Spacex “flight proven” rockets cost half as much …


"SpaceX, the pioneering rocket launch company founded by Elon Musk, famously advertises a launch cost of just $62 million for its Falcon 9 rocket — a price it has held steady for four and a half years. Of course, for nearly as long, SpaceX has also been saying that a switch to reusable rockets would permit the company to cut its prices even further – as much as 30%.

So four and a half years since the $62 million price tag was introduced, how much cheaper have SpaceX rocket launches become? Thanks to a series of contract modifications just announced by the U.S. Space Force, we finally know."

"Last week, Space Force announced that it will permit SpaceX to fly reused (or as SpaceX prefers, "flight-proven") Falcon 9 rockets to launch the government's next two government GPS III satellites. The government had previously insisted that such "national security" satellites be launched aboard brand new rockets, but SpaceX has successfully re-flown used rockets for other customers 38 times now.

It seems that that's enough to have finally convinced Space Force that this is a safe way to get to orbit — and cheaper, to boot.

How much cheaper? Initially, SpaceX had agreed to launch these government GPS satellites for about $97 million each. But in return for being permitted to fly reusable rockets, SpaceX now says it can cut the price it charges Space Force for the next two launches by a total of $52.7 million — a savings of more than $26 million each — as reported last week. "  motleyfool


Half as much …  Splendid!  Just splendid!  And now SpaceX is mastering the recovery of payload fairings as well.  This will further  reduce costs.  A means of recovering second stages is probably the next goal.  pl

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5 Responses to Spacex “flight proven” rockets cost half as much …

  1. Fred says:

    Good news indeed. Just what were the credentialed experts at NASA doing while these ‘capitalists’ were creating this innovative firm and all the technology that goes with it?

  2. Diana Croissant says:

    I am excited for the things my children and grandchildren will be able to witness. Maybe I’ll live long enough to witness a few amazing things in space, too.

  3. rjh says:

    SpaceX and Elon Musk have said that they are not working on reuse of the second stage. They expect the Starship to be ready for use sooner. It is fully reusable and projected to be able to launch 5-10 times more mass per dollar than the Falcon series.
    The biggest economic challenge facing Starship (assuming all their engineering goals are met) is that it is huge, launching up to 100 tons per launch. There may be issues related to finding enough users to fill a launch. The curent Falcon 9 is already showing hints of this affecting some current launches.
    It’s not clear how the Starship economics will work out for launches which are mostly empty.

  4. eakens says:

    They should put SpaceX in charge of my local planning department and the DMV.

  5. JohninMK says:

    On my reading the initial price of $62M for an all new rocket has increased for the Government, to $97M over four and a half years, about 50%. The quote implies that other users still pay $62M.
    The discount brings the s/h price down to £71M, say 15% increase.
    Puzzled but nice work if you can get it.

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