Questions tagged [economics]

Questions regarding cost and funding. Please note that this questions may be hard to answer, or opinion based.

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11
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1answer
456 views

Documented economics of STS Solid Rocket Booster reuse?

I often see the claim that the Shuttle SRBs cost as much to recover & refurb as it would to build a new one. I've probably even parroted this claim myself. But, are there any actual studies or ...
6
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1answer
418 views

What Platinum minerals are expected to be found in Asteroids?

High quantities and values have been claimed for the Platinum and other high value metals in Asteroids - prompting (or perhaps in order to prompt) interest in mining them. Is this high value metal ...
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2answers
3k views

Would NASA be financially self-sufficient if it could keep all revenues from patents?

I am wondering if NASA could be financially self-sufficient if they kept all revenues from patents of technologies they have developed since the Apollo program. To answer this, I would like to ...
4
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1answer
338 views

How much would it cost to replace the ISS if we started the effort in 2018?

To the extent that the numbers can be untangled, how was the cost of the ISS distributed in categories such as launch, hardware, and R&D? Since the retirement of the ISS is in the offing, I'm ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Why is BFR replacing the Falcon 9?

Not every payload (or even batch of payloads) needs super-heavy launch capacity, but that seems to be what SpaceX is doing. https://www.space.com/38323-spacex-phasing-out-rockets-for-mars-bfr-...
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7answers
5k views

Would reusable rockets render the idea of space elevators useless? [closed]

With the expected advances in reusable rocket technology within the next decade, will constructing a space elevator become meaningless? Or will it still be way cheaper, safer and convenient to use ...
-2
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2answers
533 views

If the Moon were solid gold, how far away would it have to be to not be economical to mine it?

Space is pretty expensive to get to, and there's a shocking lack of things in it. A planet made of gold sounds like a treasure worth the trip! How far would such a thing have to be away from Earth in ...
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5answers
279 views

Theoretical Asteroid Composition and the economy

This is a question that I sort of view as an intersection between economics/science/space, completely hypothetical in nature, so I'm not sure if this is the right forum for it but, here goes: I read ...
2
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1answer
317 views

Why does NASA and other space agencies seem to rarely if ever complain over the state of the budget?

The question is why and how the politics plays into this. Why does NASA and other space agencies usually not (if ever) complain about their minuscule budgets? I can only assume that doing so would be ...
6
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1answer
125 views

What are the economics of upgrading versus refueling satellites?

It is sometimes suggested that fuel produced on the Moon or on asteroids could be launched more cheaply to dock with and refuel for example communication satellites in GEO to extend their operating ...
5
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3answers
495 views

What is the correlation between the cost of a satellite and its lifetime?

One of the answers to this question is generating some discussion about the cost and lifetime of a satellite. The question is, will a satellite become cheaper when you can design it for a shorter ...
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2answers
4k views

Who provides the insurance for SpaceX launches?

With the recovery of the first stage on their most recent launch, I was excited and congratulatory, of course. Then my thoughts went forward to the re-use of this launch vehicle. It would seem that ...
2
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1answer
221 views

Manufacturing Earth satellites on Mars

Many people say that a Mars colony is economically unsustainable as goods from Earth will be considerably cheaper for the foreseeable future and Mars won't have anything to trade in return. This got ...
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3answers
356 views

How long are the wait queues for commercial payloads?

Let's say I won the jackpot on the lottery and want to finally launch the satellite I've been building in my garage for past few years and just finished yesterday. How long would it take between me ...
14
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2answers
3k views

Who pays when a mission to the ISS fails?

Now that we know the results of the latest spaceX launch (ka-boom), who (directly, and economically) pays for that rocket? NASA and spaceX have a contract for a fixed number of launches, does it ...
8
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3answers
977 views

Are ICBMs and orbital launchers similar enough to be co-developed today?

Russia has two types of hypergolic liquid fuel ICBMs deployed, UR-100N and R-36M2 Vojewoda and they are working on the big Sarmat. There's in this category also the Chinese DF-A5. (A list of ICBMs ...
4
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1answer
295 views

What are the actual economics for the ULA reusability plan?

From this article, I gather that ULA is trying to build reusability into their next generation of launch vehicles. Their plan is summed up nicely in the picture: In the article, they seem to do some ...
3
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0answers
71 views

What sectors spend how much on space launches?

How is the money which is spent on space flight, in terms of launch costs, distributed between different purposes? I suppose that it would be unwieldy to consider the money spent on the development ...
7
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2answers
576 views

Why isn't Project Orion the new space race?

With a huge robust ship you could go get an ice-teroid. With effectively unlimited reaction mass, finely balanced trajectories become unnecessary and launch windows a thing of the past. A pulsed ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Cost breakdown of Delta IV Heavy launch

It seems that launching rockets to orbit is already pretty mature technology. Yet, costs of payload delivered are very high (around 50,000 USD/kg for GEO, around 4,000 USD/kg for LEO). I wonder what ...
11
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1answer
648 views

Could Orion capsules be reused?

While watching this video animation of Orion EFT-1, a question occurred to me. Previous capsules (Apollo, Gemini, Mercury) were used once and then relegated to museums (apart from a few test flight ...
6
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1answer
751 views

What are the benefits of saying a commercial space development program is funded privately?

I'm just curious why this is important to SpaceX. The reusable launch system that SpaceX is developing was supposedly not funded by any of NASA's contract. What benefits would this give to SpaceX? ...
9
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3answers
313 views

What causes the costs of operating an existing planetary mission?

I read on the Planetery Society blog that it costs USD 25 million this year to maintain the Opportunity rover on Mars and the LRO Lunar orbiter. I would like to see a break down of those budgets. I ...
8
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1answer
299 views

Does a persons weight effect their potential selection to be an astronaut?

Every extra bit of weight cost extra to send to orbit. Presumably it also impacts the possible payload. Assuming a generally healthy build, and otherwise physically able and fit person. In ...
9
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1answer
6k 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 ...
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2answers
558 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 ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What portion of SpaceX's revenue comes from private sources?

SpaceX is often called a "commercial" company and participates in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. In SpaceX's early days, all of SpaceX's revenue came from non-government sources. But today, SpaceX ...