SpaceX Announces Radically Cheaper Spaceflight

Posted by on September 29th, 2011

At a National Press Club luncheon today, Elon Musk, head of SpaceX announced plans for a reusable rocket that could dramatically lower the cost of going into space by a factor of 100. By amortizing the hardware costs over a lifespan of 1,000 launches, the capital costs per launch would be $50,000 (plus $200,000 in fuels costs and support). He compares the goal of the rocket to achieve the same level of reliability as a 747.

SpaceX envisions a three stage rocket where each stage returns to Earth via powered flight, as opposed to crashing into the ocean or burning up in the atmosphere.

In a speech that outlaid his goal of seeing humanity becoming an interplanetary species, he explained the need for this technology to help humanity make a permanent settlement on Mars. Musk suggested the cost of such a trip could eventually fall to the price of an ‘average California home’.


Click the image below for an awesome animation of their space flight mission profiles:

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