Smallsat 2019 insights and Precious Payload’s side meeting

SmallSat Conference in Utah is the best space event to align yourself with the industry, present the results for the year, or get new partners. The Precious Payload team shared a booth with our partners from Orbital Transports, met with customers, networked like there’s no tomorrow, and ran a side meeting.

We believe that the side meeting’s format is great for sharing what we’ve achieved during the last year, and gathering feedback and discussing new ideas with our colleagues. But one thing for sure, it was really hard to compete with all the other great side meetings and poster sessions that were happening all at the same time. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve decided to share the video of our side meeting with everyone who could not attend it for whatever reason:

Biggest reflections on Smallsat? SpaceX and Rocket Lab are two main established competitors that will keep the smallsat space launch market very active and engaged. Rocket Lab Electron service starts at $5–7M for 150kg of payload mass versus $2.25M for 150kg on a SpaceX Falcon 9. Their offers are among the greatest factors impacting market growth.

Also, we’ve got plenty of findings after conducting dozens of custdev interviews during the conference, and we wish to commend the following ones:

It appeared that one of the most challenging parts of launching a satellite to space is a supply chain management. Long lead times, slow replies, lack of info on products and heritage, fragmentation of the market, bad performance under existing contracts, don’t even get us started. We see that the most common answer to these challenges is a vertical integration strategy adopted by both spacecraft and rockets manufacturers. 

One more common problem for the space industry is a knowledge transfer and collaboration among cross-functional teams. This is particularly true for small student teams and young startups.

We were happy to learn that by building our launch booking product we were able to address and resolve both of these issues. Looking forward to expanding our approach to the full mission management campaigns.

Feel free to comment and suggest on our publicly available product roadmap: https://trello.com/b/LtzbAvIO/precious-payload-roadmap

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