SpaceX Reusable Rocket Costs Versus Airplanes

In the most recent SpaceX Starship presentation, Elon Musk stated that the SpaceX Starship can become lower cost than airplanes for long haul cargo delivery.

I have some detailed calculations. Starship will double the payload capacity. Full fueling costs are about the same for the 1200 tons of fuel for Starship versus 50,000 gallons of jet fuel for a long-range cargo plane for each flight. However, twice payload means half the cost. Non-fuel costs for the vehicles and the frequency of flights are hugely in Starship favor. Starship should have twice the payload.

Starship starts off at half of the loaded cost per flight and four times cheaper per ton of payload and then will proceed to be ten to fifteen times cheaper. Plus they will have some initial new no competition markets for ultra-fast delivery.

The FAA compiles the cost data for passenger airlines and air cargo delivery.

The total amount of time a flight takes — from pushing back from the departure gate (“off-blocks”), to arriving at the destination gate (“on-blocks”) — is called “block time”, and airline block times vary for the same routes.

In 2022, Jet Fuel costs $5.29 per gallon.

The BOEING 787-8, manufactured from 2011-Present, requires a 2 person crew and can transport up to 381 passengers. The aircraft has a maximum operating altitude of 43,000′, a normal cruise speed of 502 KTS/578 MPH, and a 10,736 NM/12,355 SM seats-full range. The BOEING 787-8 has a 9,000′ balanced field length and 5,700′ landing distance. The cabin measures 08’03” high, 18’02” wide, and 179’11” long. It has a total baggage capacity of 5,326.00 ft^3; 4,826.00 ft^3 being internal and 500.00 ft^3 being external.

The average price for a pre-owned BOEING 787-8 is $175,000,000. A new 787 is about $300 million. A $87,500,000 loan over 120 months including $364583 per month in interest equates to a $4,387,575.02 per-period payment. Based on 450 annual owner-operated hours and $4.25-per-gallon fuel cost, the BOEING 787-8 has total variable costs of $4,056,300, total fixed costs of $532,500, and an annual budget of $4,588,800. This breaks down to $10,197 per hour. Currently, higher fuel costs push this towards $11,000 per hour.

747 have and are being used for long-haul cargo delivery. The 747s are getting phased out. They are less fuel-efficient than newer 787 or Airbus. A350s use 40% less fuel. A350s can carry 110 tons.

A fully fueled 747 costs about $280000 per long flight. A A350 might be fully fueled for $170,000 per long flight.

Other airplane costs are about 5 to 6 times the cost of the fuel.

SpaceX Starship Costs

Point to point SpaceX Starship (no heavy booster needed for non-orbital flights) will be able to carry 180-230 tons in payload. This about double the payload of the largest long haul airplanes. The cost for each Starship is currently about $30 million – made mostly of steel and with 6-9 Raptor engines. Raptor 2 engines are half of the cost of Raptor 1. SpaceX will mass-produce Raptor engines and targets engines costs getting down to $200,000 to $300,000 each. This would put the price of the SpaceX Starship as low as $3-5 million each. The SpaceX Starship is already 5 to 10 times cheaper than an airplane. The SpaceX Starship costs will become sixty to one hundred times cheaper.

SpaceX Starships will be 20 times faster than current passenger aircraft. They will be able to have ten to twenty long-haul flights per day versus one to two long haul flights for passenger aircraft. This means more flights in a day to spread labor and other non-consumable costs.

StarShip uses 1,200 tonnes of propellant and SuperHeavy uses about 3,300 tonnes. 4,500 tonnes in total.

3.55 tonnes of liquid oxygen (LOX) for every 1 tonne of liquid methane (LCH4). 3,510 tonnes of (LOX) versus 989 tonnes of LCH4.
NASA pay $160 per tonne for oxygen – and on the open market, Liquid Methane is around $400 per tonne. This is $562,000 worth of oxygen and $396,000 for Methane for a Booster and a Starship. A total of about $900,000. However, a Starship alone is $240,000 for full fueling.

Elon described oxygen as almost free. This is a future state statement where SpaceX will make massive solar-powered oxygen capture and liquefication systems. LOX is $40 per metric ton to distill from the air.

$240000 for 200000 kilograms of payload is $1.2 per kilogram or about $0.5 per pound. If SpaceX reduces the cost with direct production of liquid oxygen and production of Methane from natural gas, they could reducing fueling costs by half to $0.6 per kilogram or $0.3 per pound of payload.

