Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-3 : Cape Canaveral : Feb. 2019  (Read 15044 times)

Offline DOCinCT

I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?
Dragon cargo runs to ISS cost a lot more than a commercial launch.

Offline Jim

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"The requirements of reality"? That's just nonsense, any way you slice it. Unless you are seriously arguing that there is absolutely NO way to do what ULA does any cheaper, and not only are they operating on the absolute edge of what the laws of physics allows, they are also the most efficiently run organization on the planet. So no.

Wrong. It has nothing to do with the laws of physics.  It is the cost of dealing with the Air Force.

So yes.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-3? - Cape Canaveral - 2019
« Reply #22 on: 03/15/2017 04:02 PM »
I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?
Dragon cargo runs to ISS cost a lot more than a commercial launch.
Might sound pedantic: But those missions include the price of a spaceship and mission time of approx. 1 month instead of an hour.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Might sound pedantic: But those missions include the price of a spaceship and mission time of approx. 1 month instead of an hour.

Also, re-entry and return cargo.  Complex missions.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-3? - Cape Canaveral - 2019
« Reply #24 on: 03/15/2017 05:29 PM »
I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?
Dragon cargo runs to ISS cost a lot more than a commercial launch.
How do you know? There's no way to know how much is launch cost and how much is payload+mission. If you were doing apples-to-apples then tell me how much is a GTO mission including the satellite and LEOP cost. See? Not comparable.

Online LouScheffer

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"The requirements of reality"? That's just nonsense, any way you slice it. Unless you are seriously arguing that there is absolutely NO way to do what ULA does any cheaper, and not only are they operating on the absolute edge of what the laws of physics allows, they are also the most efficiently run organization on the planet. So no.
Wrong. It has nothing to do with the laws of physics.  It is the cost of dealing with the Air Force.
I agree that the cost of dealing with the Air Force will set a minimum cost. 

But how big is that, in dollars?   Let's guess that in addition to what a company needs to do for a commercial launch, they need an extra Air Force laison office.  Let's say that's 10 engineers, working from now until launch, at $200K per year loaded cost.   That's 2.5 years x $200K x 10 people = $5M of explicit expense.  Let's add to this a similar amount of time spent by existing engineers in mandated meetings, and another $5M for extra inspections, paperwork, and security.    That's a total of $15M.

While this is certainly not negligible, it does not imply that the minimum possible bid for a (money making) Air Force launch is $96M.   Something like minimum commercial cost + $15M seems more likely.  For SpaceX, this would mean a minimum bid of roughly $80M.   That's why I suspect the higher bid is more what the market will bear, and less necessity.

Offline Jim

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"The requirements of reality"? That's just nonsense, any way you slice it. Unless you are seriously arguing that there is absolutely NO way to do what ULA does any cheaper, and not only are they operating on the absolute edge of what the laws of physics allows, they are also the most efficiently run organization on the planet. So no.
Wrong. It has nothing to do with the laws of physics.  It is the cost of dealing with the Air Force.
I agree that the cost of dealing with the Air Force will set a minimum cost. 

But how big is that, in dollars?   Let's guess that in addition to what a company needs to do for a commercial launch, they need an extra Air Force laison office.  Let's say that's 10 engineers, working from now until launch, at $200K per year loaded cost.   That's 2.5 years x $200K x 10 people = $5M of explicit expense.  Let's add to this a similar amount of time spent by existing engineers in mandated meetings, and another $5M for extra inspections, paperwork, and security.    That's a total of $15M.

While this is certainly not negligible, it does not imply that the minimum possible bid for a (money making) Air Force launch is $96M.   Something like minimum commercial cost + $15M seems more likely.  For SpaceX, this would mean a minimum bid of roughly $80M.   That's why I suspect the higher bid is more what the market will bear, and less necessity.

Spacex has stated that it ranges from 20-40 million.  It is more people and more time and more meetings.

Offline Dante80

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Jim is correct. Here is Mr Musk himself on the subject at hand, under oath, in 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_azyt1JhI0?t=51m52s

I don't see any change in SpaceX pricing policies, and certainly not a "realigning with reality" issue here. SpaceX is simply charging roughly what they said they would.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 07:25 PM by Dante80 »

Offline Brovane

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-3? - Cape Canaveral - 2019
« Reply #28 on: 03/15/2017 07:53 PM »
I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?

From what I remember of the first GPS III Launch Contract award, SpaceX bid two prices with one higher than the other.  We didn't know which price the USAF selected.  I remember at the time there was some speculation that SpaceX bid two prices because it gave the USAF the option of doing either HI or VI since the GPS III Satellite uses a commercial bus that should support either method.(If I remember the discussion correctly at the time) 

Did we ever get confirmation that for the first GPS III Launch contract award to SpaceX included VI? 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online virnin

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Consensus in the GPS IIIA-2 thread was that it is planned for HI.  I think that is largely because SpaceX has not shown any moves towards building any infrastructure needed for VI (aside from not demolishing the FSS at 39A).

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33921.60
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 08:05 PM by virnin »

Offline Brovane

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"The requirements of reality"? That's just nonsense, any way you slice it. Unless you are seriously arguing that there is absolutely NO way to do what ULA does any cheaper, and not only are they operating on the absolute edge of what the laws of physics allows, they are also the most efficiently run organization on the planet. So no.
Wrong. It has nothing to do with the laws of physics.  It is the cost of dealing with the Air Force.
I agree that the cost of dealing with the Air Force will set a minimum cost. 

But how big is that, in dollars?   Let's guess that in addition to what a company needs to do for a commercial launch, they need an extra Air Force laison office.  Let's say that's 10 engineers, working from now until launch, at $200K per year loaded cost.   That's 2.5 years x $200K x 10 people = $5M of explicit expense.  Let's add to this a similar amount of time spent by existing engineers in mandated meetings, and another $5M for extra inspections, paperwork, and security.    That's a total of $15M.

While this is certainly not negligible, it does not imply that the minimum possible bid for a (money making) Air Force launch is $96M.   Something like minimum commercial cost + $15M seems more likely.  For SpaceX, this would mean a minimum bid of roughly $80M.   That's why I suspect the higher bid is more what the market will bear, and less necessity.

If you want an idea, go to rocketbuilder.com and select Full Spectrum for your service option and optional service of mission insight and that should give you an idea($20M).  It is interesting because ULA would charge about $130M for placing 3-tons to GTO-1800 which means if SpaceX can comfortably bid around $100M they should keep winning these contracts.  You add in the additional paperwork costs of dealing with government procurement and you can easily take on an additional 10%. 

"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline Brovane

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Consensus in the GPS IIIA-2 thread was that it is planned for HI.  I think that is largely because SpaceX has not shown any moves towards building any infrastructure needed for VI (aside from not demolishing the FSS at 39A).

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33921.60

So maybe the later flight is VI and that accounts for most of the difference in price.  It might have been that for the first one SpaceX also bid VI $96M but the USAF selected the lower price($82.7M) of doing HI.  Maybe since ULA didn't bid, they had more freedom to select either option(Speculation on my part). 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline Mike Jones

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Nice fat indirect subvention from US government, which SpaceX will
continue to use to offer cheap rides to SES, Spanish government and so on... what about taxpayers' money ?
« Last Edit: 03/15/2017 08:53 PM by Mike Jones »

Online stcks

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Nice fat indirect subvention from US government, which SpaceX will
continue to use to offer cheap rides to SES, Spanish government and so on... what about taxpayers' money ?

So are you saying then that the US government should pay even less for SpaceX launches?

Offline Hauerg

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What? SpaceX is SAVING the gov money.
Ever heard about that thing market value?
If you want to complain adress ULAs pricing.
Thank you.

Offline mme

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Nice fat indirect subvention from US government, which SpaceX will
continue to use to offer cheap rides to SES, Spanish government and so on... what about taxpayers' money ?

1. USG launches cost more in part because they require more effort.
2. SpaceX is a for profit company, not a charity.
3. Every mission with every customer is negotiated based on the requirements of both parties.
4. By using a competitive bid the USG saved 10s of millions of dollars.

Sounds like a win-win to me.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline russianhalo117

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Consensus in the GPS IIIA-2 thread was that it is planned for HI.  I think that is largely because SpaceX has not shown any moves towards building any infrastructure needed for VI (aside from not demolishing the FSS at 39A).

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33921.60

So maybe the later flight is VI and that accounts for most of the difference in price.  It might have been that for the first one SpaceX also bid VI $96M but the USAF selected the lower price($82.7M) of doing HI.  Maybe since ULA didn't bid, they had more freedom to select either option(Speculation on my part). 
no reason for VI since the A2100M bus being used supports both HI and VI

Offline Jim

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no reason for VI since the A2100M bus being used supports both HI and VI
There are A2100M spacecraft that can't do HI.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2017 02:04 AM by Jim »

Offline russianhalo117

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no reason for VI since the A2100M bus being used supports both HI and VI
There are A2100M spacecraft that can't do HI.
yes there are but im making general statement.

Offline M.E.T.

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If SpaceX can win the bid at $96m, why would they quote less, even if they could do it cheaper?


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