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Risk Pricing for the Reusable Falcon 9

17 Oct 2011, 22:05 UTC
Risk Pricing for the Reusable Falcon 9
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In my last post I explored how the SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 (rF9) could threaten those companies offering suborbital launch services. Discussion has focused on the risks preventing the rF9 from reaching the optimistic breakeven price point of $130 per kg (discussed in my last post). Here are a few of the risk categories you have raised:Increased variable costs: Elon may claim only $200K of propellant per flight, but the variable costs of an rF9 flight will surely be higherReduced number of flights: When you factor in the complexities of reusing a launch vehicle and the potential for a crash or loss of vehicleReduced payload capacity: Adding reusability will increase the mass of non-payload components – reducing the payload massWhat rF9 breakeven price points might we expect if we take these concerns into account? In the table below, I explore these risks and their impact on breakeven price per flight and breakeven price per kg. In the second column are the breakeven prices today for an expendable Falcon 9. This is the upper end of cost. Weight any of these risks to the point you get price points beyond $5K per KG and customers will prefer the current Falcon 9 ...

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