Labor and other non-fuel costs will be vastly lower for the SpaceX Starship because of the massively lower initial cost, limiting financing and interest costs and because of vastly higher speed for more usage each day.

Fueling costs start out about even but SpaceX can lower costs by producing their own liquid oxygen and having involvement in making the methane. The fuel for a SpaceX Starship will move more cargo.

SpaceX will be start at four times lower cost per ton of cargo payload for earth-to-earth long distance delivery and then drop to ten to fifteen tiimes cheaper.

Passenger flights for SpaceX Starship will be moving 1200-2000 people per flight. People will be seated like being strapped in for a roller coaster. The flights will be 30-45 minutes long and involve no food or restroom breaks. People will load, fly up and then unload. Again the costs of each flight will be reduced for each person because more people will be on each flight.

I believe that the passenger compartments might be swapped in and out of each Starship using a Mechazilla.

SpaceX will be able to bring costs down below $1000 per long haul ticket and then approach $300-500 per long half ticket.

A fast load in and out could then take less than a minute. The cargo or passenger section gets leisurely loaded and unloaded and then the section gets lifted in and lifted out.

SOURCES- FAA, SpaceX data and Brian Wang analysis
Written by Brian Wang,

71 thoughts on “SpaceX Reusable Rocket Costs Versus Airplanes”

  1. You are using private business jet numbers rather than airline numbers for the 787. Airline travel is much cheaper than a private business jet. For airlines, the 787 has max range of 7,300nm and full payload will reduce this. The cost for new aircraft for airlines are around 40 to 60 percent of retail which for the 787-8 is 250 million; so airlines looking at 100-150 million new. Also, the jet fuel prices are retail prices and not airline prices which is significantly cheaper. I recall around 2.00 to 2.50 per gallon last year but oil has risen recently. The hours flown per year of 450 hours is for a privately owned business jet which is only for the few rich people. Most rich use a fractional jet service that flies their aircraft alot more than that. Airliners fly even more at 3,500 hours per year or even higher.

  2. Brian, have you considered the longer term costs of the orbital transport vs long haul ocean freighters?
    After long haul air transport, ocean freighting would be next in line, eventually, when the costs come down, so finding the numbers now might be the next big thing wrt Starship taking over yet another transport system.
    When will being able to move common freight items via Starship to any non-harbor transport hub around the world be a huge cost savings to consumers and businesses?
    No more hijackers, pirates or trafficked humans via ocean cargo, not to mention problems with weather patterns and human level on such ocean freighters.

  3. Lockheed tried to develop a plane with a swappable cabin for freight and passenger operations. Try to search "Lockheed flatbed". I don't think they ever went past the drawing board phase, though.

  4. It's a poor blaster that doesn't point both ways. What Elon can build, others can also build. The whole game just got a lot more unstable.

  5. "Based on 450 annual owner-operated hours " seems a tad low, for ten-hour flights once a day, that's only 45 days/year of operations. It should be more like 2000 to 2500 hours/year.

  6. Alot of the costs on aircraft are regulatory. Either direct from FAA or other agency or hidden in taxes or liability. If you think the various weasels won't get their pound of flesh you're kidding yourself.

  7. Do the Starship containers envisioned include the cost in weight and reduction in net payload for the structural strength to support pressurization? Otherwise, cargo would have to be in specialized packaging — not the usual sealed boxes or envelopes — that would allow air to move out and back in during ascent and descent. Humans would require a pressurized cabin that would keep them at a cabin altitude of at most 6,000 or 8,000 feet with changes on the way up and back down at a human-tolerable rate. The passenger container would also need oxygen supplies and CO2 scrubbers. If passengers aren't in pressure suits, a depressurization during flight would be fatal for everyone.

  8. Compare random thing that doesn't exist except as made up data for marketing hype to something we have very accurate information then say case closed. The SpaceX stuff is all Elon Musk promises and he's promised so much and so drastically under delivered… this is madness. No, BW makes a living with this stuff so the madness is anyone that believes this.

  9. Good point. I usually have a small computer case I carry on. It easily fits under the seat in front of me. Then there's the people that bring on the mini suit cases. I don't object to that, except the part where they stop in the aisle, root around in it for 30 seconds, and then take another 30 to stow it. Perhaps I'm wrong, but with some folks I distinctly get the impression they enjoy holding up the folks behind them.

