Why is Quality Managment and Assurance important?

Explosion of first Ariane 5 flight, June 4, 1996

Quality management and assurance is key to consistently produce space missions that are to the satisfaction of the stakeholders. Its importance increases as the complexity, cost and risk of space projects increase.

The effects of a problem in a satellite, launcher or ground support equipment can be devastating in terms of cost, time, public or private property and even human life. It is here where quality management and assurance contributes critically to the success of the mission.

In the end, a chain always breaks at its weakest link; a single nut or bolt, a manufacturing step forgotten, a material of inferior strength can render a satellite useless in orbit or cause a catastrophic explosion of a launcher. Quality management and assurance is there to ensure that each key method, process, part and material is adequate. Quality management and assurance is there to ensure that changes along the way do not compromise the results. Quality management and assurance is there to provide evidence that things have actually been performed with the desired quality.

Last update: 17 September 2009

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