Author Topic: SpaceX has a larger effective budget for HSF development than NASA.  (Read 9030 times)

Online speedevil

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This is not a what if.

SpaceX has an income of some 3 billion, counting various NASA contracts, rockets at higher than list price, ...

NASA has a budget of some 4 billion for development of HSF, mostly going to Orion and SLS.

SpaceX may have a 'profit' of some $1B, right now, or in the very near future(*) that it is investing in future HSF relevant items. (BFR/Mars)

It only takes the assumption of SpaceX being three times or so more efficient to put their HSF development program budget over NASAs.



This doesn't even require any future profits from Starlink or other customers.

* (part of the current budget is going into not-very-relevant going forward architecture such as Dragon, that may be systematically less efficient than a program with reduced oversight).

Online docmordrid

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Once StarLink has 800+ satellites it goes commercial, very likely bringing in several $billion more even before peaking with full deployment.

Their revenue estimates, printed by WSJ, put StarLink's revenues at about $30 billion by the mid-2020's. Given anchor tenants (local/municipal ISP's, govt agencies, DoD*...) and hosted sensors on their satellites, this could be quite conservative.

* AvWeek reports DoD interest in coming constellations like StarLink and OneWeb for aircraft comms, with an upcoming AFRL test using antennae on a Beechcraft C-12J based at Holloman AFB. Using MicroSat A/B? Dunno.

AvWeek....

Edit: sat number for service startup corrected
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 10:55 AM by docmordrid »
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Online AncientU

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A nit... 800 sats is the transition point for Starlink
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online AncientU

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If SpaceX 'only' has $1B profit available per year, they already have more human space flight money than NASA because they get 10x more out of each development dollar[1].  Look at what they've spent and created over last ten years compared to what NASA has spent and created... 

And they are just hitting their stride -- BFR isn't their first launch vehicle, Raptor not their first engine, Boca Chica isn't their first pad.


[1] quantified by NASA's own study.  The real value is in the innovative element of what SpaceX is creating... that's priceless.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 10:32 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online docmordrid

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More SpaceX money moves; ~$500m in new shares at ~$150-170/share, and Musk is buying back $100m of SpaceX private shares.  They also scored $290m in USAF GPS-3 launches.

TechCrunch...
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 11:08 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline corneliussulla

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Glynn Shotwell a year or so ago said that SpaceX had 70 launches on its manifest and this represented about $10 billion in revenue. So obviously the average revenue SpaceX gets from each flight is much higher than the base price. SpaceX expects to launch between 30-40 times this year, if we assume $140 mill a flight as shotwell suggests that would mean revenue of $4.2 bill and $5.6bill.

With the introduction of block5 the amount of rework and new fabrication of rockets to meet existing contracts should drop dramatically. This should free up some of the cash flow required to help with BFR/BFS development and construction. Equally a large % of the approx 7000 workforce will be free to work on the development of BFR/BFS. With revenues of $4-5 bill. It's possible to see possibly half that revenue being spent on their new flagship development programme. So approx $2 bill a year.

That would mean approx $8-10 bill in development costs by 2022 when he plans to have fully operational BFR/BFS. That would compare to a total for SLS/Orion of approx $44 bill by that time but the difference in capabilities is astounding SLS/Orion is 70 tonnes in LEO and $1.5 bill a flight. Musks states $0.007 bill a flight and 225 tonnes into LEO. Evan if Musk cost per flight is out by a factor of 5 it would be SLS/Orion $1.5 bill versus $0.035 bill. So 40 times lower cost to get 3 x the mass and potentially 20 x as many people into space. SLS will then be seen to be be the bad joke that it is.

One thing is for sure if Musk fails and SLS/Orion is USA main vehicle for space exploitation/ exploration there is going to be very little of the 1st and none of the second. NASA is lost in space.

Remember companies do not need to make a profit all they need is cash flow. As long as they keep expenditures under revenue the company is solvent.

Online docmordrid

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Shotwell said their backlog is worth $12 billion.

CNBC....

Quote
"We appreciate DigitalGlobe selecting two flight-proven Falcon 9's to reliably deliver their satellites to orbit," Shotwell said in a statement.

The leader of the commercial space era added this week's contracts on top of a mission backlog of over 100 missions, worth more than $12 billion.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 11:25 AM by docmordrid »
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Online AncientU

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EM's estimate of the development tab for getting BFR/BFS flying ($2B, a long time ago) and established to/from Mars was $10B, which includes ISRU on Martian surface, so above estimate is on the mark.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online AncientU

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Shotwell said their backlog is worth $12 billion.

CNBC....

Quote
"We appreciate DigitalGlobe selecting two flight-proven Falcon 9's to reliably deliver their satellites to orbit," Shotwell said in a statement.

The leader of the commercial space era added this week's contracts on top of a mission backlog of over 100 missions, worth more than $12 billion.

Also in that paragraph:
Quote
The leader of the commercial space era added this week's contracts on top of a mission backlog of over 100 missions, worth more than $12 billion. With the cost of access to space plummeting, some estimate the space industry will be worth nearly $3 trillion in the next three decades, thanks to a boom in commercial investment.

SpaceX is positioning itself to take a big bite of that market.  At any reasonable margin, they look to have more than ample cash to deliver on their development plans.
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 12:01 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Ludus

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If someone didn’t know anything else about it and was presented with NASA’s HSF plans vs SpaceX, they’d clearly assume SpaceX having 10X the effective budget based just on what they’re trying to do.



