Current and recent space launch costs

Here is pdf that reports on the status, activity and prices of the commercial space launch industry

Long March 3A, 3B and 4B rocket launches had $50 million prices for the vehicle.
The Long March 3B can get 11.2 tons to LEO A $2030/lb price to LEO.
The Long March 5 will be able to launch 25 tons into LEO.

Proton M rocket price is listed at $70 million.

A Proton M can launch 3 to 3.2 tonnes (6600 to 7050 lbm) into geostationary orbit or 5.5 tonnes (12,100 lbm) into a geostationary transfer orbit. It can place up to 22 tonnes (48,500 lbm) in low Earth orbit with a 51.6-degree inclination.
The price to LEO is $1443/lb.

Proton rockets seem to cost about 70 million per launch

Proton SL-12 is listed at $72.5 million and can launch about 20 tons to LEO.

Soyuz 2 is listed at $40 million

Ariane 5 ECA is listed at a price of $140 million. It can lift 21,000kg to LEO. This is a price of $3,030/lb to LEO.

Here is a chart of prices from 2001 to get to LEO

Information on the Delta IV rocket

Here is a one page pdf that shows that the Delta IV heavy can be expanded to 100 tons to LEO

Here is a discussion of possible SpaceX plans for heavy lifters

Some other rocket musings from the ambivalent engineer blog

0 thoughts on “Current and recent space launch costs”

  1. I actually think the military implications are less interesting. They basically would assure air superiority for those who have get it. But those who will get it already have air superiority. So 15-30 years on the hypersonic replacement for the F22 comes along. Important but not game changing just keeping the game balance the same at faster speeds. Hypersonic missiles I do not think are faster than ICBMs.

    My hope is that it can be one of the ways that orbital space launches get cheaper and more reliable. Get orbital launch down below $100 per kg.

    There is the business market study for CEOs to have their company pay for hypersonic transport because they are so important/valuable and have the hyperego. There is also the market for 2 hour delivery of components to keep your megamillion or billion factory going. Although that will compete with better logistics software and management so you screw up less often and with less cost.

    Although they are making good progress now, I think the first few years and maybe a decade or two. Operational costs and maintenance will have surprises. This is the bleeding edge and reliability will be questionable. All the supercomputer calcs and supermaterials are just so you can do it. Next generations of tech are needed and experience running them are needed so that you can figure out reliability.


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