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SpaceX Rocket Launch Price Prompts Rival ULA Cut Atlas 5 Daily Expenses

by Guenee Salugsugan / Apr 10, 2017 08:16 AM EDT
SpaceX: The Privately Funded Aerospace Company Founded By Elon Musk

SpaceX rival United Launch Alliance has slashed the price of its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket flights by around one-third. This is in response to the rising competition between the two companies.

SpaceX Rocket Launch Cost Drives Competitor's Price Crashing

For SpaceX rival ULA chief executive Tory Bruno, the price for rocket launch nowadays is even more significant than it has been in the past. That said, the company is reported to drop the cost of Atlas nearly every day. In fact, reports suggest that as of December 2016, the baseline Atlas 5 rocket launch was sold for $109 million, although satellite operators could make at least half that price through favorable insurance rates, including an on-time launch.

SpaceX, on the other hand, lists the Falcon 9 rocket launch base price of $62 million on its website. Meantime, ULA's cost reductions include trimming the company's payroll, as it previously announced cutting as much as 875 jobs before 2017 ends. Last month, it reportedly lost a contract with the US Air Force for a global positioning satellite launch to SpaceX, bidding $96.5 million for the work, Fortune reported.

SpaceX Spent Less Than Half The Price Of Falcon 9's Relaunch

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell revealed that the price of refurbishing the Falcon 9 rocket, which initially flew the CRS-8 Space Station resupply mission last year was less than half the price of building a new one. That is, however, despite doing a lot to get the recovered rocket back to its operational condition. This means that the savings are expected to go up, given that SpaceX did more this time, compared to what they are doing on the future ones in terms of refurbishment activities.

However, SpaceX currently charges around $62 million, which means the previous reports do not suggest a significant price cut in rocket launches. Meantime, Elon Musk has earlier revealed the amount of money spent by SpaceX in developing reusable rocket tests, the prices that will have to be recouped even when the cost related to the individual launches goes down over time, TechCrunch reported. Check out SpaceX CRS-10: Falcon 9 Launch and Landing here:


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