Author Topic: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?  (Read 43496 times)

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #40 on: 11/27/2017 09:07 PM »
Evaluations are complex. They encompass both the predicted revenue total over a significant period of time like 10 years plus the profit margins that would occur on those revenues.

Current evaluation of $21B is all about the launch business and the ~20% profit margin from such. But Starlink could  bump the revenue from the ~$1.5B/year into at least the $3B/year range. But the profit margin on comm sats industry is as high as 50% (see SES revenue and profit data). This could bloom the corporate value to above $50B once Starlink starts operating and shows a healthy increasing subscriber numbers. But we are going to have to wait and see how successful Starlink will become since it is dependent on a very wide and large customer base acceptance.

It all hinges on costs of deployment and operation with the acceptable prices for a large enough customer base to generate a large enough revenue to cover the large fixed costs of deployment and operation. Profits could be small <10% margin to very large >75% margin.

Believe the $21B valuation was post-Google/Fidelity investment which considered the potential of a constellation adding to revenue.  Launch services only valuation should be closer to the floor value of $5B quoted in the article or the $10B valuation just prior to the above funding.  This latest valuation considers the significantly increased scope of the constellation (I think) as well as the benefits of lowered cost deployment of the spacecraft due to progress with reusability. 

No one can be certain of the success (or failure) in SpaceX executing on such a huge rebuilding of the internet and wideband communications, so the upper numbers indicate upside potential, and the lowest number indicates that this is anything but a sure thing... basically a roll of the dice at this point.  Anyway, since stock is not public, this is mostly a thought experiment.
... except to those doing the investment of 100s of millions $.

Offline calapine

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 217
  • Linz, Austria
  • Liked: 177
  • Likes Given: 129
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #41 on: 11/27/2017 09:46 PM »
This might fit in here:

Quote
(Reuters) - Elon Musk-led SpaceX has raised $100 million by selling shares, in an extension to a financing round earlier this year that raised up to $350 million, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spacex-financing/rocket-maker-spacex-raises-another-100-million-idUSKBN1DR2PV

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6831
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 6719
  • Likes Given: 2086
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #42 on: 11/27/2017 10:48 PM »
This might fit in here:

Quote
(Reuters) - Elon Musk-led SpaceX has raised $100 million by selling shares, in an extension to a financing round earlier this year that raised up to $350 million, a regulatory filing showed on Monday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spacex-financing/rocket-maker-spacex-raises-another-100-million-idUSKBN1DR2PV

SEC filing attached (via Axios). No info on the source of the additional $100M.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #43 on: 11/29/2017 04:13 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

Online guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6791
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1809
  • Likes Given: 1841
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #44 on: 11/29/2017 04:24 PM »
If I remember correctly, cost for Boca Chica launch site was initially estimated at $85million. Estimates since have risen to ~$100 million. That includes the control center and payload processing facilities. Assuming the plan now includes the new type TEL it may be some more than that now. Numbers were in articles of the local press in Brownsville.

Offline Krankenhausen

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
  • Netherlands
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #45 on: 11/29/2017 04:43 PM »
I was thinking about the constellation lately and it struck me that this could be huge in finance as well. It would mean that many devices always have access to the internet, even during disasters. And if an EV survives, it can charge a phone for 1000's of hours.

If Starlink is cheap enough, that'd mean that digital payment would become even more reliable than cash!

Offline AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6249
  • Liked: 4104
  • Likes Given: 5619
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #46 on: 11/29/2017 05:00 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

Thanks for this.
I'd anticipate another round of funding ($1B-$2B?) about the time the sats are proven and full-scale production begins... this would be end of next year or so.  Just as getting Tesla Model 3 full production has been a huge cash sink, satellite production will be too, and a cash cushion will be needed to keep roll-out on schedule.  Having to get 800 sats launched before operational could take 2-3 years, so 2021-2022, before that revenue stream established.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online philw1776

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1109
  • Seacoast NH
  • Liked: 761
  • Likes Given: 323
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #47 on: 11/29/2017 07:38 PM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #48 on: 11/29/2017 09:03 PM »

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.
Maybe as the operator but probably not as the hardware manufacturer. Plus it would be a solely owend subsidiary if anything such that all profits are passed up to SpaceX for SpaceX's use. Otherwise it would add complexity added costs and other items that does not add anything to the venture.

