Home » News & Blogs » Will the Reusable Falcon 9 Kill the Suborbital Launch Industry?
Bookmark and Share
The Space Business Blog

Will the Reusable Falcon 9 Kill the Suborbital Launch Industry?

2 Oct 2011, 02:41 UTC
Will the Reusable Falcon 9 Kill the Suborbital Launch Industry?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

With SpaceX’s announcement this week that the company would not only develop a reusable first stage for its Falcon 9 family of rockets but would make a completely reusable rocket system (I will use Clark Lindsey’s nomenclature: "rF9" for reusable Falcon 9), I have been wondering about the future of the young NewSpace companies developing reusable suborbital rockets. Will companies like Masten, Armadillo and to a lesser extent XCOR and Virgin Galactic, survive this incursion from a well-funded NewSpace Cousin?(the youtube video via Clark Lindsey's youtube channel.) SpaceX has announced the company is developing the “Grasshopper,” a 100 foot-tall suborbital Falcon 9 first stage that SpaceX’s cadre of young, talented engineers will use to test this initial piece of the rF9. SpaceX has NOT announced any intention to commercialize the Grasshopper. But if Masten, XCOR, and Armadillo continue to delay bringing a product to market that can reach 100KM, and SpaceX continues to develop products in its typical rapid fashion, might customers ask to buy payload space on an upcoming Grasshopper test? Or would SpaceX be willing to sell Grasshoppers to operators who then provide a suborbital launch service to users using the Grasshopper all before Masten has reached 100KM? ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod