A fundamental key to program and mission success is the development of systems that are reliable and affordable to operate and maintain with today's limited resources. Early definition of both hardware and software requirements that provide the capability for rapid restoration when failures occur is essential. While incorporation of a maintainability program may require some additional early investment, the resulting benefits will include operational cost savings and improved system
availability. The techniques included in this section are intended to provide management personnel with an understanding of all information necessary to develop, foster, and integrate a successful maintainability program that will enhance mission success and lower overall costs. Each technique provides high-level information on a specific subject, and can be tailored or expanded to achieve optimum application.
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Current and future NASA programs face the challenge of achieving a high degree of mission success with a minimum degree of technical risk. Although technical risk has several elements, such as safety, reliability, and performance, a proven track record of overall system effectiveness ultimately will be the NASA benchmark. This will foster the accomplishment of mission objectives within cost and schedule expectations without compromising safety or program risk. A key characteristic of systems effectiveness is the implementation of appropriate levels of maintainability throughout the program life cycle.
Maintainability is a process for assuring the ease by which a system can be restored to operation following a failure. It is an essential consideration for any program requiring ground and/or on-orbit maintenance. The 'Office of Safety and Mission Assurance' (OSMA) has undertaken a continuous improvement initiative to develop a technical roadmap that will provide a path toward achieving the desired degree of maintainability while realizing cost and schedule benefits. Although early life cycle costs are a characteristic of any assurance program, operational cost savings and improved system availability almost always result from a properly administered maintainability assurance program. Past experience on NASA programs has demonstrated the value of an effective maintainability program initiated early in the program life cycle.