Offline AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6249
  • Liked: 4104
  • Likes Given: 5619
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #49 on: 11/29/2017 09:59 PM »

I THINK Musk may spin off a separate Starlink company that manufactures, launches and perhaps operates satellites.  Sell shares to his VC and corporate buddies but still stay private.  He won't be as concerned about maintaining voting control as it does not affect the Mars goal.
I believe he could raise plenty to fund the building and launching of Starlink.  Starlink corp would buy F9, BFR satellite launches as a bulk discount price, still profitable to SpaceX.  Cash flow problem solved, assuming SpaceX performs.

He needs short term cash to build/launch Starlink, but needs long term cash flow to see Mars venture through.  Mars is a decades long (40-100 year) development effort.  Gonna need buckets of cash from here to... ...forever.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #50 on: 12/09/2017 06:56 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

Online groundbound

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 220
  • Liked: 186
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #51 on: 12/09/2017 07:31 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

The other question that springs to my mind is if the market would be better served by having dedicated satellites for hosting. Make them as similar to the Starlink sats as possible: common bus, common dispenser interface, etc. The reasons for doing this might be more business model based than technical. You could also potentially configure them with a higher initial fuel load to reach a wider range of orbits even if launched from a dispenser full of normal starling sats.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #52 on: 12/09/2017 08:49 PM »
Cross post from other Starlink thread to be able to discuss the market potential for hosted payloads on Starlink.

While hosted payloads could be a future source of income, you may want to recall Iridium specifically designed their sats to host other payloads and then had a lot of trouble selling the space, they ended up basically setting up a subsidiary to own a bunch of them.
The question is what was the lease price for the hosted payload? It is all about the lease price. It has to be cheap or you will have almost entirely empty spaces. The prices must be less than the costs of current average launch costs for cubesats. If you cannot offer these builders a cheaper alternative then you will not sell/rent spaces.

Added:
Iridium allocated 210kg for hosted payloads 1/3 of the total sat weight. This is almost as much as the Starlink proposed 1st generation sat of 380kg. Trying to sell such large space is not likely to find a lot of customers. That is because the number of customers out there are geometrically inverse related to size as is the totals of numbers and weight of all the possible hosted payloads based on their size is inversely related. So if you go after the small hosted payloads you will likely get a higher fill rate than if you go after larger ones and so probably even make more income.

In the possible near term <10 years market offering large hosted payload space is not likely to result in good results.

The questions are:
What is the size of the market for hosted payloads keyed to the sizes of the hosted payloads?
What are the prices that customers are willing to pay for hosted payloads?
What are the sizes needed for certain sensor types?

The basic item is that a comm sat is a logical host for hosted payloads in that it offers significant data communications support as naturally part of the capability of the sat. Therefor able to sell a significant data rate (Iridium Prime hosted payload support is 1Mb/s to 20Mb/s). Starlink's could be easily up to 1Gb/s. To give an example how much data 1Mb/s represents a UHD camera running at 1/15th frame rate produces a 1Mb/s data stream. So a full rate or even over clocked frame rate 60 frames /second UHD cammera would only be a 30Mb/s data stream.

So what would the business case for Starlink to have hosted payloads look like?
How much income would be likely to be garnered from such?

The other question that springs to my mind is if the market would be better served by having dedicated satellites for hosting. Make them as similar to the Starlink sats as possible: common bus, common dispenser interface, etc. The reasons for doing this might be more business model based than technical. You could also potentially configure them with a higher initial fuel load to reach a wider range of orbits even if launched from a dispenser full of normal starling sats.
The key selling point for selling/leasing hosted payload space is the easy access connection in being part of the large data network provided by the comm constellation. Any custom sats would still have to be a comm sat and part of the constellation even if they are in non-normal different orbits and have no downlink/uplink but only the sat to sat crosslinks. Without the uplink/downlink phased array there would be a capability to house a SAR or a large aperture telescope. But these two examples are both large hosted payloads and are not likely to number very many probably less than a 100 total. Basically what you are suggesting is not hosted payloads but custom sats that are linked into the network.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #53 on: 12/10/2017 09:33 PM »
This is probably the starting point for the hosted payload market evaluation.

http://spaceworksforecast.com/docs/SpaceWorks_Nano_Microsatellite_Market_Forecast_2017.pdf

The time frames and the sats sizes and numbers 1-50kg sizes and 200-300 per year make the these size as hosted payloads the market to chase. The larger size hosted payloads would be likely an order of magnitude less in quantity for only a 4X increase in size. So the likelihood is that the potential of revenue for the 1-50kg hosted payload size would bring in more revenue than a larger hosted payload size as much as 2.5X more for the same available space and weight.

The notice is that a hosted payload space capability of no more than 40kg is enough for most Earth observation single instrument hosted payloads.

In 2024 when the launch rate goes up to the amount of 2000 sats launched per year offering large spaces for hosted payloads is deemed not warranted but small space on the order of 50kg that can be subdivided for hosting multiple such as 4 3U cubesats is more closely aligned to the emerging markets. Even if only 10% of the spacing is filled by commercial cubesats /microsats that is still over 7 years will reach an annual lease income of up to $140M/year. Over the 7 year life of the sats that is an income of just under $1B that will counter the costs of the replacement of each constillations 12,000 sats over each 7 year period of $7.2B. Hosted payloads would be just one more revenue stream to increase the cash flow and to bolster the business case for Starlink.

NOTE: The current launch price for a 5kg an ~ 3U size sat is at $300K. The rental of a 3U space set at $25K/year over the life of the comm sat of 7 years is $175K. So it is possible to offer a cost savings as well as an operational savings in that only a VPN connection to the orbiting sat is needed by the data server on the ground that is recording everything the hosted payload is sending down continuously.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2017 10:26 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Radical_Ignorant

  • Member
  • Posts: 82
  • Liked: 19
  • Likes Given: 309
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #54 on: 12/15/2017 10:29 AM »
In 2015 SpaceX purchased $255M in Solar City Bonds. https://electrek.co/2017/04/14/tesla-solar-bonds-elon-musk-spacex/ It is still believed that these bonds in some form still exist in a converted or as matured bonds. Which would have a cash value of around $280M today. Add to that the recent $450 in investment cash in 2017 as well as another $250M/year in operating margin for the launch 18 launches) and Dragon (3 dragon) operations gives a total of cash on hand of about $980M (or more). There is an unknown amount of cash in their operating account plus where the other almost $1B in investment made in 2015 went to? The unknown part is how much of this cash has been allocated or spent on the multitude of projects: pads, BFR, and Starlink. If a significant amount of that $1B still is unspent then SpaceX has sufficient funds to maintain it's fast paced development of both Starlink, and BFR even while finishing up the installation of the new pad at Boca Chica.

Note: Pads are not supper expensive for SpaceX. SLC-4E cost under $100M initially but since upgrades has possibly pushed the total spent on it to just over $100M. Boca Chica to be a from ground up pad will be at least as expensive as SLC-4E but not a lot more. Probably under $200M total. Budgets for 2018 and 2019 for BC work would be about $70M each year with possible about $30-50M in 2017.

BFR spending looks to be at the moment at a rate of $160M/year. (Although AF funded $40M in 2017 and will fund another $33M in 2018 for Raptor).

So the cash flow could look something like this:

Balance
$980M
$950M  - $30M 2017 Boca Chica
$830M  - $120M 2017 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$730M  - $100M 2017 Starlink development (prototypes plus other expenditures)
$1090M  + $360M 2018 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$1020M  - $70M 2018 Boca Chica
$890M  - $130M 2018 BFR (SpaceX spending above that of AF funds)
$590M  - $300M 2018 Starlink development/production (production sats build (100+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$950M  + $360M 2019 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$880M  - $70M 2019 Boca Chica
$650M  - $250M 2019 BFR
$350M  - $300M 2019 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$100M  - $250M 2019 8 Starlink launch deployments (~256 sats)
$470M  + $360M 2020 operating margin for launch (25 launches) and Dragon (5 Dragon flights) operations
$220M  - $250M 2020 BFR
$-80M  - $300M 2020 Starlink production (production sats build (500+ sats) plus other expenditures)
$-470M  - $390M 2020 8 Starlink launch deployments (~380 sats)

What this basically shows is that even if there is no more of that rest that $1B available SpaceX cash situation is fine until 2020. If SpaceX can get past 2020 then the Starlink revenue will reduce the negative spending surplus amounts for Starlink deployment. Possibly enough to completely cover all Starling costs in 2021. Leaving only BFR to charge against the operating margin of F9/Dragon launches

In my ignorant opinion that makes no sense. What those number means? They are just some ways of accounting. What's behind them is mostly engineers which do require salary. Only small part of those numbers goes to outside companies and are flexible cash positions. Most of what SpaceX has is tooling fixed cost, money upfront required (this is part of cost for every launch of F9 but SX is not paying a dolar from their balance). BFR development cost depends mostly how many engineers will work on it. Those very guys do take salary now as well, but by accountants they are counted as part of every F9/Dragon/FH cost.

Musk said clearly that they want to shift most of their available resources to BFR development. Current resources, so no new cost. What is required as new cost, as outsourced work? Tooling for BFR - sure. Some carbon composites work - sure. Some building effort - sure. But this all is not even close to numbers you gave. 70% of F9 by value is made in house. So treating expenses as money is relevant only to this 30% of things that are outsourced.

People working in Seattle area - they can't be counted as current cost, they are something new, but quite big part of them is already working and being paid. Do you think that SpaceX spends more than it's revenue is? If they are already spending more than earning then there is a clear deadline when constellation needs to start making revenue. If not I don't see how it could be a problem.

Anyway - my point - accountants do present in money terms things which are not money. If most of cost of F9 launch is counted as amortisation of long ago paid development, Hawthorne factory and tooling? Does that mean, that SX can not take those costs if they won't launch, that not launching will save them any of that? Because that how it looks in books when everything is presented as $number.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #55 on: 12/15/2017 06:33 PM »
My numbers is all about cash flow not profit (taxable income calculation). For taxable income the amortization charges for prior year expenditures for development and capital equipment is charged off against the margin between current year revenue and current year expenditures.

But cash flow is the determination if the company has the real funds too pay it's people, buy capital equipment, and make contracts for flight hardware or development of flight hardware.

Yes you are correct in that accounting makes all of this a jungle and sometimes a simplistic view is significantly removed from the reality of what is happening in ether cash flow or taxable income calculation (profit).

You may also be correct that revenue from F9/FH/CRS/CC/[gov development contracts] is paying the complete payroll. If that is so then the cash is only needed for things like pads, buildings, and purchases (tooling equipment, flight hardware [sub-contracts], and materials) outside of normal operation expenses for buildings, tooling maintenance, flight hardware, and materials.

Then the situation may be rosier than it seems for BFR full speed ahead.

Online docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5104
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 2244
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #56 on: 12/19/2017 09:58 PM »
And here we go....


Quote
Peter B. de Selding @pbdes
Spanish govt Paz civil/military radar sat, built by @AirbusSpace, is readied for airlift from Spain to Calif/VAFB for Jan 30 @SpaceX mission. 1,400-kg Paz to launch w/ 2 SpaceX microsats that will demo future broadband constellation & provide ITU registration (BIU).
6:55 AM - Dec 19, 2017

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/943087366499168256
DM

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #57 on: 12/22/2017 06:22 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10795
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7717
  • Likes Given: 5556
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #58 on: 12/26/2017 02:58 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).
I think it may be sooner than 18 months for the first production, we'll see. SpaceX iterates fast so there may be another pait to test with prior to production start.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3535
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1936
  • Likes Given: 237
Re: SpaceX - now a satellite (constellation) operator?
« Reply #59 on: 12/26/2017 07:52 PM »
With the first 2 test sats going up late Jan/ early Feb, I expect the first set of production sats to be launched at about +18 months. That includes 6 months of testing with these 2 sats to delve out the problems and solutions and software needed for the production models. Then 1 year for a combined very short design period with manufacturing gearing up with the first 20-30 sats delivered around Jun 2019 with launch Aug 2019. Then launches every 2 months of additional sets with the duration between shortening by a few days each cycle until launches occurring at just less than 1 month duration.

Operational point (800+ sats) is reached around Mid to late 2021 based on how many sats can be launched on each F9 flight (20 [latest date] or 32 [earlier date]).
I think it may be sooner than 18 months for the first production, we'll see. SpaceX iterates fast so there may be another pait to test with prior to production start.
A definite possibility of 2 to 4 production prototypes at 12+ months from the Feb launched set. Since these would be actual production constellation like in features wattage/bandwidth/spot sizes/cross links they would be covered under the general FCC license for the constellation. Meaning we would not get any indication by following applications for FCC licensing. We would only know if this will happen if SpaceX releases the info about such.

Tags: