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SpaceX offers new cut-rate prices for smallsats

Capitalism in space: SpaceX yesterday announced that the company is now offering new cut-rate prices to launch smallsats on its rockets.

The company is offering rideshare opportunities for satellites weighing up to 150kg at the price of $2.25 million. The rideshare-only missions, flying aboard the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, will launch at regularly scheduled intervals. “SpaceX is committed to serving the commercial market as it grows and changes,” a spokesperson for the company said. “And we believe we can address the needs of small satellite operators by offering reliable, cost-effective access to orbit through regularly scheduled, dedicated rideshare missions.”

The company has previously flown rideshare missions using its Falcon 9 rocket, but those flights were organized and integrated by a third-party provider, Spaceflight Industries. Now SpaceX will do all of that work directly for customers

This move makes SpaceX’s smallsat prices very competitive. It also makes it easier for smallsat companies to bypass China’s semi-private commercial companies, thus avoiding the risk of China stealing their technology.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

3 comments

  • Andrew_W

    Rocket Lab is making Ekectron re-usable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joONWIGtcdY

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    That is good news. I like that they take advantage of the small size of the rocket to recover it in a way different from SpaceX. It saves quite a bit of learning curve, and they may be able to do this soon. On the other hand, if they are wrong about their reentry solution, they may take a while to make it work.

    Of course, the advantage is lower costs to their customers, better competitive advantage, and higher profits for future development.

    SpaceX, watch out. The competition seems to be here already.

  • Remember the ‘Golden Age of Aviation’? I wasn’t around, but we get to experience it in a new way.

    Watching the recovery sim, I recalled Tom Hanks line from “Apollo 13” during stage separation: “You’re going to feel a little jolt.”

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