Author Topic: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION  (Read 1862 times)

Offline francesco nicoli

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I am collecting information on the evolution of launching costs to LEO over time, including past, current and expected (realistic) launching vehicles.
The goal is to lay some groundwork for furher economic analysis on the elasticity of demand of launching services to cost. elasticity of demand to cost is an essential element to understand viability of projects in the future.
However, lot of information is missing. Plus, not being myself a rocket scientist (I am, in fact, a macroeconomist)I might simply not know sufficiently enough to prepare a comprehensive survey.
Attached is the preliminary information I have been able to gather myself thus far. Note that I restrict myself to the Western world. Any help or suggestion to improve the analysis is superwelcome, having in mind, however, that some degree of approximation is required.


Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #1 on: 11/25/2015 10:29 PM »
The mass of the satellite is also important. A 4 tonne satellite requires its own rocket (many $million) where as a 3kg cubesat goes up as an extra where something else is being launched.

See for cubesat launch prices ($40,000 per 1kg)
http://www.academia.edu/8679069/CubeSat_Market_Analysis_and_Cost_Breakdown

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #2 on: 11/25/2015 11:50 PM »
Totally agree- but this will be accounted at a later stage. First I aim to compute the general costs trend with some accuracy. Second, estimate a general elasticity measure. Third, specific elasticity measures for market segments (like cubesats) to understand which components of demand could be better stimulated by a decreasing in costs.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #3 on: 11/26/2015 10:15 PM »
A source for historic price information are the Janes Spaceflight Directories. Here are the prices and performance from the 1988 issue.

Vehicle     Price ($M)   LEO (t)      SS (t)     GTO (t)     GEO (t)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ariane 4     84         4.6-7.0      2.7-6.0     1.9-4.2         -
Scout G1     10-12      0.205        0.165          -            -
Pegasus      5-10       0.408        0.272       0.2             -
Delta 6920   25.6       3.98         2.57        1.45            -
Atlas I     105         5.7-5.9          -       2.25-2.34       -
Atlas II     40         6.58-5.78        -       2.68-2.77       -
Titan 2      24.6       3.18         2.18-3.03   1.04            -
Titan 3     110        14.33-14.74       -       1.28-4.94       -
Titan 4      93        17.69        14.52            -       2.31-4.54
STS         375        21.19-24.99  13.43            -           -
« Last Edit: 11/26/2015 10:16 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #4 on: 11/26/2015 10:43 PM »
Dear Steven, Thank you so much!
This is very interesting indeed.
 I'll look at it.


Offline Proponent

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #5 on: 11/27/2015 12:16 PM »
The Titan 4 was cheaper than either the Titan 3 or the Atlas I?

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #6 on: 11/27/2015 10:52 PM »
According with that table yes, although the value I have found is totally different (expressed in today's dollars and not 1988's): above 400M /Flight..

Offline pippin

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Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #7 on: 11/27/2015 11:08 PM »
1988 is before Titan IV actually flew, isn't it? So these are probably target figures
« Last Edit: 11/27/2015 11:09 PM by pippin »

Offline chapi

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #8 on: 11/28/2015 12:30 PM »
Dear Steven, Thank you so much!
This is very interesting indeed.
 I'll look at it.

You can have an interesting reading of this 2005 NASA funded study (from Washington University), that went through a couple of previous attempt to map launch prices and elasticity : Futron, 1994 commercial space study...etc.

To make it short : elasticity is poor and there is no hope to trigger a "killer app" for space application through launch price cut in the near term. But ok, that was in 2005. Not much has changed, though, except the smallsat dynamic, maybe.

I was told besides that CNES showed an infographic on launch cost history earlier this year at ESPI. Didnt see it.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Evolution of Launching Costs- COLLECTING INFORMATION
« Reply #9 on: 11/28/2015 04:07 PM »
Dear Steven, Thank you so much!
This is very interesting indeed.
 I'll look at it.

You can have an interesting reading of this 2005 NASA funded study (from Washington University), that went through a couple of previous attempt to map launch prices and elasticity : Futron, 1994 commercial space study...etc.

To make it short : elasticity is poor and there is no hope to trigger a "killer app" for space application through launch price cut in the near term. But ok, that was in 2005. Not much has changed, though, except the smallsat dynamic, maybe.

I was told besides that CNES showed an infographic on launch cost history earlier this year at ESPI. Didnt see it.


Thanks as well!

My initial computations, using various sources, provide a elasticity of 0.3 for the period after 2000, meaning a decrease of 1% in launching costs is associated with an increase of 0.3% of demand, i.e. an increase of 10% of demand would required about 33% decrease in launching costs. This is the preliminary results but I believe they are rather solid, I accounted for any launch with a LEO-equivalent payload of at least 3T since 1971, and the results are computed on weighted 10-Y averages (weighting total launch costs per total LEO-equivalent mass orbited).

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