SpaceX Inflation
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Inflation bites: SpaceX forced to increase rocket launch prices by 20%, Now Charging $1.2 Million To Place 200 Kilograms in LEO

With its ride-sharing program, SpaceX is now charging $1.2 million to launch 200 kg into low-earth orbit.

In the middle of the inflationary tsunami that has severely impacted the profits of technology companies like NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel, SpaceX has also raised the cost of its launch services. The firm is now charging 20% more for its rideshare programs while simultaneously lowering the minimum costs it gives to its rideshare clients. The company still offers the lowest rates in the market to a variety of locations, including low Earth orbit (LEO).

The basic cost of a Falcon 9 rocket for a flight to geostationary orbit is now $67 million according to pricing increases made by SpaceX. (GTO). When SpaceX raised the cost of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, the first indications of inflation were evident. The cost to launch 5.5 metric tons into a geostationary orbit with the Falcon 9 has increased to $67 million, while the cost to launch 8 metric tons into the same orbit has increased to $97 million, according to a fact sheet for both that is posted on the company’s website.

This equates to $12,181 for the Falcon 9 and $12,125 for the Falcon Heavy per kilogram. The missions for the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy had originally cost $62 million and $90 million, respectively, before the changes. As its rocket fuel, SpaceX employs Rocket Propellant 1 (RP-1), also known as kerosene. In June of this year, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, kerosene heating oil prices soared to all-time highs.

On the other side, SpaceX increased the cost of its rocket launches in March while also warning clients that:

In March 2022, price modifications were made to reflect the high inflation. The cost of missions bought in 2022 but flown after 2023 may need to be adjusted further owing to inflation.

Furthermore, if kerosene heating oil futures statistics are any guide, prices could not decline very soon. These futures, which “price” products months in advance, presently predict that heating oil will cost $4.18 and have increased by a staggering 66% in the last year. Nevertheless, they are still below their $5.86 52-week high.

SpaceX Starlink Launch
SpaceX Starlink Launch

The cost of SpaceX’s ride-sharing service has increased as a result of the escalating rates. These prices originally climbed in March as well, with a 200-kilogram cargo to sun-synchronous orbit costing $1.1 million. Prior to the hike, the company had previously charged $1 million for the same payload and $5,000 for each extra kilogram. The per kilogram charges had also increased by $500.

According to the most recent information on the SpaceX rideshare website, the company is now charging $1.2 million for the same 200-kilogram payload while maintaining the same degree of incremental price rise for each kilogram.

In contrast to its former choices, which had a fixed price for all payloads up to 200 kilograms, SpaceX now additionally charges a minimum of $300,000 for payloads weighing up to 50 kilos. A price of $6,000 per kilogram is obtained from the base price for 50 kilograms, which is somewhat less than the price for each extra kilogram.

The bulk of the capacity demanded by the clients should be explained by a close examination of the payload weights of the Falcon 9 rideshare, although first, it seems like an effort to keep customers interested as the cost of higher payloads rises.

A complete Falcon 9 plate can accommodate 300 kilograms of payload weight, a quarter plate of 100 kilograms, and a half plate of 200 kilograms. SpaceX allows its customers to launch as much as 862 kilos of cargo per port.


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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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