Author Topic: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?  (Read 28024 times)

Online M.E.T.

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #140 on: 10/02/2019 08:48 am »
I see Elon commented on SS manufacturing cost on Twitter today. Someone speculated that SS costs about $35m, based on $5m material and labour costs and 3x$10m for the three Raptor engines.

Elon responded that current Raptor cost is already well below $1m per unit and v2 is aiming for $250k.

Interesting. (Apologies, I don’t know how to link or embed a tweet from my phone.)
« Last Edit: 10/02/2019 08:49 am by M.E.T. »

Offline PADave

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #141 on: 11/06/2019 03:28 pm »
From https://spacenews.com/elon-musk-space-pitch-day/
Quote
A single Starship will expend about $900,00 worth of fuel and oxygen for pressurization to send “at least 100 tons, probably 150 tons to orbit,” Musk said. SpaceX’s cost to operate Starship will be around $2 million per flight, which is “much less than even a tiny rocket,” he added.

So going off these numbers what does this imply? I'd love to read your comments.

Offline aero

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #142 on: 11/06/2019 03:59 pm »
I have been wondering if that $900,000 is the cost with the propellant trucked to Boca Chica? That seems to be the least expensive method for the initial low rates of launch, (limited infrastructure costs) but if the plans for Mars hold, there may be a less expensive way to get the prop to the launch site in volume. They would have infrastructure cost where there is very little infrastructure needed for trucking it in but long term perhaps there would be a less expensive way:

- Pipeline to the site. It probably would need to be liquified on site as well as volume on-site storage.
- Small LNG tanker. It would require an at sea terminal and insolated pipeline to the launch site, as well as on-site storage, but not liquification.

Of course, there is still the question of whether or not an "at sea" launch platform will be built. And also, how much does it cost to truck the prop in, as a percent of the total cost of the load?
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Offline Eka

Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #143 on: 11/06/2019 04:38 pm »
From https://spacenews.com/elon-musk-space-pitch-day/
Quote
A single Starship will expend about $900,00 worth of fuel and oxygen for pressurization to send “at least 100 tons, probably 150 tons to orbit,” Musk said. SpaceX’s cost to operate Starship will be around $2 million per flight, which is “much less than even a tiny rocket,” he added.

So going off these numbers what does this imply? I'd love to read your comments.
It means the space race is on.
It means Starlink is cheap to put up.
We talk about creating a Star Trek future, but will end up with The Expanse if radical change doesn't happen.

Offline _MECO

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #144 on: 11/06/2019 04:57 pm »
From https://spacenews.com/elon-musk-space-pitch-day/
Quote
A single Starship will expend about $900,00 worth of fuel and oxygen for pressurization to send “at least 100 tons, probably 150 tons to orbit,” Musk said. SpaceX’s cost to operate Starship will be around $2 million per flight, which is “much less than even a tiny rocket,” he added.

So going off these numbers what does this imply? I'd love to read your comments.
It means the space race is on.
It means Starlink is cheap to put up.

Do we know where the other $1.1 million will go, exactly?

Offline tater

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #145 on: 11/06/2019 05:04 pm »
From https://spacenews.com/elon-musk-space-pitch-day/
Quote
A single Starship will expend about $900,00 worth of fuel and oxygen for pressurization to send “at least 100 tons, probably 150 tons to orbit,” Musk said. SpaceX’s cost to operate Starship will be around $2 million per flight, which is “much less than even a tiny rocket,” he added.

So going off these numbers what does this imply? I'd love to read your comments.
It means the space race is on.
It means Starlink is cheap to put up.

Do we know where the other $1.1 million will go, exactly?

Amortization of initial vehicle cost, plus GSE and operational costs?

Offline JonathanD

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #146 on: 11/06/2019 05:14 pm »
$900k is a hella lotta methane and O2!  Anyone know off the top of their head which of the two is more expensive?

Truly mind-boggling though when implied cost estimates for SLS could be pushing $2B per flight.  $2B vs $2M...I'm not a mathematician but I'm pretty sure that's 1,000x cheaper.  Even if off by a magnitude that's an astonishing delta.

Offline _MECO

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #147 on: 11/06/2019 05:25 pm »
$900k is a hella lotta methane and O2!  Anyone know off the top of their head which of the two is more expensive?

Truly mind-boggling though when implied cost estimates for SLS could be pushing $2B per flight.  $2B vs $2M...I'm not a mathematician but I'm pretty sure that's 1,000x cheaper.  Even if off by a magnitude that's an astonishing delta.

Yeah, if the 150 ton to LEO figure is right then that's $13.33 per kg to orbit. If SLS was $15,400 for the same (at $2bn a launch and 130 ton payload), then that's pretty much eleven hundred to twelve hundred times cheaper. Imagine a gallon of milk costing two thousand dollars at the grocery store. Next to a two dollar gallon on the same shelf. And the mayor is forcing you to buy the expensive one.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #148 on: 11/06/2019 05:49 pm »
$900k is a hella lotta methane and O2!  Anyone know off the top of their head which of the two is more expensive?

Truly mind-boggling though when implied cost estimates for SLS could be pushing $2B per flight.  $2B vs $2M...I'm not a mathematician but I'm pretty sure that's 1,000x cheaper.  Even if off by a magnitude that's an astonishing delta.

LNG is cheap, but still - Methane, by a lot. Liquid oxygen is dirt cheap.

