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posted by n1 on Monday April 10 2017, @10:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-goes-up dept.

http://www.satnews.com/story.php?number=1047896505

The US Air Force is open to buying rides on previously flown SpaceX rockets to put military satellites into orbit, a move expected to cut launch costs for the Pentagon, the head of the Air Force Space Command said on Thursday. [...] "I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster," General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the USSpace Symposium in Colorado Springs. "They've proven they can do it. ... It's going to get us to lower cost."

SpaceX has so far won three launch contracts to fly military and national security satellites - business previously awarded exclusively to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. All those flights will take place on new Falcon 9 rockets.


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 10 2017, @11:58PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday April 10 2017, @11:58PM (#492028) Journal

    If you mean slightly extra, but still less overall than what is paid today, then maybe.

    That satellite customer of SpaceX's reportedly got around a 10% discount, and that is expected to increase to 30%, and maybe a lot more in the future..

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @12:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11 2017, @12:13PM (#492227)

    The prediction was that this is not just about cost, it's about launch success odds.
    Right now folks have to be paid extra to fly on a used booster.
    I predict that will be shown to be backwards.

    The cost model I was thinking about was:

    B = cost to launch a one use booster
    B/10 = cost to launch with a reusable booster
    B/8 = cost to use a reusable rooster in it's most likely success range (tested, but not worn out)

    Over time, the success records are going to make folks prefer to use a slightly used booster.
    The point is we are talking about a service that ULA can't provide even at their old school cost.
    The younger (not ready for retirement) folks at ULA need to get with the program while they still have the opportunity.