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A Systems Approach to Lower Cost Missions: Following the Rideshare ParadigmSmall-satellite rideshare capabilities and opportunities for low-cost access to space have been evolving over the past 10 years. Small space launch vehicle technology is rapidly being developed and demonstrated, including the Minotaur series and the Space X Falcon, among others, along with the lower cost launch facilities at Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, and the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific. Demonstrated capabilities for the launch of multiple payloads have increased (and continue to increase) significantly. This will allow more efficient and cost-effective use of the various launch opportunities, including utilizing the excess capacity of the emerging Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-based missions. The definition of standardized interfaces and processes, along with various user guides and payload implementation plans, has been developed and continues to be refined. Top-level agency policies for the support of low-cost access to space for small experimental payloads, such as the DoD policy structure on auxiliary payloads, have been defined and provide the basis for the continued refinement and implementation of these evolving technologies. Most importantly, the coordination and cooperative interfaces between the various stakeholders continues to evolve. The degree of this coordination and technical interchange is demonstrated by the wide stakeholder participation at the recent 2008 Small Payload Rideshare Workshop, held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. This annual workshop has been the major platform for coordination and technical interchange within the rideshare community and with the various sponsoring agencies. These developments have provided the foundation for a robust low-cost small payload rideshare capability. However, the continued evolution, sustainment, and utilization of these capabilities will require continued stakeholder recognition, support, and nourishing. Ongoing, coordinated effort, partnering, and support between stakeholders is essential to acquire the improved organizational processes and efficiencies required to meet the needs of the growing small payload community for low-cost access to space. Further, a mix of capabilities developed within the space community for Operationally Responsive Space, an international committee investigating space systems cross-compatibility, and an industry-based organization seeking small satellite "standardization" all work toward a new paradigm: sharing or leveraging resources amongst multiple users. The challenge: where are those users, and what is the best way to leverage them? What is leveraged-mass, power, cost-sharing? And how does one sort through these options? What policies may prevent the use of some options? Who are the "other users" that might share or leverage capabilities? This paper presents a systematic look at both the users and the launch options, and suggests a way forward.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Herrell, L.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2015
Publication Date
September 14, 2009
Subject Category
Administration And Management
Systems Analysis And Operations Research
Economics And Cost Analysis
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Space 2009 Conference and Exposition
Location: Pasadena, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: September 14, 2009
End Date: September 17, 2009
Sponsors: Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
access to space
systems engineering

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