In 2018 a small group of space enthusiasts met informally to discuss the future of the space industry in light of mega constellations, impending space tourism, increasing commercial launches, and a host of other emerging interests. The general feeling was that the increasing operations tempo would stress the current spaceports and ranges and see the introduction of new spaceports and additions to existing facilities. The obvious “hole” in the picture is “What would happen on the range side of the equation”. Space based ranges and ranges of the future had been being discussed for years but there was little evidence that they were actually materializing.
This discussion led to the formation of Launch On Demand whose primary objective became one of providing range services that would allow future commercial launch users to get to and from orbit at least as safely as today’s systems but at lower cost, from any terrestrial location, at virtually anytime, and without closing down major blocks of the National Airspace and Maritime operations for long periods of time. In the intervening years LOD has grown from a handful of people to an umbrella organization that includes more than a half dozen subject matter expert companies and hundreds of talented individuals to help us achieve our objectives.
The LOD cadre has grown significantly but perhaps more importantly is that we have now interviewed hundreds of individuals in the space community. These interviews have been with recognized experts from ever sector of the space spectrum. We have spoken with representatives of the launch vehicle fraternity from the established big names to the newest of start up’s. We have talked with every domestic spaceport and the major international operators. We have spent hours with government officials from every service, and agency from local leaders to state, federal and international offices. We have chatted with payload users, builders, processors, and those who benefit from the on orbit collection and dissemination of data. Some of our more enlightening conversations have come with the investor community. These people put up the capital in recognition of unique nature of the space oriented risk-reward model. We augmented the view of all of these interviewees by speaking with the major professional associations to see if the opinion of their membership agrees with our findings, and similarly we went to the academic community who are looking even beyond what we think of as NewSpace to understand what they think is just over the horizon. Recently we added hypersonic’s to our vocabulary and are in the process of determining how best to provide testing services to this segment of the industry.
The upshot of all of these interviews is two fold. First, there are absolutely common FAQ’s among the various sectors of the community. All spaceport operators want to better understand the facilities and services they must provide to attract new users and how best to capitalize these acquisitions. They also want to know how to make money from their spaceport. Launch vehicle operators want to know what they must bring to a spaceport that is typically not included as a spaceport provided capability. Investors want to know about the addressable market, technical risk, and how what they can anticipate for revenue and profit potential. Each sector of the industry has it’s own set of FAQ’s and they are absolutely common across the individual sector participants. Second, we at LOD in addition to having been exposed to the industry FAQ’s are now in the position where we have heard most, if not all, of the conventional wisdom as to the answers to the questions. Plus we have formed our own answers and tried them out by return visits to many of the people we interviewed.
In addition to the services LOD offers elsewhere on this site (Spaceport and Launch Solutions) we are pleased to offer general advisory services. LOD can not only answer your typical FAQ’s regardless of where you set on the space industry spectrum but we are structured such that our subject matter experts can work with you to tailor answers to your unique and specific requirements.
If you’re ready for answers, starting the conversation is simple…