Elon Musk Expects At Least 20 to 30 Launches from Each Falcon 9 Block 5

Elon Musk expects at least 20 or 30 missions from each Falcon 9 block 5 booster rockets. Currently, the booster rockets have been reused 3 times with some recovered for their fourth launch.

Thirty reuses of a first stage Falcon 9 block 5 could reduce the cost of the booster from $30 million to $1 million plus maintenance, recover and operational costs. The total Falcon 9 rocket also has an $8 million second stage and $6 million payload fairing. Payload fairings have been recovered but have not been reused yet. A Falcon 9 with 30 reuse first stage and ten reuse fairings would get close to $10 million in cost.

Other SpaceX Updates

A Crew Dragon supersonic abort test will likely destroy the rocket that launches it.

SpaceX has started building a new Starhopper nose cone. The previous nose cone was badly damaged when blown over in high winds.

SOURCES- Elon Musk, Twitter, SpaceX, Charlie Burgess renderings of the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship, Youtube Spadre.com

Written by Brian Wang.

15 thoughts on “Elon Musk Expects At Least 20 to 30 Launches from Each Falcon 9 Block 5”

  1. And soon we’ll see naysayers going “It just proves he didn’t build it right! It’s too heavy, with too many compromises to performance! He’s doing it wrong!”

    And they’re probably from NASA. 😉

  2. Ten re-uses without refurbishment. Potentially capable of many more. Perhaps Elon is saying 20 or 30 without going back to the factory.

  3. My point is that they are sort of on their way to that. 4th reflight/landing of a rocket? Would have been completely nuts 10 years ago.

  4. Yes, the 20-30 figure isn’t proven yet. But they were expecting a smaller number before. That means the data they’ve got so far is better than they were expecting.

  5. Which are already going down, as is. Not only with smaller satellites that can *literally* be built in a garage but rideshares are more common AND larger, quantitatively.
    Exciting times.

  6. The plan was for 10 reuses per F9 block 5, IIRC. 20-30 reuses means they’ve got a good handle on reuse, and can meet and exceed their reuse goals. That’s good news for BFR.

  7. Also, we’re insuring satellites which have known costs and not human beings and lawsuits for wrongful death. You make a good point but I don’t think the severity of the cost increase will be along the same lines as what you see in the aircraft industry.

  8. I’ve heard the same “Insurance for SpaceX launches will go up” argument from people involved in SLS. I don’t quite buy it being that much of an increase. I suspect that the most reliable launch of a first stage is actually the 2nd or 3rd launch.

    Either way insurance won’t cost more than a new rocket.

  9. I suspect launch costs will go down but insurance costs on the payload will go up as the probability of failure increases. It is the same with airplanes which become un-certified after a certain number of pressurization cycles on the air frames’ un-replace-able bits. The air-frames are still usable and nothing is measurably wrong, just that its beyond the simulated limits or the risk becomes un-acceptable in first world countries. but then the air frames go on to live fairly useful lives in other countries if they don’t get harvested at the bone-yards. I’m not saying the insurance would sky-rocket Not hugely so, and, indeed, the savings may pay for the increased insurance. but the market will change for the nth +10 flight I would bet. but it will be considerable for billion dollar payloads like spy satellites and big science like hubble x10-100 or humans in space.

  10. 20 reuses would be great. The amortized cost per launch of the first stage booster would be a few (2-3) million. Launch costs would be dominated by second stage costs, maintenance costs, and fuel.

    That’ll be quite something.

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