China main SpaceX competitor as Russia is giving up

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has stated that it is not worth it for Russia to compete for space launches against SpaceX and China. Russia used to dominate commercial space launches but now SpaceX and China are more inexpensive. SpaceX can now even beat the lower costs in China. China will still use its own rockets to launch their own GPS and Earth observation and other satellites.

China has made 22 launches this year and will have about 35 total launches in 2018.

Russia will try to get into Satellite manufacturing and satellite services.

China is pushing to match SpaceX first stage rocket reusability by about 2021.

Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, also hopes to get close to SpaceX Falcon Heavy payloads with first stage reusability with the New Glenn rocket in 2020.

SpaceX has improved its first stage reusability with the block 5 and SpaceX is very near to recovering the $6 million fairings (nose cone covers).

SpaceX has plans to recover second stages using an inflatable heat shield.

China would probably be willing to sacrifice margins and operate with some small losses with only first stage recovery against SpaceX first stage, fairing and second stage recovery.

If SpaceX succeeds with the SpaceX BFR in 2022 with full recovery of all parts of a 150-ton payload rocket then it will take until 2030-2035 for China to catch up again.

Any Rocket company without some level of reusability in the SpaceX BFR age and willingness to fund full reusability development will likely drop out.

The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program of the Department of Defense will be renamed the National Security Space Launch program as of March 1, 2019. The military will not only use expendable rockets and will have to explain any contract that excludes reusable.

The Space Launch System of United Launch Alliance should already be canceled with the success of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy. However, the SpaceX BFR will cause the Space Launch System to get canceled.

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