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Vinay Soni

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A follow-up milestone for +SpaceX: the rocket that they successfully landed after use just eleven days ago is ready to fire again. This particular rocket won't actually be reused (they want to keep it), but that means there's a natural next test: a launch, landing, reloading, and re-launch.

The article notes that an F9 costs $60M to build, but $200k to refuel; if you add in the cost of refurbishment and repair, plus the parts which aren't reused, the cost still comes up somewhat higher than that (a bit north of $1M, if I remember correctly), but we're still talking about a huge reduction in launch costs. For comparison, launching things to low orbit ("LEO") costs about $4,000 per kilo on a Falcon 9, compared to about $10,400 per kilo on an Ariane 5, the thing that was the standard before SpaceX showed up. If this works reliably, we could drop into the hundreds of dollars per kilo range, which fundamentally changes what kinds of satellites are meaningful to build and launch.
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