><i> I did a quick calculation and it seemed far too high.</i><p>I think that statement applies to just about any launch vehicle on the market today. But the Falcon 1 is <b>way</b> better than anything else.</p>
Well the major selling point is:<br /><br />"Most importantly, Falcon 1, priced at $6.7 million, will provide the lowest cost per flight to orbit of any launch vehicle in the world, despite receiving a design reliability rating equivalent to that of the best launch vehicles currently flying in the United States. "<br /><br />So it will be the best deal around for those with smaller payloads. It is also a cheaper and less intimidating rocket for companies who are new to putting their payloads in space.<br /><br />Medium sized business, well-to-do individuals and universities could be potential F1 customers.<br />
> <i><font color="yellow">So it will be the best deal around for those with smaller payloads.</font>/i><br /><br />Musk has said that SpaceX's primary competition is spare room on larger launches. That is, when another company boosts a commercial payload into orbit, they often have room for one or more smaller payloads that can essentially launch for free (relatively speaking).</i>
> <i><font color="yellow">So, the question is: are we amazed at the low cost of the Falcon 1 or shocked that in 2005 $5000/lb is still considered a bargin?</font>/i><br /><br />It is amazing that we are amazed. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />The shuttle has often been cited at $10K/lbs, but those figures assumed a $500 Million per launch. Since then, people have estimated that a shuttle flight is really over $1 Billion (when all costs are factored in). That would put the flight at about $20,000 per pound.<br /><br />So for small payloads, Falcon 1 is 1/4 the cost of the shuttle (from a computer point of view, which measures things in factors of two, Falcon 1 is two orders of magnitude cheaper than the shuttle).<br /><br />For larger payloads, the Falcon 9 S9 is $1,400 per pound, or about 1/14 the cost of the shuttle. That is almost 4 orders of magnitude cheaper than the shuttle (speaking from a computer point of view -- or over 1 order of magnitude cheaper from a physics point of view <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> ).<br /><br />Of course, nothing has launched yet.</i>
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Musk has said that SpaceX's primary competition is spare room on larger launches<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Both Boeing and Lockheed regularly launch non-commercial university satellites for free, when they have spare capacity. Of course, this has drawbacks for the satellite developer: they cannot be guaranteed a launch time.
Nor are they guraranted the desired orbit. Seeing most small sats want an LEO, and most launches are to higher orbits, or are classified and thus no 2nd payloads would be welcome. <br /><br />Mind you, the $/Lb is really not a very encompassing meaure of a rocket's cost. <br /><br />I'm also willing to bet that atleast a 20-40% of the Falcon's costs have nothing to do with the cost of hardware, but reflect gov't impossed overhead. [range costs, environ impact statements, etc] <br />
<font color="yellow">" are we amazed at the low cost of the Falcon 1 or shocked that in 2005 $5000/lb is still considered a bargin?"</font><br /><br />...or both? Pegasus $/lb is nearly three times higher.
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I think that statement applies to just about any launch vehicle on the market today. But the Falcon 1 is way better than anything else. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Bollocks<br /><br /><br />The going rate of Kosmos3M is about 6-8 million USD, with a payload much larger then Falcon 1. With a payload of 1500kg to 250km orbit (according to Pavel Podvig)<br /><br />The Rockot has a going rate of 12 million USD, with a payload of around 1800kg, twice the price for more then double of the payload.<br /><br />Same could be said about the Dnepr, 16 million USD pricetage, 3000kg payload<br /><br />Now, the Falcon 1 might be the cheapest availeble in the USA, but that is what happens if you try to create a closed community and not let competition do its work.....<br /><br /><br />
The largest cost of any rocket is the labor costs that go into developing, building, and servicing the darn thing. Currently Russian rockets have a huge edge here because the Russian economy still hasn't recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to a market economy. Over time it will and the cost of Russian launchers will climb along with the Russian standard of living. The same is true of China right now it's launch costs reflect it's low labor costs and standard of living and that will change over time.<br /><br />Are we going to export the design and construction of rockets to the cheapest labor markets? To third world nations? Doing so carries National Security risks for the nations that lose a domestic launch capability.<br /><br />
off course all vallid points. Although the national security reason is tossed out there too often and too soon. My only point being is that the Falcon I does not deliver the cheapest service to LEO around, as claimed.<br /><br />But what national security threat is there for the USA with increased competition. If the American governement wants independent acces to space they should fund their own vehicles, as is done with EELV. It does not seem wise to protect the commercial market as well, because that kills competition. <br /><br />The payload should be launched by the best option, determined by a global market. Limits and quota's are getting us anywhere. Neither is false information or a lot of hot air....
fair point.<br /><br />your choice, launching Falcon 1 claiming reliability from computer simulations and just because they say so, or launching any of the 3 mentioned LV with each of them 300 launches under their belt and all achieving 97% or above flight reliability
Rockot, Dnepr and Kosmos3M all have one thing in common - they aren't currently in production. The only reason they are so cheap as launchers is because they have already been paid for once by the Soviet/Russian government.
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Rockot, Dnepr and Kosmos3M all have one thing in common - they aren't currently in production.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />True, and they are running out of Kosmos 3M LVs anyway, some discussion is up in the air that this decembers launch will be its last. The other two are available for another decade or so, and I doubt that they'll be running out of ICBMs<br /><br />But pricing of launch costs has always been difficult. I doubt that the 6,7 million USD for a Falcon will be based on making a profit. If you look at how much money has been invested, and the expected market for the Falcon 1, do you really think they will have a big return on investment. LVs aren't a good space business, just cool because guys like to play with rockets
><i> I doubt that the 6,7 million USD for a Falcon will be based on making a profit.</i><p>That will depend largely on recovery and reuse of the first stage - that is a big part of the economics of the Falcon 1.</p>
Its good to see that they are running on a small team, thats good. But I doubt that the salt water will be gentle for the rocket engine and casing...<br /><br />The thing Im most worried about is the market SpaceX is expecting, they've received a couple of nice government jobs which will bring a nice cashflow and the payloads aren't all too serious. But I just think that the market for smaller satellites is too small for a high number of launches. Its a competative market, and the Falcon 1 is a new kid on the block, powerpoint presentations only get you that far....<br /><br />