Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The competition heats up: SpaceX has renegotiated its lease with the city of McGregor, Texas, in order to begin testing the Falcon Heavy rocket.
What I found stunning about this article is this quote:
The Falcon Heavy will have commercial, civil and national security applications, Ra said, adding that customers will pay $81 million to $135 million per launch, depending on the weight of the payload and the rocket’s destination. That is about twice the price of a Falcon 9 launch.
These prices for the Falcon Heavy are actually comparable or cheaper than that charged by most other rocket companies for geosynchronous launches. If SpaceX succeeds in doing this — launching Falcon Heavy at these prices — they will certainly open deep space to private enterprise. And even if their prices end up being twice this, those prices will still be anywhere from one fourth to less than a tenth of what it will cost NASA to launch its SLS rocket.
Which should make us all wonder: Why is anyone in Congress still voting to fund SLS?