SpaceX’s goal has long been to achieve truly
reusable rocket launch capabilities, and for
good reason: The company anticipates huge
cost savings through re-usable rocketry versus
expendable launch vehicles, which SpaceX CEO
Elon Musk has described as a process akin
to an airline throwing away their passenger
aircraft every time they complete a flight.
They’ve made lots of progress toward that
goal, and now frequently re-fly parts of their
Falcon 9 rockets and their Dragon cargo capsules
— but the Starship spaceship they’re building
now should be even more re-usable.
Each flight of this SpaceX’s big Mars-colonizing
spacecraft will have a very small price tag,
if all goes according to plan.
SpaceX’s Starship could sport a low cost
per rocket flight — somewhere in the region
of $2 million.
Musk provided an idea of just how much that
could save SpaceX — and by extension, its
customers — at a surprise guest appearance
at the U.S. Air Force’s annual pitch day
in LA this week.
In this video Engineering Today will discuss
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company which is chasing
the ‘holy grail’ of completely reusing
a rocket.
Why Elon Musk thinks SpaceX Launches Will
Cost 1% of Current NASA Launches?
Can Musk’s latest claim possibly be true?
Let’s get into details.
The Starship system, which consists of a reusable
100-passenger spaceship stacked atop a huge
reusable rocket known as Super Heavy, will
use just $900,000 worth of propellant to get
off Earth and into orbit, Elon Musk said on
Tuesday, 5th November during a fireside chat
at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, with Lieutenant
General John Thompson, commander of the U.S.
Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
Toward the end of the 40-minute conversation,
Thompson gave Musk the floor to say anything
he wanted to the audience of investors, engineers,
entrepreneurs and military officials.
The SpaceX founder and CEO took the opportunity
to talk about something near and dear to his
heart: the importance of fully and rapidly
reusable orbital rockets.
This is the technological advance that will
slash the cost of spaceflight by orders of
magnitude, allowing humanity to become a truly
spacefaring species, Musk has said repeatedly
over the years.
“It’s absolutely profound to have a reusable
rocket,” Musk said during the conversation.
“This is the holy grail.”
“If you consider operational costs, maybe
it’ll be like $2 million” out of SpaceX’s
pocket each time.
“This is much less than even a tiny rocket,”
Musk added.
“So, it’s something that needs to be made.”
To put that figure in perspective NASA on
average spends $152 million per launch, meaning
if Musk is to be believed his launches will
cost just 1.3 percent of NASA’s costs.
It’s an impressively low price, particularly
considering the cost per kilogram to normally
fly cargo into space.
SpaceX’s ultimate goals are aimed at reducing
the cost of rocket launches, making them more
commonplace, and using that to fund its goals
of building bases on the moon, Mars and beyond.
While its low costs would likely help reach
the first goal, its use of liquid oxygen and
methane as fuel means astronauts could conceivably
embark on those more ambitious missions and
refuel at the planet.
Employees have also expressed an interest
in building a base on the moon.
The Starship’s ability to refuel on Mars
could also enable a planet-hopping network
that enables humanity to branch out further.
SpaceX has been working to make this vision
a reality, and the company has made considerable
SpaceX now routinely lands and reflies the
first stages of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket,
and it’s doing the same with the heavy-lift
Falcon Heavy, which has three launches under
its belt.
The company is now also starting to recover
and re-fly payload fairings, the protective
nose cones that surround satellites during
Starship and Super Heavy fit well into this
grand vision.
Both vehicles will be fully reusable, and
each individual craft will fly many times
before it’s retired, Musk has said.
As the Starship is designed to transport at
least 100 metric tons to Earth orbit.
Musk compared it to the Boeing 747, which
has a similar payload capacity of over 100
tons, which costs $500,000 to lease for a
flight from San Francisco to Sydney and back.
Although the rocket is going into space, it
would only cost around four times more in
terms of operation.
Musk attributed this discrepancy, especially
considering the cost of previous space technology,
to SpaceX’s focus on creating reusable rockets.
“A giant reusable craft costs much less
