And it begins….post landing jabs

SpaceNews reporting some back and forth between Blue Origin and SpaceX.



One thought on “And it begins….post landing jabs

  1. Kudos to the SpaceX team for achieving a very difficult goal. This calls for celebration because we will now start collecting “truth data” on the economics of re-usability. Whether this is a milestone in reducing launch costs or an expensive circus act remains to be seen.

    Remember, the Space Shuttle was supposed to reduce launch costs, but instead it proved to be far more expensive per mission than using expendables. We often assume this was due to government mismanagement and hyper risk sensitivity following two fatal missions. Only time will tell if the SpaceX commercial approach will be any better. I suspect it will, but lets hold judgement until we collect ample data to verify this.

    Let’s keep in mind that the initial price of a reusable stage is significantly higher than an expendable. Next the price of the act of recovery and all the support systems and personnel required to do that must be added. Then you have the refurbishment cost, not to mention the time to do so, which also costs money. Finally, you have to factor in the inspections and flight worthiness requirements that will be levied not only by government, but by finance and insurance interests as well. That’s a lot! How many times must a reusable stage be used to hit the break even point?

    SpaceX is looking at this kind of formula: The total cost of the first stage over its lifetime, multiplied by the price charged per flight, multiplied by the number of times it flies.

    If SpaceX can knock even a couple million dollars off any launch cost, while keeping their reliability high, then I suspect it will be a win-win-win for SpaceX, their customers, and all spacefaring enterprises.



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