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Old 06-04-2010, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Millionaire's test rocket reaches orbit on 1st try - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_hi_te/us_test_rocket - broken link)

Congratulations SpaceX, nice work!

Does anyone have any numbers to compare the cost per lb of a Falcon launch to one of the government-sponsored EELV's from Boeing or LM?
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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Default Excellent news.

Sounds like they really have their stuff together.

They abandoned an earlier lift-of after engine ignition, then proceeded to launch 90 minutes later. That's pretty impressive.

I don't have the LEO costs anywhere, but from what I've read, the entire development of Falcon 9 - the Kestrels, the Merlins, everything - clocks in at roughly $400 million. Which is $50 million less than the single Ares-1x demonstration launch. Pretty good.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Does anyone have any numbers to compare the cost per lb of a Falcon launch to one of the government-sponsored EELV's from Boeing or LM?
On further reading, it appears that the numbers for Atlas and Delta launches are clouded in secrecy - unlike SpaceX, who has listed the price right on their website: $51.5 million for 4680 kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit, payment plan available, modest discounts for repeat business, please download the paylod user manual - I am not making this up, they're perfectly up-front with everything.

The general feel, however, appears to be that SpaceX is at about 50%, possibly lower.

The more I read of this launch, the more I'm impressed. The payload (a mock-up Dragon capsule) is within 1% of the desired orbit and will remain in orbit for about a year. This was the first flight of the 2nd stage and the first time they fired the 2nd stage engine (Merlin Vacuum) - and it worked.

The entire thing is designed to be man-rated according to NASAs standards from the word go. That's damn fine work. And to think they're local. I wonder if they need a good network engineer...
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 10,046,208 times
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I would guess that with this success and NASA's new directive, SpaceX will probably be hiring like madmen, hopefully for years to come.

I hafta admit, I chuckled when they put the Falcon I in the drink 3 times in a row, but I was really rooting for a success with the 9. I don't know if they're really ready to fly astronauts on a cluster of 9 new engines, but so long as they have a solid abort system/scheme...

Aren't they the ones founded by the PayPal guy?

Thanks for doing some legwork that I was too lazy for.
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