  Experts in Microsoft Project are required to build, status, and maintain large schedules to help ensure project completion.

Lewis Fowler has multiple consultants with these skills embedded at customer sites. We utilize latest scheduling practices and techniques and schedule analysis tools to ensure all Integrated Master Scheduling (IMS) requirements are met and exceeded.

But, of greater importance, our consultants provide real time analysis identifying impacts of actions taken or proposed actions to be taken. Multiple ‘What If’ scenarios are created and reviewed to help determine a best path forward when facing difficult decisions and multiple options.

Scope, schedule, and cost must be integrated and be in alignment. The schedule allows for time phasing of scope – what work must be done, when. Budget then needs to be spread in order to match the planned work. Our consultants provide support to ensure these tasks are completed when needed.


Earned Value Management and System Implementation

Orion is a multi-billion dollar program.

As such, the program is required to maintain an Earned Value Management System (EVMS) which complies with 32 Guidelines proscribed by the government. The EVMS identifies multiple requirements that must be met for full transparency of cost and schedule progress. Multiple audits are conducted yearly to ensure compliance to the requirements.

Lewis Fowler consultants have the necessary knowledge and skills to help ensure compliance to EVMS guidelines. We are key team members and help with planning and implementing processes that ensure compliance to EVMS guidelines. There have been multiple years in a row without any serious audit findings, which, demonstrates the strength of the processes implemented.


Program and Project Management Delivery

Lewis Fowler has senior, experienced consultants at customer sites providing support with tactical and strategic planning, current month reporting, risk planning and management, change activities, contract modifications and proposal activities. This support helps Program Management to successfully manage both day-to-day priorities as well as identify necessary changes required to ensure goals are met


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Topics: Program Management, Forward Thinking