Monday, May 09, 2011
To which Elon Musk, the South African born boss of SpaceX says
So when I started SpaceX, it was not surprising when people said we wouldn’t succeed. But now that we’ve successfully proven Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Dragon, there’s been a steady stream of misinformation and doubt expressed about SpaceX’s actual launch costs and prices.
As noted last month by a Chinese government official, SpaceX currently has the best launch prices in the world and they don’t believe they can beat them. This is a clear case of American innovation trumping lower overseas labor rates.
I recognize that our prices shatter the historical cost models of government-led developments, but these prices are not arbitrary, premised on capturing a dominant share of the market, or “teaser” rates meant to lure in an eager market only to be increased later. These prices are based on known costs and a demonstrated track record, and they exemplify the potential of America's commercial space industry.
Here are the facts:
The price of a standard flight on a Falcon 9 rocket is $54 million. We are the only launch company that publicly posts this information on our website (www.spacex.com). We have signed many legally binding contracts with both government and commercial customers for this price (or less). Because SpaceX is so vertically integrated, we know and can control the overwhelming majority of our costs. This is why I am so confident that our performance will increase and our prices will decline over time, as is the case with every other technology.
With the Chinese economy growing at 10% and so many signs that western civilisation is destroying itself through ecofascist controls and government regulation deliberately designed to stop our previous "continuous economic expansion" this may be the best news for western civilisation for years. It proves we still can do it if we try.
The private sector is always cheaper than the state. It has to be. There is no safety net.
I hope Wee Eck is paying attention to stories like this. We can always hope at least can we not?