Elon Musk confident Spacex can achieve at least 100-fold reduction in the cost of space access and plans reflying within 24 hours of landing

“At this point I’m highly confident that it’s possible to achieve at least 100-fold reduction in the cost of space access,” Musk said after yesterdays demonstration of a reusable first stage booster.

Spacex plans to try to land the second stage this year.

Martin Halliwell, the chief technical officer at SES, the Luxembourg satellite operator that hired SpaceX to fly this mission, predicted a new normal, saying, “My belief is within 24 months SpaceX will offer a service to orbit, and it will be irrelevant if its new or pre-flown.”

Spacex reused rocket after landing successfully

SpaceX’s new goal is to begin reusing rockets within 24 hours of landing, with just an inspection and a re-fuel.

It will not be enough for Spacex to take the market for all of the existing launches into space.

Spacex will have to open new launch markets. Launching thousands of satellites for high speed internet service will just be the start.

A fleet of ten fully reusable rockets that each fly once per month would be 120 flights per year
A fleet of thirty fully reusable rockets that each fly once per week would be about 1500 flights per year
A fleet of one hundred fully reusable rockets that each fly twice per week would be about 10,000 flights per year
A fleet of two hundred fully reusable rockets that each fly once per day would be about 70,000 flights per year

Tesla and Elon Musk plan to makes car factories 10 times more productive within ten years by reinventing the robotic factories every two years. They will have to apply the same kind of automation and efficiency into rocket inspection and refurbishment.

Tesla engineering has transitioned to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine — turning the factory itself into a product. A first principles physics analysis of automotive production suggests that somewhere between a 5 to 10 fold improvement is achievable by version 3 on a roughly 2 year iteration cycle. The first Model 3 factory machine should be thought of as version 0.5, with version 1.0 probably in 2018.

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