When our customers talk, we listen. We listened in 2020 when we launched our online customer mission management tool, Mission Control. It was the culmination of years of helping customers manage the myriad of tasks and deliverables associated with launching a spacecraft. As you can imagine, sending email attachments and communicating deadlines by email wasn’t efficient. And, for our many repeat customers with constellations, resending the same spacecraft information for each launch was time consuming.
Our customers and our mission managers were all eager for a centralized, collaborative online portal where everyone could access all documents, see upcoming tasks and milestones, and have a dashboard with the most up-to-date mission information — and thus Mission Control was born.
Now that Mission Control has been used for more than a year, we’ve added features and revised functionality to bring it to its full potential. With our upcoming SXRS-6 mission, we are seeing the first generation of customers who have solely used this online tool to manage their missions.
Here’s a quick highlight tour of their favorite features.
A dashboard shows the mission name, orbit and other details, and how many open and completed tasks there are:
Customers tell us one of the best aspects of Mission Control is the way that deliverables are handled. They can see their mission at a glance, and immediately see what tasks are due and when. Spaceflight’s mission managers don’t have to send email reminders or revised schedules as things change. Schedules can be edited in real-time, and due dates are adjusted accordingly. Both customers and the Spaceflight team have tasks on each mission – and now both parties can see which court the ball is in, so to speak. Once documents are submitted, customers can see that they are under review by our mission management team; when approved, they are simply moved to the “completed” column.
Templates are available for commonly required documents, such as Waiver Requests. Mission managers can edit the master link if requirements change, ensuring that all future documents will be up to date. See below:
Customers are also big fans of the repository of documents in Mission Control. Having quick access to these documents as reference points for subsequent missions is a real time saver, as there is no searching through email to find them. They are all found under the “Resources” tab.
One of the most important benefits of collaborating in Mission Control involves the Integration Flow Plan and Procedures surrounding spacecraft processing. As experienced flyers know, integration is a complicated dance for rideshare missions, and each customer has a specified time for their spacecraft to be integrated. For customers who are not processing at the launch site, our team often needs additional information. The integration schedule is an extremely time-sensitive portion of a mission, and Mission Control keeps everything on schedule and under control. It’s the one version of truth, available to all parties 24/7 — and that’s proven to be priceless.