To reduce the launch costs for future missions, SpaceX is embarking on a reusable rockets development. This leaves one wondering how much was saved in its historic SES-10 mission. SpaceX boss, Gwynne Shotwell during the 33rd Colorado Space Symposium announced that it had cost them slightly less than a half the total costs of a new Falcon 9 first stage re-flight. With no mention of specific figures, it translates to tremendous savings given that the first stage of the rocket was worth 75% to 80% of its total spending.
Shotwell reiterated that the private space entity saved some money even though it had carried out lots of work in regards to refurbishing and examining the flight-authenticated booster. SpaceX expectations are that the cost savings will increase as they don’t want to undertake too much work in the future on the recovered rockets as was the case with the SES-10 launch.
For them to be able to get back the hefty investment ($1 billion) they made in the reusable rocket tech, Shotwell stated that cost savings from the prices paid by clients can’t get slashed fully. A single launch costs customers around $62 million as per the moment. Also, the firm should come up with a way that will see recovered first stages up and running in a day.
In a statement, she explained that as they look forward to reusability, they don’t believe it counts unless one can get it turned around fast. She further stated that their challenge as per the moment was to get back the rocket on air within a day. When that’s achieved, it would be the point that they would have hacked the reusability concept right.
As per their reusable rocket cost estimations, they expect it to account for 30% of the launch costs. However, Tory Bruno, (United Launch Alliance Chief) doesn’t share the same sentiments. Tory at the same event said that technology wouldn’t make that much of an impact and that the most it would slash on the current launch prices would be a mere 10%.