Online speedevil

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If someone didn’t know anything else about it and was presented with NASA’s HSF plans vs SpaceX, they’d clearly assume SpaceX having 10X the effective budget based just on what they’re trying to do.

The plans for a NASA Mars mission, at many times the current NASA budget, for years, look very spartan, even compared to the plans for the first couple of synods missions to Mars.
I don't think 10X the budget is enough to capture that.

Offline M.E.T.

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Maybe it is just because it seems more tangible and easily visualized, but I can't stop thinking about the physical wealth that sits out in space, waiting for someone to tap into it. And by this I mean the quintillions of dollars of precious minerals inside asteroids.

And if SpaceX can establish unmatched access to space, surely they are in a prime position to get access to this ocean of wealth before anyone else. They just need to partner with the right mining company. A 50/50 venture with a company with the right mining expertise could set up asteroid mining to generate trillions for them in 10-20 years time. In that case Starlink revenue can provide the startup cash for an even bigger source of wealth down the line.

Online AncientU

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Maybe it is just because it seems more tangible and easily visualized, but I can't stop thinking about the physical wealth that sits out in space, waiting for someone to tap into it. And by this I mean the quintillions of dollars of precious minerals inside asteroids.

And if SpaceX can establish unmatched access to space, surely they are in a prime position to get access to this ocean of wealth before anyone else. They just need to partner with the right mining company. A 50/50 venture with a company with the right mining expertise could set up asteroid mining to generate trillions for them in 10-20 years time. In that case Starlink revenue can provide the startup cash for an even bigger source of wealth down the line.

That's a sobering thought... that Starlink could leverage something bigger, just as launch services is leveraging Starlink.  The constellation operation could be between 10x and 100x as revenue rich as launching.

Then there is also the electric car and solar/battery power business which is currently 50% of EM's wealth -- all being accumulated for the Mars adventure.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online jpo234

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They just need to partner with the right mining company. A 50/50 venture with a company with the right mining expertise could set up asteroid mining to generate trillions for them in 10-20 years time.

I don't think there is anybody with expertise in asteroid mining, just startups that try to build that expertise.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online docmordrid

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The Colorado School of Mines, ranked by USN&WR as the #1 mining school in the world, started a Space Resources program last year.

http://space.mines.edu
« Last Edit: 03/17/2018 11:58 PM by docmordrid »
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Online docmordrid

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Something with the SpaceX revenue ($3-$10B) doesn't add up. 

F9 is supposedly $60M and a FH is said to be $90M+. There are not enough launches for this level of revenue  to be realized, unless the backlog is grows to unsustainable levels. 
>

You don't seem to be counting special launch services, which for DoD launches have been running about $30+ mllion a pop, and don't consider any black projects they may be getting paid for and no one will know about.

AIUI they also get installment payments from customers as soon as a launch is reserved, so with 100+ launches on the manifest worth $12 billion that adds to their current bank balance fast.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2018 01:49 AM by docmordrid »
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Online smoliarm

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...
SpaceX has an income of some 3 billion, counting various NASA contracts, rockets at higher than list price, ...

...

It looks like they do not have "3 billions a year" yet.
Below I made a table with prices for all launches in 2017.
The contract values in the table are not equally confident, therefore there are different shading:
* light blue shading highlights published exact numbers;
* light brown - standard price (at the time of contract) for contracts with standard missions;
* no shading = guess

All 18 launches of 2017 total to $1.5B, although, of course this is an rough estimate.
This balance does not include non-launch revenue:
milestone payments for CCtCap contract and payments for USAF contract for Raptor development (btw, is it possible to find these numbers?)
But anyway, launch service is the main source of income for SpaceX, and it does not look like they already hit 3 billions a year.

Did I miss something in this balance?
« Last Edit: 03/18/2018 02:06 AM by smoliarm »

Offline su27k

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Did I miss something in this balance?

I think CRS-13 and forward have a higher price, more like $150M. Also speedevil is counting the other R&D contracts, ballpark Commercial Crew is maybe $400M (FY17 total is $1184.8M from NASA FY19 budget document, assume SpaceX : Boeing is 1:2). Raptor contract is here: https://govtribe.com/contract/award/fa88111690001, $91.3M for 2 years, so about $45M for 2017? Overall I think $2B is probably a fair estimate for total revenue.

Online speedevil

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To be clear, 3B was more-or-less a complete ill-informed guess.

Offline JH

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Musks states $0.007 bill a flight and 225 tonnes into LEO.

Doesn't really matter to your cost analysis, but the fully reusable payload to orbit is only 150 tonnes.

Something with the SpaceX revenue ($3-$10B) doesn't add up. 

F9 is supposedly $60M and a FH is said to be $90M+.  There are not enough launches for this level of revenue  to be realized, unless the backlog is grows to unsustainable levels. 

There has to be a pyramid-like business model or obviously the stated costs of the SpaceX launches are being presented as low balled numbers.

The cost to the taxpayer ultimately goes up with multiple launch systems from multiple vendors.  There is only an illusion of cost savings if the revenues for SpaceX are in the multi B ranges.

Shotwell was obviously including things like the commercial crew contract award. That alone is $2.6 billion for 6 flights, meaning that the rest of the backlog of ~94 flights is worth ~$9.4 billion, or roughly ~$100 million per flight. There is also CRS-2 and the remainder of CRS-1, as well as a significant number of other government launches, all of which entail significant charges over the regular commercial price. It's really easy to see how the backlog and its value are realistic, if you look at the details.

-- typo
« Last Edit: 03/18/2018 03:56 AM by JH »

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