Former Pentagon Under Secretary of Defense for acquisition tech and logistics John Young told CNBC in February that no one can compete with even Falcon Heavy, let alone BFR.
“Musk said it’s ‘game over,’ and I [John Young] believe that’s true.”
Nextbigfuture analysis is that SpaceX has built a lead that will take 15 years for competitors to match with the Falcon 9 Block 5 and the Falcon Heavy. Around 2028, China might start test flights something approaching the Falcon 9 block 5 with the Long March 8.
Blue Origin could start testing its New Glenn Rocket in 2020. It will take Blue Origin at least 2-3 years to work out its tests for the new Glenn Rocket. A lot has to go right for Blue Origin which has not gone to orbit yet.
If SpaceX delivers the fully reusable SpaceX BFR rocket for launching 150 tons into space at a cost of $10-30 million per launch by 2023, then it could be 2035 before any nation or company can match it. It would take $10-30 billion to develop such a competing system. SpaceX will be sucking up all of the commercial launches from any potential competitor.
China will be willing to spend the money to do it even without non-Government launches.
How long would other companies be willing to try to catch up while starved of commercial launches?
Which governments or military buyers would be willing to fund development of competitors?
To catch up competition will have to actually get faster than SpaceX.
Which competitors could adjust their systems and models to match the pace of SpaceX development?
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.