Monday, June 04, 2018

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Delays Plans for First Space Tourists to Circle Moon -- WSJ

Space tourism appears to be lower in the SpaceX priority list
"The delay comes amid SpaceX’s own projections of a nearly 40% drop in launches next year from as many as 28 anticipated for 2018. The decline primarily reflects a global slump in manufacturing orders and launch contracts for large commercial satellites.

SpaceX also is confronting industry doubts about market demand for its Falcon Heavy rocket, the company’s newest and biggest launcher, which had its maiden blastoff in February. “People don’t think it’s serious enough yet to figure out how to use it,” Thomas Mueller, SpaceX’s chief propulsion technology officer, said in May, speaking to attendees on the sidelines of a space conference in Los Angeles. Mr. Mueller declined to elaborate or respond to questions.

Industry officials and SpaceX competitors have said the latest variant of the company’s smaller Falcon 9 rocket—upgraded to provide more thrust than earlier versions—is capable of putting most of the current generation of large and small satellites into required orbits. Those improvements have “eliminated much of the commercial need for the Falcon Heavy,” according to Charles Miller, a consultant and space entrepreneur."
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Delays Plans for First Space Tourists to Circle Moon -- WSJ
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