Questions tagged [cost-to-orbit]

Questions regarding the amount of money required to send a mass into Earth orbit.

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What happened to the Atlantis Project?

I recently saw Isaac Arthur video part of the upward bound serious about tether rings. There he mentioned a project known as the Atlantis project which is trying to get a tethered ring built in real ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
220 views

How do space launch providers calculate how many millipeople a rocket launch could kill?

I was intrigued by this post which states... To get a license you have to show that your launch will kill no more than ~1 milliperson, which usually means not flying close to population centers. I ...
phil1008's user avatar
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Does it economically cost the same to launch a satellite into LEO and GTO?

I was doing some research about how much $/kg it costs to launch a satellite into GEO. I came across several sources that lists info for LEO: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/cost-space-launches-low-...
Yi Qiang Ji's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
426 views

Could Starship lift mass to orbit (both low and geo-stationary) cheaper than a skyhook?

In response to this question which appears to ask only about space elevators and not skyhooks, would Starship's cost per kilogram to LE or Geo-stationary orbits be lower than a skyhook's? I ask only ...
user121330's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
4k views

Would Starship be able to lift mass to orbit (both low and geo-stationary) cheaper than "any" space elevator?

A comment to an answer to a question about Mars missions stated that using Starship to launch mass to orbit would be cheaper than a space elevator. I didn't imagine that. I know that space elevators ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
279 views

Why aren't more companies manufacturing the RS-25 (Space Shuttle Main Engine)?

The RS-25 is a great engine with a terrific ISP. It was used 42 years ago (on April 12th 1981) for the first Space Shuttle flight; therefore, the most of the patents on it must have expired long ago. ...
phil1008's user avatar
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What figure-of-merit (FoM) is used to characterize the performance of a launch system's reentry-and-landing system?

I'd like to make a table that compares the performance of different launch systems such as The Space Shuttle, Falcon 9 plus Crew Dragon, and Starship. Engine ISP and thrust-to-weight ratio would be ...
phil1008's user avatar
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What conferences have technical sessions that cover credible and transformative alternatives to chemical-rocket-based launch?

Constraints Some examples of such technologies are described on Wikipedia's Non-Rocket Spacelaunch page. But, to clarify a bit further... I found list of such technologies in Figure 2.1 of a document ...
phil1008's user avatar
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4 votes
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Cost and quantity of space mission in 2020s vs 1980s?

Today we have 50 times as many satellites in orbit as in the 1980s and the price of space equipment has come down; however, we have a thousand times fewer satellites orbiting far away space bodies ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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Why was the Saturn V several times as expensive as falcon heavy despite only having twice its payload?

Saturn V could lift 140 tons to low earth orbit, Falcon Heavy can lift 64 (expendable configuration). But Saturn V cost several times more per launch. Why?
A. N Asker's user avatar
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Why is so much money spent on launching government communications satellites?

A lot of money is spent on launching government communications satellites that aren’t useful to the public. What is the use for these satellites and why are they considered important enough to use ...
A. N Asker's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
305 views

How did the cost of delivery of cargo into orbit change with technology maturation?

I had an argument with my friend recently about the effect of technology maturation on spaceflight cost. In the process, I managed to find this infographic: Image source The trend for cost reduction ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
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Cost breakdown of launch companies

One thing which I recently heard Peter Beck say in an interview with Tim Dodd was that the cost of running a launch company isn't primarily driven by the rocket itself, but the operations required to ...
hopper19's user avatar
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How much of the world's xenon has been used in spaceflight altogether? Is it a lot? Did it cost a lot?

This answer to Why will Starlink satellites use krypton instead of xenon for electric propulsion? says: I expect they did the math, and found that overall cost was less, even with reduced thrust/watt ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3k views

Has there ever been a completely solid fuelled orbital rocket? [duplicate]

Engines and fuel management are very expensive to develop, and for smaller launch providers and space agencies this could prevent them from entering the market. My question is, would the cost savings ...
R. Hall's user avatar
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3 answers
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How much does smallsat launch to LEO cost?

In early 2021, SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and Virgin Orbit list prices as follows: ...
user39677's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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How much easier is it, to explore space from a low orbit satellite, than from Earth?

Note: in this question I'm considering cost in both money and fuel terms, and looking for answers that consider both. So we know that using chemical rockets to reach the moon, or further into space, ...
Stilez's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Rocket fuel cost to launch 1 kg to orbit

I have 2 questions about the cost of liquid rocket fuel to launch (anything) to LEO orbit. Let's assume we use fuels used in commercial spaceflight today (probably LOX+LH2 or LOX+RP-1 etc.). What is ...
Kozuch's user avatar
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3 votes
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1k views

How much more cost efficent are SRB's over the main engine?

Why use SRBs instead of a simpler rocket design that dispenses with SRB's and instead has a bigger main engine? The Saturn V escaped earth's gravity just fine without boosters. Since then though SRBs ...
Bohemian's user avatar
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What percentage of a satellite's total budget goes into its launch?

Been trying to do some personal market analysis of the space market, and realized that there doesn't seem to be any kind of statistic or average regarding how much percentage the launch of a satellite ...
jos's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why L1 for sun-shading solutions to global warming?

It's been proposed to put optical elements in space to reduce sunlight coming to the earth: Realistic cost and feasibility of sun-shading? That question states that the studies have all hypothesized ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
322 views

Is vertical assembly worth the cost (Ariane 6)

Very recently, ESA released a new video showing the proposed Ariane 6 rocket being assembled. This mostly takes place in a large 'moveable gantry' building where the payload is placed on top of the ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
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5 votes
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Realistic cost and feasibility of sun-shading?