    Interestingly, my perception is that the unloading process is always shorter (people are more eager to get off it would seem). I would estimate it takes 20-25 minutes to load a plane, and 5-10 to get off.

  10. If one plans ahead a little then it just takes a few seconds to stow your bag in the bin. Instead, I've on every flight I'm on numerous people stop in the aisle, open up their bag, spend a minute rummaging around in it, then finally sit down. It's almost as if they enjoy holding up the line.

  11. That's not the of criticism I was referring, you all refuse to spend some minutes doing what I suggested just to spend it saying I'm an idiot.

  12. Let's see them launch on a rainy day before getting too excited about the economics projections.

    Musk has a long history of excess optimism – borderline lies.

  13. As a former officer; I'd say that when the officers go get coffee it probably gets more efficient because none of the little ensigns or 2nd looies are around to "improve" the non-coms efforts.

  14. No, that is not necessarily true. I am extremely critical of Musk and I just tend to run the numbers and analyze the feasibility of his claims. Here on NBF I analyzed already multiple times the issue of the idea of rockets as a means of mass transport. It is simply an absurd idea. Rockets serve certain purposes and despite being cool they have their limitations.


  15. In suborbital flights where you keep the payload, payload capacity increases only to a certain point compared to orbital launches. When you do an orbital launch you will lose the payload mass you are sending to orbit, so when the rocket reenters it reenters really fast but it is also way lighter (it has used most of the fuel and it got rid of all the payload) so it needs less fuel to decelerate. In a suborbital transfer, you need a lot of fuel to launch but you also need a lot of fuel to slow down your rocket landing with all its payload (even more if the payload is squishy humans that cannot tolerate many Gs of acceleration/deceleration), so you need a lot of fuel at launch to launch all the fuel you will need to decelerate the payload.
    At the moment SpaceX did not provide accurate info on their payload capacity (and their claims are still unverified) and different transfers will have significantly different payload capacities.

  16. The Starship payload is 100 tons to Low Earth Orbit. If you want it below orbit, then of course the payload increases.

  17. I'm not really sure how this whole "Rods from God" concept works. The tungsten rods are there, in orbital speed, and they need to be deaccelerated somehow if they are to hit anything on the ground. How to do that from space is not particularly well-established, particularly if they are truly "dumb" projectiles without a delta-v reserve or control surfaces to do terminal guidance. You'd have to hit a (say) 10 m landing zone by controlling a burn half an orbit away.

    I just don't think these will ever be really useful as a weapon system. Now lasers, on the other hand…

  18. 1.3 g = 12.75 m/s². The top speed cannot possibly be higher than 8 km/s, otherwise it would go into orbit, and it's likely about half that. Assuming it is 8 km/s, you'd get there accelerating for 10 minutes and 30 seconds at 1.3 g. So 10 minutes, tops.

  19. 1200 tonnes of methane per launch. 1 launch per hour. So 1200 tonnes per hour.
    Natural gas is approximately methane and 1200 tonnes of natural gas contains 1266 MW.h of energy.
    Your modern gas power plant might be 60% efficient. So that's equal to a 760 MW gas power plant.

    One starship running 24 hours per day is equal to one more medium-small electrical power plant.

    So, is it good for the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere. No. (Unless you are a tropical jungle enthusiast.) But it's hardly going to be detectable.

  20. I've seen some content criticising him. It can be divided into 3 sorts.

    1. Straightforward complaints about labour relations or stock market deals. Yeah, whatever. Would probably concern me if I was thinking of getting a job there, but from where I'm sitting it's two sides arguing about how to slice their pie. He's probably a hard nosed bastard in business, like I care?
    2. Nutcase rantings of racist hate-mongers. He's white. He's got evil DNA because his ancestors came from Africa. He's part of a secret cabal that rules the world.
    3. Strawman attacks on ridiculous fantasies. He doesn't do the engineering himself! He buys tech from other companies instead of making it all up from the stone age! He's working in highly regulated industries and has multiple dealings with governments instead of doing it all from a cave in Galt's Gulch!!! No, he isn't John Galt or Doctor Emmett Brown or Tom Swift or any other fictional character who builds entirely new worlds in his secret laboratory. Are we supposed to be surprised?
  21. You can get a plane to load faster if everyone is in the exact, correct order. And just about the only time this can happen in real life is if you are dealing with a military unit which has the noncoms standing there and yelling at everyone.
    As soon as the officers go have a coffee it'll turn into chaos again.
    On a civilian flight? Not a chance.

