Author Topic: How much is spent on orbital launcher & crewed spacecraft development worldwide?  (Read 2133 times)

Offline TakeOff

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How would you estimate the amount of money, governmental and private, being spent on developing orbital launchers and crewed spacecrafts in the entire world this year or last?


Excluded would be among other things the ISS, ICBMs and currently flying launchers, except for development of new versions of them.



« Last Edit: 05/14/2017 09:50 AM by TakeOff »

Offline edkyle99

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How would you estimate the amount of money, governmental and private, being spent on developing orbital launchers and crewed spacecrafts in the entire world this year or last?


Excluded would be among other things the ISS, ICBMs and currently flying launchers, except for development of new versions of them.
First, we need to make a list of such developments.  Then, we need to dig for anything published about money.

Here is one.  Orbital ATK's Next Generation Launch (NGL) system.  The company reported that it and the U.S. Air Force together have spent $200 million so far, most of it during the past 18 months.
https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/NGL/docs/BR17001_3862%20NGL_Final%20and%20Approved.pdf

Other launch systems under development, off the top of my head, include the following.

Ariane 6 (>$3 billion effort spanning 4 years) [1]
Falcon Heavy
Vulcan ($335 million ULA +USAF just for BE-4, Bruno expects $2 billion total)[3]
LauncherOne
Electron
Space Launch System (more than $2 billion per year right now for the rocket)
H-3
LVM3

[1] http://spacenews.com/esa-inks-3-8-billion-in-contracts-for-ariane-6-vega-c-and-spaceport-upgrades/
[3] http://spacenews.com/ulas-parent-companies-still-support-vulcan-with-caution/

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/14/2017 03:10 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline envy887

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Start with Wikipedia, of course.

There's a fairly through list of launch vehicles under development at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_launch_systems

These include:
Angara v1.2
Ariane 6 A62 & A64
Cyclone-4M
Electron
Eris
Falcon Heavy (I'd add Falcon 9 Block 5 as under development)
H-3
SpaceX ITS
KSLV-2
Long March 8
Long March 9
Naga-L
GSLV Mk.III
New Glenn
Proton Light & Medium
Simorgh
SLS Block 1 & 1B
Tronador II
ULV
Vector-R
Vulcan
Vulcan Heavy

For orbital crewed vehicles try:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_manned_space_vehicles

Biconic Space Vehicle (Blue Origin)
CST-100
Dream Chaser
Federatsiya
Orion
Dragon 2
ITS crewed spaceship.

Launch vehicle development cost is dominated by propulsion, so check out the orbital engines under development in this article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_orbital_rocket_engines

There is some cost info on the individual wiki pages for most of the LVs, SC, and engines, and further googling should pull up some more. You might only be able to find total amounts (or only rough estimates), instead of yearly costing. You could divide the total cost by the program development time to get a rough cost/year.

If there's any costs for a specific vehicle that you can't run down, try posting it here to see what people know. But first see what a little digging can uncover.

Offline edkyle99

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Some of those listed are more "under development" than others.  ITS, for example, is still in an early stage of study, really, while Falcon Heavy is much more real, parts of the first flight vehicle having already been test fired.  Vulcan Heavy is a concept, while single-core Vulcan Centaur is a real effort right now.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/15/2017 08:32 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline envy887

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Agreed, but for the OP question the dev status isn't important, only the money spent.   Any program with active dev spending counts.

Offline TakeOff

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Great list of RnD projects, envy997!

Budgets in China, Russia and India, and for SpaceX too for that matter, look ridiculously small compared to what NASA spends on SLS and Orion. Russia doesn't seem to get anywhere beyond talking, so they can be discounted. So, NASA spends almost $4 billion a year on SLS/Orion now. Does the rest of the world's all launcher development budgets add up to as much taken together?

Offline Jim

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Great list of RnD projects, envy997!

Budgets in China, Russia and India, and for SpaceX too for that matter, look ridiculously small compared to what NASA spends on SLS and Orion. Russia doesn't seem to get anywhere beyond talking, so they can be discounted. So, NASA spends almost $4 billion a year on SLS/Orion now. Does the rest of the world's all launcher development budgets add up to as much taken together?

The rest of the world's total space spending doesn't even add up to NASA's budget

Offline JH

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The rest of the world's total space spending doesn't even add up to NASA's budget

This is true if you're only counting international civil spending. It is not if you include military spending.
« Last Edit: 05/26/2017 10:10 AM by JH »

Offline envy887

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How many militaries are developing orbital launchers? I guess you would have to assess how ICBM development crosses over with orbital LV development...

Offline JH

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I was specifically referring to military space spending.

Offline envy887

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I was specifically referring to military space spending.
Which is only relevant to this thread if it's spent in developing orbital launchers or crewed spacecraft. In other words, comparable to SLS and Orion.

AIUI most military space spending is on unmanned payloads, not orbital launchers and certainly not on crewed spacecraft.

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