ACE performs fracture mechanics analyses that meet NASA-STD 5003, NHB 8071.1, ANSI AIAA S-080 and S-081, EWR127-1 and MIL-STD 1522A requirements. The ACE staff has published several papers on the design criteria and analysis methods for fracture mechanics and fatigue analyses applicable to spaceflight structures and pressure vessels.

For some flight payloads, the design and use of each of its hardware components must be reviewed to determine whether a pre-existing crack in the component may lead to a catastrophic hazard. A catastrophic hazard is defined as an event which can disable or cause fatal personnel injury or loss of the flight. Examples of such events include a failure and a subsequent release from a payload any part or fragment having mass and or energy that can potentially damage a flight vehicle.