Responsive Space: Concept Analysis, Critical Review, and Theoretical Framework
Saleh, Joseph H.
MetadataShow full item record
Customers’ needs are dynamic and evolve in response to unfolding environmental uncertainties. The ability of a company or an industry to address these changing customers’ needs in a timely and cost-effective way is a measure of its responsiveness. In the space industry, a systemic discrepancy exists between the time constants associated with the change of customers’ needs, and the response time of the industry in delivering on-orbit solutions to these needs. Increasingly, the penalties associated with such delays are becoming unacceptable, and space responsiveness is recognized as a strategic imperative in commercial competitive and military environments. In this paper, we provide a critical assessment of the literature on responsive space and introduce a new multi-disciplinary framework for thinking about and addressing issues of space responsiveness. Our framework advocates three levels of responsiveness: a global industry-wide responsiveness, a local stakeholder responsiveness, and an interactive or inter-stakeholder responsiveness. We introduce and motivate the use of “responsiveness maps” for multiple stakeholders. We then identify “levers of responsiveness,” technical spacecraft- and launch-centric, as well as “soft” levers (e.g., acquisition policies) for improving the responsiveness of the space industry. Finally, we propose a series of research questions to aggressively tackle problems associated with space responsiveness.