An animation of a launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 with Dragon showing powered vertical return of both stages and the Dragon. Credit: SpaceX
During an appearance at the National Press Club today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that reusing the Falcon 9 rocket could lead to a 100-fold decrease in launch costs. The Falcon 9 costs $50 million to build, but the fuel is only $200,000 per flight. So, the more times SpaceX reuses the same rocket, the lower the per flight cost becomes.
SpaceX is working on a prototype for reusable stages, which it wants to test at its facility in McGregor, Texas. The development is expected to take 3 years.