Skip to comments.Company planning biggest rocket since man on moon (Private Enterprise at work)
Posted on 04/06/2011 7:42:44 AM PDT by Evil Slayer
WASHINGTON A high-tech entrepreneur unveiled plans Tuesday to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon.
Space Exploration Technology has already sent the first private rocket and capsule into Earth's orbit as a commercial venture. It is now planning a rocket that could lift twice as much cargo into orbit as the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle.
The first launch is slotted for 2013 from California with follow-up launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Space X's new rocket called Falcon Heavy is big enough to send cargo or even people out of Earth's orbit to the moon, an asteroid or Mars. Only the long retired Saturn V rocket that sent men to the moon was bigger.
"This is a rocket of truly huge scale," said Space X president Elon Musk, who also founded PayPal and manufactures electric sports cars.
The Falcon Heavy could put 117,000 pounds into the same orbit as the International Space Station. The space shuttle hauls about 54,000 pounds into orbit. The old Saturn V could carry more than 400,000 pounds of cargo.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
FALCON HEAVY OVERVIEW
If allowed to compete, SpaceX can help the Department of Defense save at least one billion dollars annually in space launch services, while providing a truly independent family of vehicles to help assure access to space.
The Falcon Heavy is classified as an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV). The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to launch satellites into orbit more economically. The program was intended to both secure access to space for the Department of Defense and other United States government payloads and lower costs by at least 25%, and with a goal of 50%.
Unfortunately, primarily due to lack of competition, costs have actually escalatedincreasing by over 30% for FY 2012 alone. The total cost of the current program now exceeds $2.7B, with over $1B paid to a single provider just to sustain the program. That is one billion dollars per year, whether they launch or not.
Falcon Heavy with more than twice the payload but less than one third the cost of a Delta IV Heavy, will provide much needed relief to government and commercial budgets. This year, even as the Department of Defense budget was cut, the EELV launch program, which includes the Delta IV, still saw a thirty percent increase.
The 2012 Air Force budget includes $1.74B for four launches, an average of $435M per launch. With Falcon Heavy priced at $80-125M per launch SpaceX has the potential to provide the US government significant value. In addition, the medium-lift Falcon 9 could support a number of medium-lift Air Force launches at only $50-60M per launch, if SpaceX were allowed to compete for this business.
Americans doing the jobs government can’t or won’t!
(And probably a hell of a lot cheaper and better.)
My 7th grade English teacher would cringe at the structure of that sentence.....
Nice to hear we won't have to depend on the Ruskies for a ride to space.....
I was at a lunch yesterday with Musk. A remarkable entrepreneur with a remarkable vision. One of the most stimulating meetings I’ve ever attended.
Saw this on I think Drudge a day or two ago. Sure looks like one badass rocket :)
You do know that SpaceX has already received about 1/2 Billion of our tax dollars from NASA, right?
Crony capitalism vs. government contractor waste - what a choice.
We should be pushing for true competitive market capitalism (i.e. commercial space.) Thats when we start seeing real progress.