I got in a discussion about possible solutions for climate change and this Wiki-article on sun-shading was proposed as a alternate solution with some ideas I'd not heard of. The cloud of small ...
userLTK's user avatar
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7 votes
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3k views

Cheapest rocket to go to space?

Have you ever heard of the old movie Salvage? The TV movie, “Salvage,” aired on January 20, 1979. The film begins with Harry successfully bidding for a vintage bi-plane and then reselling it in pieces ...
AndrewMaxwellRockets's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
116 views

ISS reboost cost

The most updated data available at spaceflight.nasa.gov show that on day 361 there was a reboost: IMPULSIVE TIG (GMT) M50 DVx(FPS) LVLH DVx(FPS) DVmag(FPS) IMPULSIVE TIG (MET) M50 DVy(...
Cristiano's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
10k views

How much does a cordless screwdriver for space cost?

I wonder how much a cordless space screwdriver costs and what its mass would be? I guess it would be a lithium-ion screwdriver, like on Earth, but would it have other specifications? Does anybody ...
Peter's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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How will the BE-4 engine "Save taxpayer money"?

In this explanation of the Blue Origin BE-4 engine, the text says: LOWEST COST Blue Origin’s BE-4 requires NO taxpayer dollars. Fully funded The BE-4 is fully paid for by the private ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
5k views

What are the advantages of Delta IV over Atlas V

I have read many times that the Delta IV is more expensive to launch than the Atlas V. Outside of the Delta IV Heavy configuration, which is in a class by itself for certain payloads and missions, are ...
orulz's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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How do launch and stationkeeping fuel costs vary with altitude?

I'm not a physicist or an engineer, so my apologies if I messed up any technical details. I've looked through the SE and found a few questions that touch on this issue (this one gets at the benefits ...
penGuinKeeper's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
300 views

How do ICBMs compare to civilian rockets in terms of $/kg to orbit?

In one hand, ICBMs used fancy, dangerous, poisonous chemicals as propellant. That must be more expensive as fuel, and might necessitate more expensive infrastructure than liquid hydrogen or kerosene. ...
SF.'s user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
164 views

What would be the incremental cost of launching 1 ton of LOX/LH2 into LEO? [duplicate]

I am asking this question in a context of feasability of orbital fuel depots. I understand that cost/kg estimates exist (2-14 k$/kg): What is the current cost-per-pound to send something into LEO? ]),...
Tatane's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
783 views

Is there any possible way to reduce the cost of a manned mission to the Moon?

Say for instance if we were to build a base on the Moon, how could we possibly reduce the cost to send the parts and materials into space and off to the Moon.
Chris's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

NASA cost estimating and Falcon 9

I have found this interesting report Commercial Market Assessment for Crew and Cargo Systems Pursuant to Section 403 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267), published in April 2011. In ...
Puffin's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Roughly what percentage (by cost) of a Rocket Launch does stage 1 of the Falcon 9 Rocket represent? [duplicate]

As of a short time ago, SpaceX made history as the first entity *ever* to successfully re-land the initial stage of an orbital rocket. Up until this point, the dominating factor in the cost of Rocket ...
Kaz's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
456 views

Spatial solar panels area density through history [closed]

When working on a project, it is often useful to predict what will happen in the future, 5 or 10 years from now. Past data is needed in order to extrapolate them and make accurate predictions. How can ...
Magix's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
568 views

What is the time breakdown for getting a rocket like the Falcon 9 or Atlas 5 ready for launch?

I've been looking everywhere for the detailed drivers for why it costs so much to launch cargo of any kind into LEO. From all the people I've talked with and the research through google, labor for ...
user11377's user avatar
  • 1,022
5 votes
1 answer
897 views

What is the cycle life of the Merlin 1D?

I was doing some back of the envelope calculations to see improvements SpaceX would have to make to reach a cost target of $100/kg into orbit. After doing some basic calculations, it seems that SpaceX ...
user11377's user avatar
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35 votes
7 answers
12k views

Why didn't NASA use the shuttle to make a profit?

My understanding is the shuttle was designed as cost-effective workhorse, a space-van to ferry cargo up to the ISS, conduct zero-G experiments and put satellites into orbit. So why didn't NASA take ...
JayTarka's user avatar
  • 453
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are we capable (engineering-wise) of building a spacecraft in space?

Rockets are expensive. And for the most part, one-time-use-only. SSTO promises to change that. However, SSTOs will have limited payload capacity (as will every launch vehicle), and eventually ...
IT Bear's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
509 views

Is access to space becoming more affordable?

Although many people have been disheartened by the lack of large scale space exploration endeavours since the Apollo program, I was wondering if there has been an appreciable decrease in the cost-per-...
InquisitiveInquirer's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
7k views

Price per kg of cargo delivery to ISS

The nice wikipedia comparison table of space station cargo vehicles doesn't provide any hints on the price per kilogram for the cargo delivery to the ISS. As it is usual with price per kilogram ...
user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
37k views

What is the current cost per kg to send something into GSO/GEO?

I was reading this article and thought it was reasonably cheap, probably because I mistook LEO for GEO. What is the going rate to get something into GeoStationary Orbit and Geosynchronous Equatorial ...
Coomie's user avatar
  • 2,907
12 votes
2 answers
667 views

Payload mass scale economy

What is the "payload mass" curve in relation to "cost to orbit?" I mean: preparing a whole launch system for delivering a single cubesat to LEO would be an overkill, the cost to bring such a small ...
SF.'s user avatar
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