Advent Launch Services was formed in 1999, but the Advent concept started long before that. As part of the Future Programs Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, several individuals were studying ways to make the Shuttle program more cost-efficient. At the time (1990), NASA was considering boosters using liquid propellants to replace the solid propellant boosters for the Shuttle system. The initial cost analysis of the Shuttle system prompted the team’s engineers to consider features for a launcher concept that could achieve minimum cost. This was the beginning of the Advent system.
The project was an unofficial effort, done whenever there was a little time available, truly a labor of love. About a year later, a concept materialized. The concept was named Advent because it represented a new beginning for space activities. The project’s detailed cost analysis thoroughly convinced the team that orbit delivery could cost about thirty dollars per pound instead of several thousand dollars per pound. The group submitted a formal proposal to NASA in 1992, but the program concepts were never adopted. NASA even relinquished the patent rights to the special features of the Advent concept.
Now retired, the original group of engineers who began the Advent journey have competed in the ANSARI X PRIZE competition, and completed a prototype launcher with very encouraging results.
To read more about the Advent concept design and our current developments, please see the Technology section.