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Elon Musk says SpaceXs Starship could fly for as little as $2 million per launch

SpaceXs goal has long been to achieve truly reusable rocket launch capabilities, and for good reason: The company anticipates huge cost savings through re-usable rocketry, vs. expendable launch vehicles, which SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has described as a process akin to an airline throwing away their passenger aircraft every time they complete a flight. Theyve made lots of progress towards that goal, and now frequently re-fly parts of their Falcon 9 rockets and their Dragon cargo capsules, but the Starship spaceship theyre building now should be even more re-usable.
Musk provided an idea of just how much that could save SpaceX and by extension, its customers at a surprise guest appearance at the U.S. Air Forces annual pitch day in LA this week. Speaking with USAF Lieutenant General John Thompson at the event (via Space.com), Musk said that fuel costs for the Starship should be around $900,000 per launch, and that once you factor in operational costs, itll probably add up to around $2 million per use. Thats much less than even a tiny rocket, Musk added, explaining why he views it as imperative that this launch system needs to be made.
Starship is designed from the ground-up to provide high payload cargo capacity, and when paired with SpaceXs Super Heavy booster, also in development, as well as in-orbit refuelling, itll also offer the ability to transport large quantities of goods and satellites to lunar orbit and eventually beyond to Mars, too. Starship will eventually replace all of SpaceXs launch vehicles, the company hopes, a goal that it hopes to achieve because its operation should eventually be much more cost-effective than either Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy once its fully complete and flying.
For now, SpaceX is readying the Starship Mk1 and Mk2 prototypes for their first test flights, which will aim to achieve high-altitude controlled flight and landing, but still remain within Earths atmosphere. The company is also optimistically hoping for an orbital test in as little as six months time.
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