than a small, expendable craft,” Musk said.
The $2 million operational costs are a far
cry from the amount SpaceX charges for its
current launches, using its semi-reusable
series of Falcon vehicles.
For some perspective, SpaceX currently sells
Falcon 9 launches for $62 million to send
up 5.5 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit
and this is less than $2,500 per pound to
orbit compared to the $10,000 NASA pays to
put one pound of payload in orbit.
Falcon Heavy launches for $90 million to send
up eight tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Both of these result in a price of $11.3 million
per ton.
And those prices are considerably lower than
similar services offered by SpaceX’s competitors.
Note that these are the final prices offered
to buyers rather than the operational costs.
When asked SpaceX to reveal the profit margins
on its Falcon launches, the company refused
to answer.
However, an April 2016 analysis by investment
firm Jefferies International estimated the
gross margins at around 40 percent.
That would mean SpaceX pays around $6.8 million
for each ton it moves into geostationary transfer
orbit using a Falcon vehicle.
A Starship, based on Musk’s figures, would
cost around $20,000 per ton.
Musk didn’t specify what sort of flight
this would cover, though — in August 2019,
he suggested the cost of sending one ton of
cargo to Mars could be around $100,000 at
the low end.
That would mean his ambitions of building
a city with one million tons of cargo would
cost $100 billion, although suggested the
figure could be as high as $10 trillion.
Starship will eventually replace all of SpaceX’s
launch vehicles, the company hopes, a goal
that it hopes to achieve because its operation
should eventually be much more cost-effective
than either Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy once
it’s fully complete and flying.
Though, Spacex Starship missions will be quite
Starship and Super Heavy are designed primarily
to help humanity settle Mars, the moon and
other deep-space destinations, but SpaceX
wants the duo to take over all of the company’s
needs eventually.
So, if all goes according to plan, Starship
will also even clean up space junk and ferry
up to 1,000 passengers from one city to another
around Earth on the same rocket within next
10 years, Musk has said.
Starship’s first mission could be something
a little more straightforward: sending up
a telecommunications satellite in 2021.
Being able to do all of this for $2 million
a pop would be revolutionary.
That would be the cost of each mission for
SpaceX, to be clear; we don’t yet know how
much the company will charge customers for
a Starship mission.
The Starship’s low cost and high capacity
could transform the space industry.
Rick Tumlinson, founder of venture capital
firm SpaceFund, told that the Starship could
be considered a “Mayflower-class” vehicle,
due to its ability to send up to 100 people
into space at once.
It’s an extremely ambitious target.
Despite costs plummeting thanks to improving
reusability, a launch of SpaceX’s much smaller
workhorse rocket Falcon 9 currently costs
more than thirty times Musk’s quoted price
of a Starship launch.
Does that mean Musk pulled the $2 million
figure out of thin air?
At the Air Force event, Musk admitted he does
“zero market research whatsoever”.
At the same time as SpaceX’s Boca Chica,
Texas team is working around the clock to
prepare Starship Mk1 for several major tests,
the company is building a second dedicated
Starship launch complex at Pad 39A.
At SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas Starship facilities,
the company has already made a huge amount
of progress fabricating and outfitting a brand
new launch mount that will soon support Starship
Mk1’s first propellant loading, static fire,
and flight tests.
SpaceX has officially begun to install a large
steel structure at Launch Complex 39A, a pad
the company has leased from NASA since 2014.
This massive structure of launch mount will
one day support SpaceX’s first East Coast
Starship and Super Heavy static fire and test
Although Boca Chica’s launch mount is quite
large, Pad 39A, Florida’s nascent launch
mount is going to be significantly bigger.
The section that SpaceX began installing in
the first days of November appears already
be much taller than the mount in Texas, and
it also looks more like a rectangular corner
than anything resembling part of Boca Chica’s
hexagonal structure.
Even if it takes more than a year to build
Launch Complex 39A launch mount, SpaceX could
still be ready to attempt Starship’s first
orbital launch well before the end of 2020.