Hydrogen is more expensive than methane, but fuel / oxidizer costs for SLS will be low as well, probably in the neighborhood of $2 million or even somewhat less. Fuel costs are typically a rounding error in the cost for a launch :p Starship is the only rocket I know of where that's not true.
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Offline RonM

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #149 on: 11/06/2019 06:31 pm »
Okay, $900K for propellant and $2M for operations (Elon didn't specify if operations included propellant costs).

What's missing is the spacecraft cost per launch. Just picking numbers out of thin air, if SS/SH cost $100M to build, than it's $10M per flight for 10 flights and $1M per flight for 100 flights. This doesn't include R&D costs per spacecraft or launch pad costs.

Depending on what numbers you use, SS/SH will easily be cheaper than F9. But it's not going to be only $2M per flight.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #150 on: 11/06/2019 06:34 pm »
I've mentioned before that I worked for a natural gas company.  To me the easiest and cheapest way to get methane to an offshore platform is a pipeline.  Run a natural gas pipeline across the ocean floor to the launch pad site.  Have liquid methane equipment mounted under the landing pad with storage tanks.  Same with lox equipment.  No need for a ship, no need for an onshore facility and then transport it to the pad.  Offshore pad would be fairly large.  Have a hyperloop transport system onshore going to the offshore facility.  People can come in and park at a parking garage or parking lot and/or have car rental facilities onshore.  Hyperloop can get passengers to the offshore pad very quickly and back.  No need or a boat which would be slower. 

Offline happyflower

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #151 on: 11/06/2019 06:37 pm »
When you look at a magician that does a slight of hand trick that takes 3 seconds it just appears so effortless and simple. What you don't see is the 4 1/2 years he has tried to perfect that 3 second trick. Anybody after all can go to a shop and buy that trick. But perfecting it is the devil in the details aspect.

Just because SpaceX makes reusable rockets "appear" simple doesnt mean it is simple.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #152 on: 11/06/2019 06:44 pm »
 Boca Chica could get liquid methane piped to the site in a few years. There are several LNG terminals going in 5 or 6 miles away.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2019 11:26 pm by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #153 on: 11/06/2019 06:45 pm »
The engines will be the most expensive part of Starship.  Someone said they were to cost $2 million each.  37 on the booster and 6 on the Starship = $86 million.  Say double that for a complete Starship/Superheavy =$172 million.  I think it was also said a complete system would be $200-250 million.  Seems reasonable and cheaper $/kg to orbit than F9/FH.

Infrastructure is going to be expensive.  At the cape and Boca Chica.  Offshore facilities, liquification and storage equipment.  How much is this going to cost?  Anyone know?

Hopefully Starlink can bring in some money quickly. 

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #154 on: 11/06/2019 06:55 pm »
The engines will be the most expensive part of Starship.  Someone said they were to cost $2 million each.  37 on the booster and 6 on the Starship = $86 million.  Say double that for a complete Starship/Superheavy =$172 million.  I think it was also said a complete system would be $200-250 million.  Seems reasonable and cheaper $/kg to orbit than F9/FH.

Infrastructure is going to be expensive.  At the cape and Boca Chica.  Offshore facilities, liquification and storage equipment.  How much is this going to cost?  Anyone know?

Hopefully Starlink can bring in some money quickly.

Elon Musk said the Raptors will be significantly less than a million dollars.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline capoman

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #155 on: 11/06/2019 06:57 pm »
Remember, SpaceX's ultimate goal is in situ resources. That is not just on Mars, but on Earth too. He has mentioned creating methane onsite, only requiring water, air and energy to do it. This could function as a demo for a Mars fuel making system. This would also make launches carbon neutral, since they would be pulling carbon out of the air to do it. This may happen sooner then we think. I think Elon would rather spend money on this, than running pipelines to the launch site.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2019 08:17 pm by capoman »

Offline PADave

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #156 on: 11/06/2019 07:12 pm »
The engines will be the most expensive part of Starship.  Someone said they were to cost $2 million each.  37 on the booster and 6 on the Starship = $86 million.  Say double that for a complete Starship/Superheavy =$172 million.  I think it was also said a complete system would be $200-250 million.  Seems reasonable and cheaper $/kg to orbit than F9/FH.

Infrastructure is going to be expensive.  At the cape and Boca Chica.  Offshore facilities, liquification and storage equipment.  How much is this going to cost?  Anyone know?

Hopefully Starlink can bring in some money quickly.

Elon Musk said the Raptors will be significantly less than a million dollars.

He said under $200,000 each.

Edit: Link https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1143026166112108544?lang=en
« Last Edit: 11/06/2019 07:15 pm by PADave »

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #157 on: 11/06/2019 07:39 pm »
There is a newer tweet on Raptor cost.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1179107539352313856

So Raptor is presently probably in the $1million range.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #158 on: 11/06/2019 09:37 pm »
Making methane uses a lot of electricity, right now it is about 2-3 times the cost of drilling for natural gas.  It has to be done on Mars, but not on earth, unless Musk builds a huge bank of solar panels at Boca Chica as traditional electricity costs more than natural gas for the same amount of usable energy.  30% of electricity is made from burning natural gas in jet engine powered generators supplying the grid.  Makes no economic sense to make methane on earth, not yet anyway, not for the tremendous volume needed to launch a flotilla of Starships to Mars each synod. 

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Will SS/SH be unreasonably cheap?
« Reply #159 on: 11/06/2019 11:15 pm »
First thing is to make a LOX plant on site.  Pretty straightforward.

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