December 01, 2016

"This morning, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno unveiled a new website that allows satellite makers to figure out what it will really cost to launch a vehicle on one of ULA’s rockets."

the verge: It’s like going to “Ford or Chevy and building your car,” Bruno said, except in the end you wind up with a more than $100 million rocket that can take cargo to space. by Loren Grush

'And just like checking out on Amazon, the website allows you to save your rocket and submit it to ULA to start the process of finalizing a launch contract.

'The site, called RocketBuilder.com, looks to be ULA’s attempt to further infiltrate the commercial satellite market, after launching mostly government satellites and NASA missions for the past decade. Bruno says the site is meant to provide an “unprecedented level of transparency” to commercial customers about the true cost of launching a satellite with ULA. “The sticker price on the rocket is just the tip of the iceberg,” Bruno said at a press conference this morning in Washington, DC. “There is a whole host of other costs.” The site is supposed to give potential customers an idea of what those costs might be.

'Rocket Builder allows you to pick when you want to launch and what orbit you want your satellite to go to. And then, depending on its destination and how big the satellite is, the site will help you calculate the size of your payload fairing — the nose cone that encases the satellite on the top of the rocket — as well as how many additional boosters you’re going to need for thrust. Customers even have the option of picking customizable “service options,” which include adding an onboard video system to the rocket, or conducting “expanded mission rehearsals.” There’s even the option of purchasing a VIP experience, where you can invite 100 customers or investors to come watch the launch as a marketing tool.'

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