SpaceX Starship Update || Building Mars city starts with super-cheap Starship launches- Elon Musk

35 thoughts on “SpaceX Starship Update || Building Mars city starts with super-cheap Starship launches- Elon Musk

  • November 9, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    I'm wondering which launch is going to contain a large group of Puritans… or even Mormons.

  • November 9, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    How can it be 1.3 percent when parts of the rocket it's self only have a 1 or a 3 or a 10 to 20 x re-usability, we don't need to be bullshitted to like we were with the Shuttle… If your going to start blurting figures then have the courtesy to factor in a few other known limitations.

  • November 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    altitude compensation can be done by using feathers like a fighter jet.
    afterburner 2000deg
    sea level exhaust 1600deg
    vacuum 850 deg
    dragon capsule has the surface in contact with the draco exhaust

  • November 9, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    It’ll get much cheaper than that

    As long as they utilise the resources on mars for fuel.

  • November 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    you f**** gullible morons

  • November 9, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    I recently increased the number of push ups I do every morning and evening from 20 to 40, eliminated sugar from my diet and started Intermittent fasting. I so much do not want to die before the first human settlement on Mars becomes a reality.

  • November 9, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    Not to be rude but this guy sounds like he has plugged his nose

  • November 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    A round trip to Mars take 4 years, the planets have to be aligned, a NY to Sydney in a 747 round trip take 2-3 days, so in 4 years it will make 500 round trips and generate $240M of revenue the Starship $2M, we are a few order of magnitude off, even if the Starship is a lot cheaper to build than the 747 which is very doubtful.
    But this gives some perspectives on the the cost of a point to point earth trip $900K of fuel for 100 passengers or $9k per ticket just in fuel.

  • November 9, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Bro this video is stupid. Literally 100’s of videos on this dumb topic trying to cash in on money. Big dislike!

  • November 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    2 mill per launch? Yeah, sure Elon, just take another toke, it might be only one million then.

  • November 9, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the info. The first few launches of starship feel almost as important as the launches of the Apollo program – which I was lucky enough to witness. At that time Apollo felt like the start of something. But it really was the end of something. SpaceX's endeavours are REALLY the start of something big! It took capitalism to make this happen. Government is a lost cause for anything new, innovating, and exciting. GO SPACEX!!!

  • November 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Plz cut down on the ads

  • November 9, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Elon Musk is an alien who got tired of how slow humans progress and decided to take matters into his own hands (or tentacles)

  • November 9, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Time is so slow … sometimes. Starship can make our dreams about space and space exploration, come true.

  • November 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    No ceramic tiles, yet?

  • November 9, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Can we see inside the starship to get an idea of the advances and crew space? Elon, Please!

  • November 9, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Expensive death

  • November 9, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Forget Mars. We need to work on this project on the Moon first. It is more inhabitable than Mars and if the Earth were ever hit by an extinction level meteor, they could return to Earth a couple weeks later.

  • November 9, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    HOW STUPID!, Humans destroying their Own Home and wants to leave in a place with ANYTHING there, XD

  • November 9, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Starship is a monster of a craft, How about a mini starship for ISS size support missions. heck the Starship would be overkill for
    ISS or similar missions.

  • November 9, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    The 2M is just launch cost,(fuel, etc,) Starship is big bucks when completed.

  • November 10, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Imagine your kids asking this…….. if we bring all that stuff to Mars, would it make the earth a lot lighter?

  • November 10, 2019 at 12:22 am


  • November 10, 2019 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for enlightening me.

  • November 10, 2019 at 2:44 am

    SpaceX learns as it goes and benefits from fixing mistakes before going to the next level. SpaceX has an overall good concept and principles to operate with.

  • November 10, 2019 at 3:25 am

    please! Launch more rockets from Vandenburg! West Coasters have been missing out all these decades w/most going to Florida. We'd LOVE to see more rockets launching from California!

  • November 10, 2019 at 3:53 am

    That's wonderful but maybe they should concentrate on the contract from NASA they've been paid for which SpaceR has delayed multiple times so far. Maybe finish what you were paid for first. Is he dating someone half his age yet or not just yet?

  • November 10, 2019 at 5:05 am

    Geostationary orbit is not a "transfer orbit". It's a destination orbit.

  • November 10, 2019 at 5:10 am

    The two million per flight cost is based on amortizing a Starship that costs about 10-25 million, total. Assumes all the ground support is a fixed finished cost. All the launch cost that remains is fuel, LOX, and labor of the flight and launch crews.

  • November 10, 2019 at 5:20 am

    even if trump thinks you can fly to mars. you can't

  • November 10, 2019 at 5:40 am

    i want to live in marsh

  • November 10, 2019 at 5:44 am

    perhaps for a start it is worth trying to deliver people to the ISS?

  • November 10, 2019 at 6:06 am

    I've yet to see anything which deters my original thoughts on Starship – It will fly with commercial cargo (and possibly crew) before the white elephant SLS even makes a test flight.

  • November 10, 2019 at 6:43 am

    There is no excuse any longer for someone to believe this space globe religion is the reality in one or another way.
    Scientists researchers have revealed their findings in paper evidence for a closed flat earth universe and a possible crisis for cosmology, which is just been published an article in Nature Astronomy about this matter, so definitely a crisis in cosmology

  • November 10, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Hooray for Starship

  • November 10, 2019 at 7:57 am

    What a fucking joke. Total scan. The Earth is FLAT with a Dome. There is NO outer space. SpaceX is a money laundering vehicle…


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