JSR Launch Vehicle Database, 2019 Nov 18 Edition

Jonathan C. McDowell

Section 1.0: Organizations

The Orgs file defines short alphanumeric codes for all the organizations referred to in the other data files.

A versioned release of this file is at GCASO with more extensive documentation; the version here is an unversioned update.

For my purposes, an `organization' can be any named and spacetime-localized entity including

These can act as a generic organization (O) or may be specifically identified as a launch agency (LA), launch vehicle manufacturer (LV), satellite manufacturer (PL), rocket experimenter (RE), engine/motor manufacturer (E) or launch site (LS). (The current version of the Orgs database is grossly incomplete in these assignments.)

I find it helpful to track organizations at the level of a specific operating location. Particularly with commercial organizations, the link between e.g. a satellite factory and the design of the satellites it makes is often continuous across changes of identity of the parent company.As an example we may consider the engine factory in Redmond, Washington, USA in operation since 1960 as Rocket Research Corp, then Olin Aerospace (1985-1997), then Primex Technologies (1997-2001), then General Dynamics (2001-2002), then Aerojet. Each of these phases is assigned a unique alphanumeric code: RRC, OLIN, PRIMX, GDOTS, AJRED. One of these phases is picked as the primary code (ucode or 'unique code') and the others are linked to it so you can tell they are all the same organization. Other units of the same companies are given different codes, so for example Aerojet's Solid Propulsion unit in Sacramento is given the code AJSP. Each phase code is also optionally linked to a parent organization and a state (country), so both BOM (Boeing/Michoud, 1961-73) and BOHB (Boeing/Huntington Beach) have the parent BOC (Boeing Company, Seattle) and the state US (United States). [Exception: When a company relocates an operation entirely to a previously unused location leaving nothing at the former location, I may rarely and exceptionally choose identify the two locations using the same ucode for the two different locations - for example the ucode AJ refers to Aerojet Engineering's original Pasadena location (AJP) in 1942-47 and to its Azusa location (AJ) in 1947-2001.]

Note that countries can have phases too - the Czech republic is CSSR (1940-1990), CSFR (1990-1993) and CZ (1993-present), sharing the ucode CZ. Note that for countries extant in the early 21st century, the ucode is usually the Internet TLD, e.g. CN like .cn for Zhongguo (China), although the usual single-letter abbreviations have been used for European Union countries e.g. D for Deutschland (Germany), F for France etc. Most two-letter ucodes are countries but there are a few exceptions (LM for Lockheed Martin, for example); I may reassign these in a future rev.

This is to my knowledge the most comprehensive directory to date of space related organizations.

The Orgs table includes