13 thoughts on “The Winners”

  1. Question:

    Initial contract covers 12 flights for SpaceX with $1.6B . . .

    So NASA has contracted SpaceX for $100mill/flight? I thought SpaceX et al were all about cheap space flight.

    What am I missing?

  2. Note that this is not a cost-plus contract. Don’t confuse cost with price. SpaceX wants to make money while it can, before competition shows up. I suspect that Falcon 9 is very cheap, and that SpaceX will do very well from this contract.

  3. SpaceX is still giving a better deal then OSC. And I hope that SpaceX makes a bunch of money. Better given to SpaceX then Russia. I have always thought that the best way to get costs down costs is to fly a lot. This contract doubles SpaceX’s existing flight schedule. With SpaceX and other working hard we may get to Mars yet.

  4. a delta 4 is $100 million and it works.

    That says something about how misguided NASA is

    No, Jack. All it says is how stupid and ungrammatical, and unable to punctuate or find the shift key that you are.

  5. Falcon 9 isn’t cheap.

    Compared to what, exactly? How many launches would you get out of the Shuttle for $1.6, may I ask?

  6. I don’t get the confusion here and elsewhere about prices.

    Falcon 9 satellite launch = about 35 million
    Falcon 9 ISS launch with Dragon capsule and docking = about 95 million
    Falcon 9 COTS launch with the additional service of payload processing = about 100 million

  7. I wonder how much of that is NASA’s inability to wrap their head around low cost access to space.

    SpaceX: “We can do it for $50 million”.
    NASA: *eye’s them suspiciously* “I think it will cost you a 100 million”.
    SpaceX: *blink*”…..you know I think your right….”

  8. This seems like a good deal to me. It works out to about $133M/launch, but that also wraps in the amount of money it will take to get the Dragon capsule up and running. Those development costs aren’t trivial.

    Not only that, but the contracts are fixed cost. If the costs go above that figure, the companies eat the increase rather than the taxpayer. Not only that, but if SpaceX and OSC can make their launches cheaper, then they make more profit. They have an incentive to make the most reliable launcher and spacecraft they can at the best possible price.

    The actual cost of flight will probably be less, but I’d rather have government sweeten the pot for enterprising startup than throw more money to cost-plus contracts with the usual suspects.

  9. Those development costs aren’t trivial.

    Which they would have paid if NASA hadn’t come along. Nice going SpaceX.

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