  22. If you knew that you could get your checked in luggage at the other end in a timely manner, then maybe everyone would be OK with no hand luggage.
    But we all know that it takes ages, and there is a reasonable chance of it going missing. So people insist on hand luggage.

  23. People need their toothbrushes, laptops and clothes.

    Oh yes, lots of people travel only with their hand bags, so they carry all they need there.

  24. Profit, yes, but not necessarily right now. When a company is funded by private equity, it has the ability to look further into the future for profit. If I had a few billion, I would be easily swayed into giving it to SpaceX if that leads to the ability to mine asteroids, colonize LEO, or send paying customers to Mars. It's actually a very easy case to make if you look at a 10 year time horizon.

  25. They've actually done some studies to find the most efficient boarding approach, and it turns out to be a mad dash without any rules. No kidding, that surprised me, too.

    The rules are designed to monetize convenience, not get the plane loaded efficiently.

  26. I think it’s terrific vision for maybe 10-15 years, but I’m troubled by the massive amount of CO2 from the methane. Is H2 not a viable option?

  27. I've never been a fan of how airlines load passengers on to planes. That said, I have to say it's the passengers themselves that make it such a long process. If only people would just sit down and stop spending so much time in the aisle putting stuff in the overhead bin. Why can't they do away with those compartments? People take their sweet time doing it and it holds up the whole line of passengers behind them.

  28. -(PART2) Aircraft cost. Even assuming that starship has the same payload capacity of a A380 (which it has not), the supposed cost advantage for starship remains true only if starship reusability is comparable to one of a plane. Starship cost is unknown (unlike a 747 or an airbus nobody can buy them) but lets assume a cost of $30 million, while a 747 is $300 million and an airbus A380 is $450 million. However modern planes are designed with a service life or 10000 flights (350 flights per year for 30 years). At the moment Starship reusability has not been quantified. With starship reusability of 100 launches SpaceX will need 100 starship to do 10000 launches and this will cost spacex $3bn making it 10 times more expensive than a 747 and 6.7 times more expensive than an airbus. Only with a reusability of 1000 launches SpaceX cost becomes comparable (not cheaper just comparable) to a 747, with a reusability of 1000 times Starship will be 33% cheaper than an airbus A380 plane, but an airbus A380 will still have a 50% higher payload capacity.

  29. -(PART 3) The fuel. My last available data (from Feb 4th 2022) indicate that Jetfuel costs $883-$913 per ton so an airbus A380 has a fuel capacity this 258.8 tonnes therfore fuelling an airbus costs $236k, which is in the same range of the $280k required to fuel a 747. So fuelling a starship might be comparable with the one of a plane, but to launch a sufficient payload they need a booster and this, as brian stated, increases the cost to 900k. So rockets still cost more in hardware and more in fuel. A lower cost for methane will not really help spacex since methane can and is converted in longer hydrocarbon chains with high efficiency (70-80%) and lower methane costs will reduce the cost of jetfuel.

  30. -(PART 4) The land infrastructure. All the problems above are nothing compared to the absurdity of the implications on the land infrastructure. The biggest airports experience 1 land and 1 takeoff every minute, spacex wants to disrupt air traffic and increase the launches (let’s say 3-10 times) this would mean a launch every 6 to 20 sec. These fully fuelled rockets full of passengers and goods taking off seconds from each other will need each its own launch tower (which cost way more than tarmacs) with exclusion zones of tens of kilometers. So the spaceports will be orders of magnitude bigger and more expensive than airports and it is not clear how shuttle busses could move through the exclusion zones changing every few seconds to bring the passengers to the towers. I can think about launching from underground silos and towers connected by galleries, but this will probably increase even more the cost of the infrastructure. Furthermore spaceport will be awful epicentres of local sound and air pollution: planes consume their fuel during the whole travel, while rockets consume all their fuel on launch (and landing). So spaceports will be farther away from cities than airports and they will be way bigger than airports. It will take more time to get to a spaceport than it takes to get to an airport.

