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Economically, SpaceX is about 3% cheaper than Arianespace.

That's not a 50% or 100% improvement.

Maybe they'll get that improvement once they run recycled rockets all the time, but not before that.




@mlvljr: Your account seems to be shadowbanned, I can’t reply to your comment.

Currently, SpaceX has prices around 56-62 million USD per launch of a normal satellite (with a weight and orbit where they can recover the first stage).

Arianespace launches such lighter satellites in pairs, always two at once, at a price of around 60 million USD per satellite.

The Chinese launchers offer the same at around 70 million USD per launch.

So, the prices aren’t that different.

But, for launches from reused rockets, SpaceX is damn cheap. The first launch on a reused rocket cost below 30 million USD.

So, to recap: Today, in best case, SpaceX is between 4 and 13% cheaper than the next competitor. But in a few years, once they launch mostly reused rockets, they’ll be around 50 to 60% cheaper than the next competitor.


I imagine that, while SpaceX will continue to improve their cost/kg to orbit and reach a launch expense of half the current cost with re-usables pretty quickly, until someone else can compete, they could just increase their profit per launch enormously. Musk needs some serious capital for his Mars plans. I hope his global satellite internet provider concept works (I can't wait to have a option other than AT&T or Comcast) and brings in the big bucks. Then he won't need to make money on launches and can drop the launch price on launches to close to cost to help all space activities. Maybe even start selling re-usable rockets to other launch companies. Can't wait to see that day.

Long term, Musk is shooting for a ~100x reduction in launch costs to make a Mars colony feasible. Hope he makes it.




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