SpaceX handles two-thirds of NASA’s launches, so our question is: how does Elon Musk manage to get his SpaceX employees to build rockets so quickly! Stay tuned and subscribe to Futurity.
Since June 2010, rockets from the Falcon 9 group have launched 114 times, with 112 successful launches. The SpaceX lineup dominates rocket flights because of their innovation and how efficient their rockets are. They’re currently the only privately owned company that successfully delivers humans to the international space station.
SpaceX handles about two-thirds of NASA’s launches, including many research payloads, with flights as cheap as $62 million, roughly two-thirds the price of a rocket from United Launch Alliance, a competitor.
So, with all of these workloads, it begs the question: How does SpaceX manage to build their rockets so fast?
Straightforward answer? Through exceptional engineering.
Their rockets are all made with innovative technology. Hypersonic grid fins made of titanium have been installed on all the SpaceX rockets, contributing to their rockets’ smooth landing. Elon Musk says these fins will be manufactured from welded steel on future starship vehicles.
The costs of their materials are relatively cheaper. Musk says carbon fiber costs about $135 per kilogram, which about 35% of it is wasted in the manufacturing process.
Thus, Elon Musk has opted for the cost-saving option in stainless steel, which costs about $3 per kilogram. And Elon explains that this is even more beneficial because it allows the company to experiment freely, without much fear of losing lots of money, compared to using carbon fiber.