According to the interview given for the RBC-TV channel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin thinks that Russia has no reason to compete with SpaceX considering launching vehicles:
“The share of launch vehicles is as small as 4% percent of the overall market of space services. The 4% stake isn’t worth the effort to try to elbow Musk and China aside.”
He estimates that what’s more important is to create payloads, not the means to launch them in space, saying that “payloads manufacturing is where good money can be made.”
Nonetheless, after dominating space launching, Russia changes their focus towards a more profitable sector in the space services.
Now, SpaceX and China are the only ones that compete against each other, and SpaceX beats the low costs in China.
Now, China uses its rockets to send their GPS and satellites to the orbit. This year they have made 22 launches so far and should successfully finish a total of 35 by the end of 2018.
SpaceX has had 14 successful launches this year and they have about ten other launches planned by the end of 2018.
Winning the “Race” With Reusability
SpaceX has been all about reusability, improving the first stage reusability and now trying to also recover the fairings (nose cone covers), which are $6 million! Next, SpaceX will try to recover the second stages after they finish their design on the inflatable heat shield. In a Twitter post, Musk simply wrote:
“SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon,” also mentioning that it will land on “a bouncy house.”
Of course, there’s a lot of tech and science behind that party balloon and the bouncy house.
If SpaceX can reuse all parts of the payload rocket and is successful with the BFR in 2022, China will have a hard time to catch up.
Rocket companies that cannot reuse parts like SpaceX will surely drop out, considering that the direction goes towards reusability.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.