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When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

No future for expensive single use rockets

RATE THIS! +26
Posted in Business on 3rd Nov, 2017 08:42 AM by Alex Muller

Analysis of US Air Force budgets show ULA as charging the US air force $422 million per launch in 2020 versus about $96 million that Spacex is charging the air force. With reusable rockets Spacex will charge even less. In Musk’s video announcement of the Spacex BFR he indicated that it would be lower cost to launch than the Falcon 1.

 

This would mean at $7 million the Spacex BFR launch 150 tons would have less than a $50 per pound launch cost.

 
Space launch insurance companies are no longer charging a premium for launches using reused Spacex rocket stages.
 
The Spacex BFR still has to be built and is 2-6 years away from begin developed and having commercial flights.
 
The Falcon Heavy should be launched within 30-60 days. This will lower the price per pound compared to the Falcon 9.
 
Other applications and justifications for different launch systems:
 
Despite the large and increasingly dominant price advantage for Spacex, there will be a second place US rocket launch company. The US military is requiring a second option.
 
There is are several small rocket companies like Rocket Labs that will be making inexpensive rockets using 3D printing technique. Reusable rockets will become similar to the airplane market. There will be quite a few competitors in the small size market.
 
Spaceplanes like the Reaction Engines vehicles will be funded and will be used for military applications.
 
There will be other space vehicle niches that will justify and create the business case for other kinds of vehicles and technologies.
 
There will be no future for expensive single use rockets.

Tags: spaceSpaceXrocketElon Muskhardware

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