Elon Musk tweeted that both SpaceX Falcon Heavy payload fairings were recovered for the first time. They will be reused on the Starlink satellite launch mission.
The two side boosters and the center core were landed and will be reused.
This means that SpaceX will be able to reuse 92% of this Falcon Heavy launch. Only the roughly $7.5 million second stage will not be reused.
I think the rough costs of SpaceX Falcon Heavy components are
$30 million for each of the three first stage boosters. Actually slightly more for the center booster.
$7.5 million for the second stage
$6 million is the combined cost of the two fairing halves. These are the nose cone covers of the payload.
Reusing three engines and a fairing would be $96 million out of $103.5 million.
These are Block 5 first stage boosters. Those are being shown on a Falcon 9 to be reusable for at least four launches and SpaceX has designed them for ten reuses before refurbishment.
The three first stage boosters would be $12 million for the ten reuse assumption. $30 million each and then $10 million for ten recoveries and repairs.
The $7.5 million second stage is thrown away. The faring is waterproof and can be reused. The reuse of a recovered faring has not been demonstrated. I assume $1 million costs for reusing farings. A ten reuse Falcon Heavy would cost $20.5 million for each mission. If only five reuses were made the cost would be about $35 million for each mission.
The Falcon Heavy has more fuel and can get satellites to far more orbits than the Falcon 9. The Falcon Heavy can reach tough orbits. The satellites will not need to use up a lot of fuel to reposition.
SpaceX will be reusing the boosters and the fairings from this mission within months.
If SpaceX pulls this is off in 2019 and then is able to consistently reuse first stages for ten times each then they will have about a fifteen to twenty-year lead on competitors like Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance.
Both fairing halves recovered. Will be flown on Starlink
mission later this year. pic.twitter.com/ouz1aqW3Mm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 12, 2019
SOURCES – Elon Musk Twitter, Nextbigfuture cost analysis from Elon Musk and SpaceX statements
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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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