From Curb to Launch

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Abstract

We are at the dawn of the next chapter of manned space flight, and space travel will soon be within reach for the majority of the humanity, not just the elite. The imminent launch of Virgin Galactic’s first commercial service this year, soon to be followed by companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, means that space tourism will quickly go from one individual every few years to dozens, perhaps hundreds of new space tourists annually. Everyday civilians going to space for the purpose of tourism will have fundamentally different needs than professional astronauts going up to space for days or month at a times for work and research. To make make space travel within reach of the masses, space tourist will need a different and simplified process compared to traditional astronauts.

Inspiration and Method

The projects takes both elements of existing process-based service such as airport ground experience for air travelers, and also from premium travel experiences targeted at high net-worth individuals. The process-based structure is need to make sure all the required elements are met, and premium travel experiences are meant to meet the needs of the targeted customers for the space flight.

From various interviews with Astronauts, aerospace executives, and potential customers, along with a variety of workshops and role-plays, a customer journey with multiple steps is created as the skeleton for the service. From there, I dove into an individual step, and explored what it meant to “create moments” for the customers are they go through this experience. During this process I discovered that by combining a 360 degree camera and a VR goggle, I now have a way to do quick storyboard walkthrough for user testing very quickly and effectively

Result

Using the methods outlined above I was able to create a rich and premium experience for the Boarding step of the journey, and this technique can now be replicated to the other steps of the whole customer journey. In addition, I discover that the combination of 360 camera plus VR goggle is great way for immersive prototyping as a service that is once again fun, fast, and very effective as a method for user testing.