Law of the Third Best

Application to building a near-term spacefaring logistics infrastructure

The Spacefaring America Initiative focuses on using “third best” solutions for building an integrated spacefaring logistics infrastructure. To be perfectly clear, a third best solution is not simply an updated version of an existing operational system or even a step backwards to what appears to be a simpler system. A third best solution is a new system design, selected by the chief systems architect and chief systems engineer, using the best available technologies to meet the performance, operation capability, operational safety, and cost requirements with acceptable cost, schedule, and performance risks. To be candid, it is the solution on which the chief systems architect and chief systems engineer would be willing to stake their reputations—that falls within their professional comfort zone of what their “gut feel” says can be accomplished.