Can Musk Reduce Launch Costs By 10X? If So, What Does It Mean for Payload Costs

The Musk Factor: reducing the cost of spaceflight

“With his new line of Falcon rockets, Elon Musk plans to reduce NGEO cargo transport costs from $10,000/lb to around $1000/lb. His target “Musk Factor” savings is therefore 10x. The first successful Falcon 1 launch on September 28, 2008 and an upcoming first attempt to launch a larger Falcon 9 rocket suggest Musk is once again traveling down the lucrative road to success.

“However, the Futron study raises a key question: Even if SpaceX succeeds, how will payload efficiencies affect Falcon launch costs? Even with the right technology and a string of launch successes, Musk might not achieve his 10x reduction in NGEO cost per pound… or conversely, the effective savings could actually be higher for efficiently packed payloads.”