When Physics, Economics, and Reality Collide
The Challenge of Cheap Orbital Access


John M. Jurist, M.D.
Sam Dinkin, Ph.D
David Livingston, DBA


Appendix 1: Baseline Models

The following spreadsheet shows the analytical results of the ELV and RLV baseline models. In this table, the red values are input and blue values are output. Numbers for 1,000 pound payload, 10,000 pound payload, and 100,000 pound payload programs are included in the analysis.

The R&D and Facility Amortization values include finance charges that are not included in the tables presented within the paper.

In the next spreadsheet, values for an air-launched ELV (AC+ELV) are presented without the associated costs of the launching aircraft. This program bears some similarities to the Pegasus vehicle, although the maximum probable loss figure for the Pegasus is closer to $40 million. In this analysis, the maximum probable loss was computed at $417 per pound of fully fueled vehicle with payload in place. Range costs for the air-launched vehicle were arbitrarily set to $200,000. Keep in mind that if the vehicle track up to orbit intrudes on a national range, range costs will be incurred.

PseudoFalcon-I represents a program that exhibits some similarities to the SpaceX Falcon-I project, and PseudoFalcon-V represents a program similar to the Falcon-V. Range costs for the Falcon series were negotiated and include an unknown component of public subsidy. Note that the Falcon series has yet to fly successfully and the first test flight of Falcon-I is currently scheduled to take place in September, 2005. By commissioning a reliability study, SpaceX was able to negotiate lower insurance costs based on assumed reliability of similar vehicles. In addition, the first few manifested flights will carry uninsured government payloads.

The green values represent computed risk-based insurance premiums as an alternative to traditional launch insurance premiums based on assumptions of reliability shown in the table.

The third spreadsheet is a reformulation of the first spreadsheet using risk based insurance in place of the standard insurance.

Appendix 2: Propellant Costs

The baseline models used cryogenic propellant costs obtained from General Distributing Company in Billings, MT. Those costs included all taxes and transportation fees. Obviously, propellant costs will vary with quantities purchased and associated shipping costs and taxes.

Other costs for fuel in January, 2000 delivered to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) were obtained from Henry [Ref. 9]. Those costs should be inflated by about 25 to 30 percent to bring them to the present. Since they were for governmental purchases, they did not include taxes paid in the private sector.

Finally, Jet-A fuel cost was obtained from the Edwards Jet Center in Billings, MT on March 9, 2005. Jet-A is very similar to RP-1 and was used as a surrogate.

April, 2005 telephone quotes for LOx were $0.187 per pound in Las Vegas, Nevada and $0.295 per pound in Mojave, California for 160 liter quantities.


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