  31. This analysis misses/misrepresents some significant points:
    -(PART1) Payload: at the moment SpaceX states that Starship payload is 100 tons, they might get it better in future but even the 100 tons claim has to be verified, while airbus A380 has a 150 tons payload today. Furthermore an airbus A380 in the full passengers configuration can carry 800 passengers meaning that each passenger has allocated 187 kg of the nominal 150 tons of payload. That 187 kg include the passenger’s weight, luggage, seat, life-support and so on. To move 2000 passengers per flight a starship should have a nominal payload capacity of 374 tons which is 3.7 times the payload they state they have. And this is assuming the same weight allocated per each passenger, while it is likely that seat and life support will require more weight in a starship (planes do not carry breathable atmosphere for example, they pressurize the external atmosphere, while starship will need to carry breathable air)

  32. At scale, you have to make a profit at the task, not from excess from some other task. Mars does not have any chance of doing this, compared to O'Neill Space. The enthusiasm both personally and financially for micr0g on the ISS is how things "ought to work". SpaceX can certainly join in.

  33. The other figures were for orbital insertion, not short suborbital hop. Also, the 787 is in the air for a long time.

  34. "Passenger flights for SpaceX Starship will be moving 1200-2000 people per flight" This seems to be 10x what I was reading before. Are you just dividing 150T by the weight of an individual or something? How about the volume consideration — for seats, luggage? The listed Starship payload volume is around 35,000 ft^3. The Boeing 787 is around 26,000 ft^3, and seats 380. Where are those other 1000 people going to ride?

  35. I always wondered why people were lined up ahead of time:
    -window seats, back seats first, front seats last
    -middle seats, back seats first, front seats last
    -aisle seats, back seats first, front seats last

  36. Indeed, they have to make a profit for continuing their R&D and operations.

    If that profit comes from Starlink, so be it.

    That's how these things ought to work, actually.

  37. "not here to take your money but to change the world to be more sustainable and make life multiplanetary." Now, I criticize Musk as much as anyone, but here you are clearly dead wrong. His driving force is perhaps only understandable by those who are Space aware, but it is real.

  38. You say that like its a bad thing. Personally i think the world needs some time buffers before grams and gramps or even mom and pop come to visit.

  39. And what I want to see: Drop shock troopers. Skim that puppy in the upper atmosphere at a lower velocity, deploy troops in pods, then boost back up to your landing zone.

  40. I think he mentioned solar just for PR because solar is 'supposed' to be cleaner than other energy sources.
    In practice the oxygen separators can use any energy source that is available. Use electricity from the grid & the energy source will be whatever mix is feeding the grid near the spaceport.

  41. The military applications for Starship is truly revolutionary. Fast cargo to region by dragging in a offshore platform. Space bomber, imagine a 100tn worth of tungsten rods that could be employed from space nearly impervious to counter, or even stationed in a lead up in orbits providing near on call fires. 100tn payload by the way is about x5 b-2s load out. Missile defense that could see masses of MIRV or even large microwave/laser systems orbiting in space would mean viable assent phase defense. Being able to launch and recover systems would loophole the space based weapons systems treaty.

    Almost everything the Air Force currently does short close in air support Starship will be able to do better with less risk. Naval a orbiting Starship would have the payload capacity to spot and strike whole naval strike groups. In space a Starship could literally fly around and either catch or destroy enemy space based assets.

    From a military perspective Starship could truly be the first human orbital warship and yes with a 100tn load out, on station time of few months, it would be more akin to a Corvette class naval warship. Loaded out for X scenario and deployed to station until use or cease of hostilities, the next decades question wont be were is the carriers it will be were is the Starships. A game changing revolutionary idea that the US space force should be a no brainer to buy a 100 right of the T or everyone should be fired.

  42. He literally compares the cost of the fuel, and you're obsessing over the units of the fuel, when the comparison is in *dollars*? Would you similarly complain if somebody were comparing the cost of coal and heating oil, in dollars, just because the first was sold in tons, and the second in barrels?

  43. There is when you preface an article by comparing 2 wildly different numbers without pointing out the differences between what they are measuring.

    It's called making prejudicial statements, and misleading figures like that are way up there.

    The more I see articles like this the less confidence I have in what they are selling.

  44. Got that right. I'm a 63 year old mechanical engineer, nearing retirement, and I'm mourning the fact that I'm not at an age where I could plausibly work for this guy. Interesting projects, support from management, and a boss who gets his hands dirty and understands what is going on… What's not to like? SpaceX is a dream job for engineers.

  45. He's comparing costs, and the jet fuel is priced per gallon, the methane per ton. There's nothing sketchy about that.

  46. "I believe that the passenger compartments might be swapped in and out of each Starship using a Mechazilla."

