SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been extremely cost-conscious with the Starship, which is about to launch into orbit hopefully in a few months.
While showing the prototype back in September, Musk said using stainless steel against carbon fiber has helped them to cut down the cost. It makes perfect sense because the ultimate mission is to make space travel as affordable as possible.
Apart from changes to the design, the ability to reuse rockets has also helped the SpaceX team in cost-saving. SpaceX has used Falcon 9 booster over and over again to deliver payloads into space.
But Elon Musk says the Starship will be more reusable than ever and would cost “much less than even a tiny rocket,”.
Speaking at the U.S. Air Force’s annual pitch day in LA, Musk said the including the fuel cost and operational cost per launch, it would probably come down to $2 million.
Previously, SpaceX has referred Starship as a “fully reusable transportation system” that can deliver heavy cargo and crew to lunar orbit, and beyond.
Since the Starship is designed to deliver payloads at a lower marginal cost per launch, SpaceX plans to replace all the launch vehicles including Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy.
The final launch is set for 2020. As of now, SpaceX is testing Starship Mk1 and Mk2 prototypes within the earth’s atmosphere for controlled flight and landing.