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Published:September 2003
  • Derek Webber
Origin:September 2003. Presented at Space 2003, Long Beach, CA
Abstract:NASA Marshall Space Flight Center awarded a $1.8m contract to Futron Corporation to study all possible space markets, and thereby develop launch vehicle demand forecasts for the next twenty years. This was named the ASCENT Study, is now in the public domain, and the method and results of the Study are reported elsewhere in detail at this conference. This paper assesses the new insights that the ASCENT Study has brought. The results have implications in a number of key decision areas. Certain space market concepts that have been discussed for many years were effectively relegated as untenable in the twenty-year timeframe of the Study. Comprehensive price elasticity of demand data was developed that forces a new look at the question of what price level needs to be achieved to trigger new market developments. A new view of growth sectors emerges. In summary, the work of the ASCENT Study was massively important, and this paper uses its findings to bring some closure to a number of questions that have been out in the aerospace planning community for at least a decade. There are significant implications for the manufacturing sector, for the Spaceport Authorities and for those with responsibility for developing focus and budgets within the Federal space organizations.
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Keywords:Vehicles:Market Research , Vehicles:Policy
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