Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Falcon Heavy’s successful flight is another vindication for Elon Musk - A spectacular spaceflight (The Economist)

A multifaceted space race

"The day before the launch, Mr Musk had said that success would mean “game over” for other launch providers. SpaceX’s mastery of reusability means its launch prices are far lower than those of its competitors. The $90m price tag of a Falcon Heavy launch is about a quarter the price of the next most powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, which is produced by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing—and which can haul only half as much cargo into orbit. And it is a tenth of what a single launch of the SLS is expected to cost.

Future SpaceX rockets will be bigger still. On Monday Mr Musk hinted at the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy, comprising five boosters and 45 engines. It is less clear how big the market for such beefy rockets really is: the Delta IV Heavy has launched just nine times since its maiden flight in 2004. If the SLS were to be cancelled, though, being able to sell NASA such beasts for missions to the Moon might be a nice earner."
The Falcon Heavy’s successful flight is another vindication for Elon Musk - A spectacular spaceflight
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