Author

Ryan Babb

Date of Award

11-2019

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration

Department

Management, Marketing, and Operations

Committee Chair

Janet K. Tinoco, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

John M. Longshore, Ph.D.

Abstract

Commercial spaceports have arisen over the last decade and a half to support a growing commercial space marketplace. The introduction of expected suborbital launch capabilities for tourism and for orbital launch operations at an increased cadence has demonstrated a need for more capability at the spaceport level to support airport-like operational fluidity. Despite these advancements, a measure has yet to be developed to demonstrate a spaceport’s support capabilities in a straightforward and rapid manner.

Based on this need, the Technology Reading Level scale, utilized in many industries as a means for procurement and technological development measurement, has been used as a baseline to develop the proposed Spaceport Readiness Level (SRL) scale. This proposed scale measures a spaceport’s progression from ideation, to development, and through maturity at a system of systems level. From this point, the scale can be used either as a means of demonstrating current support capabilities or as a roadmap for achieving future maturity in space launch operations. Necessarily general in nature, the SRL provides a tool for spaceports ranging from those under consideration to those with storied histories of space launch efforts. The adoption of the SRL scale will aid the process by which rapidly evolving space launch companies transition to locations with the capabilities to support their required efforts and support requirements. It may also provide a more effective means for companies to communicate with current spaceport locations to guide modifications that would benefit both the needs of the company and the launch site.

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