Terms of Reference

Third best design

  • Refers to the engineering design art of selecting a preferred new design that can be brought into operation without unacceptable cost or delay. This concept, referred to as the “Law of the Third Best,” is discussed in more detail here.
  • This Spacefaring America Initiative emphasizes the use of “third best” designs to enable the plan’s Vision and Goals to be readily achieved.

Technology readiness level (TRL)

  • An assessment of the maturity of the critical or enabling technologies of a system or subsystem. This approach is discussed in more detail here.
  • In concert with the intent to use “third best” designs, the enabling technologies for the initial elements of the integrated spacefaring logistics infrastructure are TRL 6-9 when engineering and manufacturing development begins. This means that the formal design and development of these initial systems can be started now.