Advent Launch Services is a dedicated group, comprised primarily of NASA retirees who have extensive experience with launch vehicle development of operational systems. Most of us have worked on space delivery our entire careers. We not only know what it takes to create a reusable launch vehicle, we’ve also had plenty of opportunity to observe how something as simple as team organization can affect the overall cost.
Contrary to a typical aerospace corporation, our team is organized by functional areas instead of rigid scientific disciplines. This means that the entire team works across various systems to engineer solutions that can lower systems costs and find simpler, more effective solutions for the program as a whole.
The team effort is coordinated by the “System Accounting Module” (SAM) spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is used to account for the cost of all the system products including the cost of services provided by other systems. Each system is managed like a small business and must account for all the costs involved with producing the product of that system including engineering, procurement, insurance, operations, maintenance, repairs and any other costs unique to the system.