Space flight is quite an expensive endeavor. Sending a satellite or any kind of payload into space costs a huge sum of money. This is why, from the very beginning, recovering rocket boosters has been the ethos of SpaceX.
The company has recently succeeded in retrieving the first stage rocket booster of the famous Falcon 9. And with this, SpaceX is now beginning to do its due diligence on exactly how much its clients can save by reusing the Falcon 9.
According to Space News, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell claims that reusing the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 saves the company more than 50 percent compared to when a new booster is made. While Shotwell did not specifically say the exact figures, one can only deduce that it costs a lot.
At the moment, a single Falcon 9 launch can cost as much as $62 million. If SpaceX decides to reflect the savings to its clients, flight cost could drop to a low as $35 million. This assuming that the first stage booster carries around 80 percent of the total cost to build a complete Falcon 9 rocket.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, the launch price still remains at $62 million. SpaceX is yet to realize any savings on the current Falcon 9 program. At the moment, the company has had nine successful attempts on recovering the first stage rocket booster. Furthermore, it would also need to improve on the turn-around time of its rockets to actually make it profitable.
Apart from the first stage booster, SpaceX is also planning on recovering the secondary stage rocket and payload fairings of the Falcon 9. Although the former is a bit more difficult than the latter. In fact, SpaceX has already managed to recover one of the fairings from its previous launch. The company is still trying to figure out a better way of recovering the other parts of its rocket.