Terms of Reference

Spacefaring logistics

  • This definition is based on the generally accepted military definition of logistics, as defined in the U.S. Department of Defense dictionary. This is because of the logistics similarity between military logistics support for deployed forces and the logistics support for permanent human operations in space.
  • Spacefaring logistics is the art and science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of operations in space. In its most comprehensive sense, it addresses those aspects of spacefaring operations that deal with:
    • Design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel;
    • Movement, evacuation, housing, and hospitalization of personnel;
    • Acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities;
    • Acquisition or furnishing of services; and,
    • Conduct of emergency support.
  • This definition is more comprehensive than most business-related definitions of logistics that tend to focus on supply chain management of the warehousing and distribution of parts. Space supply chain management is an important element of the broader focus on logistics used herein.  However, the general absence of any integrated logistics capabilities enabling routine human spacefaring operations requires that the topic of spacefaring logistics be addressed comprehensively at this time.