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Will lower cost rocket launches, announced by SpaceX, accelerate space exploration and development?

Today, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX unveiled final specifications and launch date for the Falcon Heave, the world's largest rocket.

When answering questions to reporters, he described his vision of producing rockets in a car-manufacturing like manner. Basically SpaceX is setting up a repeatable and efficient assembly of rockets. Elon believes that in the near future his company will produce and launch more rockets than the rest of the world combined.

The price of each rocket launch will be several times lower than existing launches from other organizations. His estimates are based on SpaceX extensive experience and production cost of existing Falcon 9 rocket. According to SpaceX, "Falcon Heavy at approximately $1,000 per pound to orbit, sets a new world record in affordable spaceflight."

Elon invisions that substantially lowering cost of sending equipment/people into space will lead to a new era of mankind in space exploration and space development.

What do you think are the possibilities with such a cheap space transportation system? Will commerical companies start to consider asteroid or Moon as a base for mining or tourist operations? Will we see space travel to become common place?

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    Apr 6 2011: And I was just on the site last night and no mention was made. Though I did notice an extra link to the heavy lift rocket on their front page.

    Hi Zdenek,

    I think this is awesome. I think that Spacex will lead the way in commercial space, with Virgin Galactic right behind, followed by Bigelow Aerospace with their hotel. I think that space travel will become more commonplace, but certainly not like public transportation. More like really nice sports cars (Mr. Musk also owns Tesla Motors, in case you're in the market for a really nice sports car). For the rich and the lucky mostly, but prevalent enough to not cause much comment. I think the most important thing will be giving smaller business and schools access to space. That's where all the excitement will be. Right up until someone creates space laser tag.
    • Apr 7 2011: Hi Daniel,

      Their page now has "Think Big" announcement =)

      I agree. It will take time before general public will see any tickets they can afford. Hopefully we will live long enough to see it.
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        Apr 7 2011: Nice! Much expanded over what they had a little while ago:)

        I hope we get to go to space as well. Which makes me think of a phrase, the best way to predict the future is to create it. So what would it take to get the price to go to orbit down to maybe a really nice vacation? Or, what will it take to make going to space commonplace?
        • Apr 9 2011: I am not sure about that however I think Elon will make that happen sooner or later =)
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        Apr 10 2011: Hopefully sooner rather than later! They're expecting to complete the first ISS resupply mission before next year. Which will be kinda nice, after all the backlash against commercial space after the Augustine report came out.