International Space Station (ISS)
Photo: NASA

A new ISO standard will help space systems manufacturers and operators to improve the quality of products and to work more efficiently by distilling principles and guidelines based on experience acquired in previous space projects.

Nick Tongson, secretary of the group that developed ISO 16192:2010, comments: "The increasingly global nature of the aerospace industry has increased the demand for International Standards which facilitate co-production efforts, reduce costs and eliminate trade barriers. ISO 16192:2010 will help the sector to achieve these objectives as well as to improve quality."

An efficient method of processing lessons learned is essential for ongoing efficiency and quality improvement inside any organization, as well as for successful project management.

With these aims, the use of ISO 16192:2010, Space systems – Experience gained in space projects (Lessons learned) – Principles and guidelines, will help to:

  • Decrease errors (in terms of both quantity and gravity)
  • Improve working methods
  • Decrease risk of nonconformity to specified objectives (management, technical, quality, costs and schedules).

The standard will assist future space projects in benefiting from previous ones by providing guidelines for capturing and communicating knowledge. This International Standard outlines lessons learned, principles and guidelines that are applicable in all space project activities (management, technical, quality, cost and schedule). The issues addressed include:

  • Undesirable experiences that should not be repeated
  • Strategies, rules, principles of design, validation, tests and operations that proved to be successful or necessary.

ISO 16192:2010 also provides lessons learned processes and suggested lessons learned forms.The application of the standard is intended to be included in suppliers' quality management systems, but can be also tailored to individual contracts as agreed by the customer and supplier. It is complementary to ISO 9001: 2008, Quality management systems – Requirements, and ISO 17666:2003, Space systems – Risk management.

ISO 16192:2010 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 20, Aircraft and space vehicles, subcommittee SC 14, Space systems and operations, and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 74 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column).