Spacex Successfully Launches Falcon 9 To Orbit; Now Onward To The Iss
Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:40 AM
The entire 12 COTS resupply program flights cost about what ONE SINGLE Shuttle supply flight cost ($1.5 billion)...
The SpaceX Falcon/Dragon is far more advanced than anything NASA is capable of..
Yet NASA is wasting $60+ billion more on Congressional mandated shameless earmarked pork unaffordable/unsustainable SLS/Orion, rather than use far superior, more capable SpaceX vehicles.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:59 AM
Q. How much does it cost to launch a Space Shuttle?
A. Generally, the cost averages out to be about $450 million per mission.
That's right guys PER mission. This means that the total COTS contract with SpaceX (predicted to be about 1.6 billion) is less than 4 shuttle flights. Now to be fair the Falcon 9 can only carry half of Shuttle's payload (this is why the Falcon Heavy is being built). So lets say that 2 SpaceX flights are equal to 1 shuttle flight. So with a shuttle we would have already had 4 [rounding down to 400 million] flights while SpaceX is still developing.
Now lets add the fact that NASA is spending about 3.6 billion dollars on Orbital Sciences in the COTS program. This is money for 9 more flights.
Ok, so at 5.2 billion dollars we have 13 Shuttle flights. But the Space Shuttle ran for 134 missions, so lets add in the cost of about 100 more missions (About 45 billion dollars). This results in 50.2 billion dollars for 113 Shuttle missions.
But what about on the commercial side at 5.2 billion dollars we have 0 flights and each of their flight can only carry half of the shuttles payload. So these guys need to complete about 236 (round to 250) missions to compare to the Shuttle. At an predicted price of 50 million dollars per launch this results in 12.5 billion dollars.
Conclusion, given that these commercial rockets have a faster "turnaround" time relative to a Shuttle type system, to carry the same payload to LEO over multiple missions the commercial side is cheaper with 12.5 billion dollars compared to 50.2 billion dollars for the Shuttle.
"Please Check My Math"
Disclaimer: This does not take into account flights made during COTS or the fact that certain estimates put Shuttle launch as 1.5 billion a pop rather than 450 million.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:30 PM
@David Gann, thanks for pointing out the video mistake. I even watched the launch live and I still, somehow, accidentally grabbed the wrong video link. The mistake has been fixed and I personally apologize for any confusion.