This project is solving the 3-2-1 LIFTOFF: Launch that Rocket! challenge. Description
ROCK@ - Reach Outer-Space Commercial Key-hub
The project aims at bridging the gap between Launch Service Providers and their potential customers. The product that we intend to develop is a website that translate into an interactive interface the requirements that can typically be found in a Launcher User Manual. Such a solution can be beneficial on both side: LSP can reach a wider number of potential clients and increase their market share, while the customers can have a tool that, in the early phase of a project, could simplify a first screening of the available launchers on the commercial market.
The website is structured into a first research page where, by the insertion of main orbital parameters, mass and dimensions of the spacecraft, the user is lead to a first downselection of the launch vehicles having compatible performances. Selecting one of the proposed solutions, the user is redirected to a step by step guided procedure that verifies for each group of requirements (mechanical environment, thermal environment, injection accuracy etc.) the compliance with the limits of the launcher derived from the respective User Manuals. An on-line help will provide the users further explanation on the meaning of each parameter. The procedure will evidence the parameters for which the compliance is not met and will indicate the value of the launcher requirements inviting the user to verify if modifications of the spacecraft design can lead to a full compliance.
There are two possible business model for such a project, not necessarily alternative but that can be implemented as subsequent steps of a unique market strategy. The tool can be first offered as a complement to the website only to the contracted LSP, therefore acting in strong cooperation with them especially for what concern technical information continuous updating. The revenue in this case will be assured by contract for website development, maintenance and updating awarded by LSP interested in the service. Once the service is well established it can be foreseen to develop a completely autonomous research website that can act almost as an intermediary between LSP and clients. In this case the client will be addressed independently, on the basis of its needs, to the selection of the most suitable launch solution and then support the two sides until the start of direct negotiation phases. In this case the revenue will be granted by a fee applied both on LSP and clients on the successful awarding of the launch contract.
One of the aims of the tool is also to gather aggregated data derived from customer data entries in order to provide a feedback to LSP that can use such information to derive requirements based on real market needs that will help to properly address future development of existing launch vehicles or increasing flexibility of their launchers fleet. Such a tool can represent an opportunity of growth in a market scenario where an increasing number of non-spacefairing nations is showing interests in the launch of their own satellite systems, providing an easy way to interact with potential customers and attract them since the early phases of development of a spacecraft. Such nations are in particular interested in the realization of small satellites for earth observation, constituting the core business and typical mission for VEGA. Being in Italy and in La Sapienza University that have a strong role in the development of VEGA we of course dedicated a greater attention to this Launcher.
The dedicated application can be also an opportunity for the LSP to promote and introduce into the market new type of services offered to a wider and less conventional type of users. It is the case, for example of future evolution projects of the VEGA upper stage into a service module providing low cost in flight testing opportunities to small payloads.
License: NASA Open Source Agreement 1.3 (NASA-1.3)
Source Code/Project URL: http://webfrog.ro/rocket