Management Challenges of Launching Multiple Payloads for Multiple Customers

Other literature type OPEN
Callen, Dave (1999)
  • Publisher: DigitalCommons@USU

Orbital has provided launch services for multiple satellites as a means to provide greater economy for access to space. These include satellites from NASA, 000, commercial companies, universities, and foreign governments. While satellite customers view shared launches as a means to achieve reduced launch costs, this approach adds many complexities that a traditional launch service provider does not have to address for a dedicated launch. This paper will discuss some of the challenges associated with managing the mission planning activity and successfully completing the process to deliver the satellites on-orbit. To illustrate these challenges, this paper addresses Orbital's Taurus launches involving multiple payloads from different customers. Each of these missions involves considerably different customer requirements as well as different launch vehicle configurations to accommodate the spacecraft. Orbital's approach to mission planning is to provide each customer a full complement of launch integration services. In satisfying multiple customers' needs on a single launch, the management challenges are many and varied. Technical issues, schedule compatibility, and even political issues must be satisfactorily addressed to successfully complete the mission. This paper will describe the numerous challenges that Orbital's Taurus team has faced working with multiple users and how these issues have been and are being resolved.
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