# How long does it take to build a Falcon 9 Rocket?

This came up while discussing the recent Falcon 9 failure with a friend. She posed the question:

How long does it take SpaceX to construct a new Falcon 9?

For the sake of the question, presume:

• No new engineering designs/equipment to be developed
• No new launch facilities
• Time from request for creation to ready to launch

If possible, please also give clarification on time subtracted for Salvaged/Backstocked parts (ie: recovered stages, engines made en mass previously, etc) and how long those parts would take to construct.

Publicly SpaceX officials have verbally said that they are aiming to build at a rate of 40 cores (First Stages) a year. As of just before the CRS-7 mission they said they were at a 20/year rate.

52/40= 1.3 weeks/core for their desired optimum rate. 52/20= 2.6 weeks/core for their current state.

They were aiming for 12-13 launches (one being a Falcon Heavy, so two more cores) thus 14-15 cores to be used in 2015. This will not likely happen due the CRS-7 loss of mission.

They build the upper stage at a somewhat slower rate, since their stated desire is a mix of 10 Falcon 9 and 10 Falcon Heavy boosters a year to get to 40 cores, which only requires 20 upper stages.

• Why build 40 reusable cores per year? Would they load them with sand from the Boca Chica Beach, or what? Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:10
• That is an interesting different question. If they seriously believe they need to hit 40 cores per year, are they doubting reuse? If they can reuse them, at 40 core/year that is a crap load of flights they are planning for at 10 flights/core. 400 core flights/year? THAT is extreme. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:05
• Please note that you are answering a different question than the one the OP asked. Production rate != time from keel to christening Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:13
• @DeerHunter An interesting point. The more I think about it, the less I see the distinction. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:26
• @geoffc - how many production lines/streams are there at SpaceX? That's the key item to convert your numbers into those requested by the OP. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:43