By Mels Wittenberg (Finance Team)
As already explained, the finance team is also responsible for finding a suitable launcher for our CubeSat. Throughout the year, we learned that this process is extremely complex. The space industry, or maybe just the launchers themself, set up a difficult structure on how to reserve a spot on a rocket. Furthermore, there are only limited spots available which make reserving one expensive.
The first thing that you all should know is that there are two different parties involved when it comes to booking a spot. There is a broker and a provider. The owners of a satellite should have contact with a broker, which on their hand reserves a spot at a provider. One could say that the broker is the ‘middleman’, and that the provider is the rocket. We have learned, after a few attempts, that it is impossible to go directly to a provider. As you can all maybe guess, this can make the process difficult. Providers can have different brokers and all brokers are charging different prices. Next to this, our CubeSat is designed for specific requirements which can vary between providers. So, it is important to know as soon as possible which provider will launch our CubeSat. Otherwise, the tech department will have extra work to do!
Another aspect that comes into play is planning the launch. The Da Vinci Satellite consists of 2 units and is logically not the primary payload of the launch. The launcher has influence on the mission characteristics. The deployment and in which order the payload is deployed is based on the moment the desired orbit is reached. Furthermore, as we all know, it is always weather dependent, and everything can be rescheduled last minute!
Currently, we are not 100% sure who our broker or provider will be. We encountered some issues, which are getting solved now. Hopefully, we can bring some good news soon and celebrate this incredible milestone!
-The Finance Team
Floor, Japer, Leanne, Mathijs, Max, Mels, Nina, Sander & Sybren