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Systems Engineering Handbook

Updated Feb 6, 2019

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

3.0 NASA Program/Project Life Cycle

4.0 System Design Processes3.0 NASA Program/Project Life Cycle

5.0 Product Realization

6.0 Crosscutting Technical Management

References Cited


Since the initial writing of NASA/SP-6105 in 1995 and the following revision (Rev 1) in 2007, systems engineering as a discipline at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has undergone rapid and continued evolution. Changes include using Model-Based Systems Engineering to improve development and delivery of products, and accommodating updates to NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7123.1. Lessons learned on systems engineering were documented in reports such as those by the NASA Integrated Action Team (NIAT), the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), and the follow-on Diaz Report. Other lessons learned were garnered from the robotic missions such as Genesis and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as well as from mishaps from ground operations and the commercial space flight industry. Out of these reports came the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) initiative to improve the overall Agency systems engineering infrastructure and capability for the efficient and effective engineering of NASA systems, to produce quality products, and to achieve mission success. This handbook update is a part of that OCE-sponsored Agency-wide systems engineering initiative.


The following individuals are recognized as contributing practitioners to the content of this expanded guidance:

Alexander, Michael, NASA/Langley Research Center
Allen, Martha, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Baumann, Ethan, NASA/Armstrong Flight Research Center
Bixby, CJ, NASA/Armstrong Flight Research Center
Boland, Brian, NASA/Langley Research Center
Brady, Timothy, NASA/NASA Engineering and Safety Center
Bromley, Linda, NASA/Headquarters/Bromley SE Consulting
Brown, Mark, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Brumfield, Mark, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Campbell, Paul, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Carek, David, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Cox, Renee, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Crable, Vicki, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Crocker, Alan, NASA/Ames Research Center
DeLoof, Richard, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Demo, Andrew, Ames Research Center
Dezfuli, Homayoon, NASA/HQ
Diehl, Roger, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
DiPietro, David, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Doehne, Thomas, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Duarte, Alberto, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Durham, David, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Epps, Amy, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Fashimpaur, Karen, Vantage Partners
Feikema, Douglas, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Fitts, David, NASA/Johnson Space Flight Center
Foster, Michele, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Fuller, David, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Gati, Frank, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Gefert, Leon, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Ghassemieh, Shakib, NASA/Ames Research Center
Grantier, Julie, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Hack, Kurt, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Hall, Kelly, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Hamaker, Franci, NASA/Kennedy Space Center
Hange, Craig, NASA/Ames Research Center
Henry, Thad, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Hill, Nancy, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Hirshorn, Steven, NASA/Headquarters
Holladay, Jon, NASA/NASA Engineering and Safety Center
Hyatt, Mark, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Killebrew, Jana, NASA/Ames Research Center
Jannette, Tony, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Jenks, Kenneth, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Jones, Melissa, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jones, Ross, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Killebrew, Jana, NASA/Ames Research Center
Leitner, Jesse, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Lin, Chi, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Mascia, Anne Marie, Graphic Artist
McKay, Terri, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
McNelis, Nancy, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Mendoza, Donald, NASA/Ames Research Center
Miller, Scott, NASA/Ames Research Center
Montgomery, Patty, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Mosier, Gary, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Noble, Lee, NASA/Langley Research Center
Oleson, Steven, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Parrott, Edith, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Powell, Christine, NASA/Stennis Space Center
Powell, Joseph, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Price, James, NASA/Langley Research Center
Rawlin, Adam, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Rochlis-Zumbado, Jennifer, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Rohn, Dennis, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Rosenbaum, Nancy, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Ryan, Victoria, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Sadler, Gerald, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Salazar, George, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Sanchez, Hugo, NASA/Ames Research Center
Schuyler, Joseph, NASA/Stennis Space Center
Sheehe, Charles, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Shepherd, Christena, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Shull, Thomas, NASA/Langley Research Center
Shea, Garrett, Web Designer
Singer, Bart, NASA/Langley Research Center
Slywczak, Richard, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Smith, Scott, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Smith, Joseph, NASA/Headquarters
Sprague, George, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Trase, Kathryn, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Trenkle, Timothy, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Vipavetz, Kevin, NASA/Langley Research Center
Voss, Linda, Dell Services
Walters, James Britton, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Watson, Michael, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Weiland, Karen, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Wiedeman, Grace, Dell Services
Wiedenmannott, Ulrich, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Witt, Elton, NASA/Johnson Space Center
Woytach, Jeffrey, NASA/Glenn Research Center
Wright, Michael, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Yu, Henry, NASA/Kennedy Space Center