Industry Disruptor: SpaceX Falcon 9 LEO Launch Pricing 2010 to 2022

In the early days of SpaceX, there were many in the industry who were extremely skeptical about SpaceX’s very low launch costs. In 2011 Elon Musk posted a response to skeptics on his company’s website.

I recognize that our prices shatter the historical cost models of government-led developments, but these prices are not arbitrary, premised on capturing a dominant share of the market, or teaser rates meant to lure in an eager market only to be increased later. These prices are based on known costs and a demonstrated track record, and they exemplify the potential of America’s commercial space industry.

Elon Musk, 2011

11 years later and Elon’s quote remains true. Moreover, since then SpaceX has continued to improve on its pricing. In 2022, the Falcon 9 price per kilogram has dropped by more than 55% relative to SpaceX’s initial price in 2010 (using constant FY21 dollars).

The following chart illustrates the scope of their leadership – as of 2022 the Falcon 9 price is consistently 50%, or more, lower then the vast majority of other launch vehicles past and present.

SpaceX continues to provide industry-leading pricing and Starship promises an order of magnitude reduction in the launch pricing…

Additional information for the curious

Estimating Space Launch Prices for Market Comparatives – A Quick Overview

New Orbital Rockets on the Horizon

Insights Into Operational Orbital Launch Vehicle Types

First Orbital Launches of Privately Developed Launch Vehicles from the Past to the Future

Orbital Launch Vehicles Compendium 2022

Launch Vehicle Categorizations Made Simple: What You Need To Know

Print Friendly, PDF & Email