SpaceX Launching Small Satellites Starting for Just $1 Million

SpaceX has new rideshare satellite pricing starting at $1 million. This is a breakthrough in satellite launch pricing. A few years ago the cost was $20 million or more and even two years ago you might get rideshare for $5-10 million. They also offer certainty in the scheduling.

SpaceX is offering $1 million for payloads up to 200 kg (440 lbs) and additional weight adds $5,000 per kg to the cost.

The volume offered is 15″ or 24″ adapter ring payloads.

There are affordable rates to mid-inclination LEO, GTO, and TLI.

They will offer missions approximately every 4 months. There will be frequent launches to mid-inclination, inquire for other orbits.

If your payload is delayed then you can apply 100% of monies paid toward cost of rebooking on a future mission, subject to a 10% rebooking fee.

15 thoughts on “SpaceX Launching Small Satellites Starting for Just $1 Million”

  1. That is perfectly reasonable.
    If i miss my flight because I’m at the bar and didn’t hear the boarding announcement, any rescheduling charge anything up to 100%, is justifiable because it’s all my fault.
    ~
    NASA’s shifting priorities translates into SpaceX’s priorities, I understand the necessity, but it makes me a bit wary.

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  2. The real killer here is $1 million for 200kg, which really means 100kg for a sat and 100kg for a tug (like Momentus Vigoride), which means even if you don’t have a dedicated launch to a specific orbit with a SpaceX rideshare, you can still afford to get to your desired orbit if you can wait for the tug to take you there. So that just lowered the floor for a lot of smallsat launchers. They have to either offer dedicated launch to orbits that would be difficult to reach with a tug from a SpaceX rideshare (currently most SpaceX rideshare flights are 53 degrees until 2021 at least, so with a tug to provide inclination changes that’s a limited reach, compared to a hard SSO orbit), or price themselves below the cost of $1 million + tug price.

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  3. That’s doable. $1M for 200 kg is $5,000/kg. Their listed price for a Falcon 9 launch puts 22,800 kg in LEO for $62M, or $2,719/kg, so per kg the rideshare is 1.8X more than maxed-out bulk payload.

    To do much better we need Starship’s full reusability. At scale Musk estimates their cost for a launch to be $2 million, half fuel and half ground services, with 100,000 kg payload. That’s $20/kg. Assuming the same 1.8X ratio, we have $36/kg, so the rideshare’s 200 kg satellite would go for $7200.

    That doesn’t count SpaceX profit , so $10,000 seems about right. It’ll be more at first though. Getting down to $2M/launch assumes you’re using the rocket so many times and so often that the cost of the rocket itself contributes almost nothing to the launch cost.

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  4. I assume it has to be delays caused by the customer; If it were delays caused by SpaceX, rebooking fees would become an obvious revenue source, and the conflict of interest would be a problem. But a rebooking fee to compensate for empty slots makes perfect sense.

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  5. means if the customer can’t launch on their scheduled date. SpaceX would still fly the mission for everyone else, with some empty slots. Perhaps they’ll offer ‘standby rates’ for other payloads easy to integrate on short notice.

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  6. If your payload is delayed then you can apply 100% of monies paid toward cost of rebooking on a future mission, subject to a 10% rebooking fee.

    Define “delayed” in context. An act of nature or NASA or someone deemed to be more important decides to take my cubesat’s launch slot? Akin to a Delta exec pulling rank and taking my reserved window seat on a flight because he doesn’t want to bump someone and sit in steerage class.

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