Spacex BFR (Big F**ing Rocket) has been designed for full reuse and many reuses.
The Spacex BFR only has two large pieces. It has a first stage and the top ship. Both parts will be re-used. Spacex has shown it can land the first stage. Landing the the large top section of the BFR safely is in the design with two redundant rockets to ensure highly reliable landing.
I believe Spacex will succeed with full reusability and with low maintenance and recovery costs with the BFR.
Here I have extended the cost analysis assuming complete reusability and reuse life of 100 times or 1000 times and per unit costs of $200 or $500 million.
Spacex should be able to profitably get into the cost per flight of $20-40 million.
If Spacex is able to get the volume of customers and the flight operational ability to fly 50 times per year for each BFR then Spacex could have a rocket payback within one year while charging less than $10 million. There are many unknowns about costs to test and refurbish. But a rocket designed for full reuse could conceivably have lower recovery, refurbishment, testing and flight operations.
Spacex could lower the margin on each launch if there is elasticity in launch where they create a larger launch market with lower prices. Spacex will be able to adjust their prices based upon the demand they see at lower prices.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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