Clark Lindsey posted today this interesting cost comparison between the Falcon 9 and the Russian-built Proton rocket.


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The cost of launch: Clark Lindsey posted today this interesting cost comparison between the Falcon 9 and the Russian-built Proton rocket.

The essence is this: The Proton rocket costs twice as much as the Falcon 9. If SpaceX can make a profit charging these low numbers, the launch industry is going to see a major shake out in the coming years.

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3 comments

  • Kelly Starks

    Note SpaceX’s numbers contradict. They say price per F-9 launch is $54M (Paid in full standard launch prices for 2012). But also note the cost to NASA for 12 flights to the ISS will be $1.6 billion, or $83m. NASA/Congresses numbers come out to more like $300+M for each SpaceX COTS flight to the ISS, when they ad the rest of the costs in beyond the straight “launch fees”. (about 25%-30% of shuttle program cost per flight, but only carrying 1/4th the cargo adn no personel) Other customers have similarly reported unimpressive bids from SpaceX.

  • It’s called free enterprise. SpaceX is not required to advertise their prices. Negotiation is part of it. Until the current bottleneck is overcome (with new launch facilities not completely controlled by the govt.) negotiating the best price is going to have to deal with availability.

    If you can only launch one rocket; Do you take the $54m offer or the $83m offer? What happens to negotiations when you can launch both?

  • Kelly Starks

    > It’s called free enterprise. SpaceX is not required to advertise their prices…

    They do when the gov is their biggest customer.

    >.. Do you take the $54m offer or the $83m offer?

    Generaly the customers are taking the other guys launchers. Suggesting (as reported by customers) that the total costs from SpaceX arn’t really cheaper, or Spacex’s high accident rates scares them off. (When risk a billion dollar sat, and delays in getting it online maling money) for a mear $20M?

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