SpaceX and the cost-effectiveness argument of “reusable” rockets

Many people have been writing, commenting, blogging and posting for weeks now about the upcoming launch of a commercial SATCOM satellite on a previously flown downstage of a Falcon 9. The excitement is building and that is understandable. I for one am interested to see how it goes for them.

The real thing I am looking forward to seeing, wont be visible even if the liftoff and flight goes well. I am interested in the business model and whether or not it will really be cheaper in the long run as promised and advocated by SpaceX and its supporters. If it is, that will be quite the accomplishment, if not…many of the so-called naysayers will have another bit of evidence in their toolkit for policy debates and strategic discussions in government and private sectors.

This information will not come quickly and may take several years to get comparable data to expendable launches of similar class, but…its the main thing that will make or break the whole SpaceX vision-or at least make it cost much more than advertised. Good luck! Lets see how it goes.


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