A Progress launch failed on its way to the ISS, so I discuss how this may affect the politics of the ISS and NASA going forward. And then I get into some thoughts on satellite servicing in general, and specifically surrounding Restore-L and Orbital ATK’s Mission Extension Vehicle.
This episode of Main Engine Cut Off is brought to you by 3 executive producers—@spacepat_o, Matt Giraitis, and one anonymous—and 25 other supporters on Patreon.
One of the big hurdles that satellite servicing needs to jump in order to become a viable market in the current era is the ability to work with satellites not specifically designed to be serviced. For that reason, it’ll be interesting to follow along with this mission as it progresses.
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Tory Bruno took to the stage to announce RocketBuilder, their new way to market and sell Atlas V launch services. I discuss my initial thoughts about it and what the announcement means for ULA going forward in the commercial market.
The announcement didn’t contain breaking news or mind-blowing visions of the future, but that doesn’t mean it was entirely inconsequential. It showed that ULA is learning how to speak to the market, and they’re finding new ways to reach out to potential customers. We’ll see just how many customers they get out of this effort, but their improved messaging should not go unnoticed.
A website alone won’t attract more customers, so it’s tough to read the tea leaves and say what exactly is transformative about the announcement. But the existence of the announcement alone shows how much of an effort ULA is making towards becoming competitive in commercial launch services.