    I'm occasionally surprised they don't do this with airliners; Boarding and disembarking represent a significant fraction of total flight time. I suppose it's not so bad because they happen in parallel with refueling, but it's still a conspicuous burden.

  47. "He’s a fellow of the Royal Society and was just voted into the National
    Academy of Engineering. Brilliant people in his fields treat him as an
    expert and authority but YOU can easily tell he’s not. How impressive."

    I guess you've never heard of money then?

    People treat celebrities differently.

    Ever heard of honorary degrees and doctorates?

    Exactly the same thing – when you are paid in doors open, simple as.

  48. There's some sketchy numbers right there from the very start.

    Why list the fuel mass/weight at 1200 tons for the Starship, yet list the fuel volume at 50,000 gallons for the jet?

    A quick Google search brings up a weight of 6.8 pounds / 3.08443 kg per gallon for JP-5 jet fuel.

    50,000 x 3.08443 = 154,221.5 kg = 154 tons.

    So that's actually 1200 tons for the Starship vs 154 tons for the jet.

    I'm not amused.

  49. Military Cargo is another major potential use. The scenarios being mentioned are landing cargo but I’m curious about dropping cargo off above most of the atmosphere but well below orbital speeds. The drop boxes would have hypersonic retropropulsion and parachutes. No thermal tiles needed. Such cargo might include various missiles/drones ready to air launch as with “Rapid Dragon”.
    Drop containers might be mass produced of Starship Stainless.

  50. The disconnect is you recognize that he gets “talented people to work for his “ companies. That’s very true. The best Engineering grads of this generation very much want to work on his projects. You think you are so much smarter than the best Engineering talent that YOU recognize he’s not really an authority or expert while THEY are deceived. He’s a fellow of the Royal Society and was just voted into the National Academy of Engineering. Brilliant people in his fields treat him as an expert and authority but YOU can easily tell he’s not. How impressive.

  51. SpaceX is a business, no paying customer means no Mars missions.
    It remains to be seen if SpaceX is something else.

  52. Solar Storm Destroys 40 New SpaceX Satellites in Orbit

    The geomagnetic incident resulted in the Starlink transmitters drifting back into Earth’s atmosphere, where they will burn up, potentially

    costing the company about $100 million.

    Rolling the dice can be costly, sometimes it comes up snake eyes.

  53. They're not delusional, just forward looking.
    Most people dont recognize this because they dont understand that the timings of technological breakthroughs cannot be predicted. If you have a decent model of reality in your head, you will not engage in magical thinking every time someone makes forward looking statements.

  54. All I see is delusional wishful thinking, you keep referring to Elon’s words as if was an authority, expert or even honest, the reality is that he built his fame on several lies, omissions, and twitter.
    He absolutely deserves merit for the work he has put in, but his biggest achievement of all was managing to create this whole persona around him, the billionaire of the people, not here to take your money but to change the world to be more sustainable and make life multiplanetary.
    Yeah, this is the perfect combo to appeal to the masses and get talented people to passionately work for his (massively) overvalued companies. The tactic of Elon is pushing promises to the edge of the reasonable to make people work hard trying to achieve that, because the world is in danger and we are running out of time of course (yes, he keeps saying this), and people never notice how he keeps moving the goalposts because the updates are constant, progress is being shown and the hype only grows because more promises are made, and people forget of course.
    Some of his previous claims here
    I think it’s important to actively look for content that both praises and criticizes, a simple YouTube search of something like “Elon debunked” will get you to content you probably never consumed before. I have seen some poor attempts of criticism too, but I surely have seen some credible ones as well.

  55. Seems to me they reduced the emphasis on P2P for financing the Mars missions and SpaceX's project development.

    It's kind of alluded as a future usage case. Which it could actually be. Or maybe not. It really depends how reliable the Starship and SuperHeavy combo turn out to be.

  56. Whether or not it works out commercially, I do see the USAF getting behind this for military logistics and sending things from point A to point B. So we may see this type of transport tested with the military first.

  57. Infrastructure for metalox fuel is not existing at any cargo destinations. This has to be built, which increases costs. I doubt they can build oxygen factories with massive solar farms at hundreds of destinations.

  58. I think the G-Forces and vibrations will be be too much for the average air passenger.
    The roller coaster analogy is a perfect one.
    Yeah if you are an adventurer and/or young and fit you will be ok. But your average grandma or grandpa is not Wally Funk or Bill Shatner

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