First Submission


First Submission



DATE:           02/05/2015

SUBJECT:    Memo on Ken Cureton, Systems Architecting and the Political Process.

On 5th February 2015, Mr. Cureton presented a lecture entitled, “Systems Architecting and the Political Process” to students at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Mr. Cureton was the Technical Council Chairman until 1 April 2011 in the NCO Industry Consortium (NCOIC). Since 2004, Mr. Cureton has been able to serve in various ranks. He has served as chairman of the Engineering Processes Functional Team and has continued to serve as Technical Council Chair Emeritus. He has been actively involved in NCOIC “voice of industry” in the design efforts to support the NGA, (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). He is also involved with Cloud Computing disseminating tagged data for systems in the emergency management sector for the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Next-Generation Air Traffic Management System, the Australia Defense Organization (ADO) Single Integrated Environment, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Federated Mission Networking, and other national and international systems.

Mr. Cureton began the presentation with a brief history of the space shuttle dating back 1970s. Space shuttle was not funded until 1980s. The original space shuttle was manned. The designers tried several designs to come up with the final one. The solids were to be shipped by rail to Florida. As a result, the space shuttle had to be smaller than originally envisioned to fit into standard railway cars. Constellation program was replaced by the US national space policy that came up with final shuttle flight on July 8, 2011. The designers had to rely on Russians and others designers after that. Russian spacecraft are now the only means used by astronauts traveling to the International Space Station (ISS). Baikonur (Kazakhstan) is sole launch site used for manned missions to ISS. On May2014, Russians announced no more support to ISS after 2020, and as a result NASA now works with US companies to develop space taxis with goal of restoring US transport to USS by 2017. China began its manned space flight on 15thOctober in 2003. Their space laboratory is slated in 2015 for 20 days with three crews on board and expected to arrive at space from 2018. India has their space flight plane scheduled after 2017.

NASA $ 30M commercial program carried out by Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems & Space successfully tested and monitored NASA X-51A “Wave Rider” on May 27, 2010. European space agency ESA also launched the unmanned vehicle that could be expanded. Mr. Cureton stated for the success of the space shuttle design, politics should not to be brought in technology, proper budget estimates, regulatory constraints and schedule deadlines should be considered. Government funding should not be relied on; private financing for unmanned systems should be encouraged. US perform strongly when stimulated by fear of foreign domination. Public support should be increased to counter the perceived threat of Russians and Chinese after 2020.

All in all, I appreciated Mr. Cureton vast knowledge on space technology. I also appreciated the information that Mr. Cureton shared with us. The information allowed us to get updated about present and future space technology.