Wednesday, February 08, 2006

SpaceX To Try Again Saturday.

SpaceX has pushed back their attempt to launch Falcon 1 to Saturday. (Here.) We wish them success. As a reminder of what's at stake here's a quote from a recent New York Times article about SpaceX's Elon Musk.
"In the commercial market, the United States' two big rocket giants, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have been priced out by lower-cost competitors from Russia, Ukraine and France. Lockheed's Atlas 5 had only one commercial order in 2005, compared with 22 in 1998. Boeing has withdrawn its Delta 4 rocket from the commercial market and relies exclusively on business from the United States government.

At stake is a market that was worth $4 billion last year, when governments and businesses paid for 55 launchings, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Of those, 18 were commercial, with a value of $1 billion.

American companies compete for commercial orders only by teaming with foreign partners — often former cold-war foes. Lockheed has teamed up with Khrunichev State Research of Russia to form International Launch Services, which mainly uses Russia's Proton rockets. Boeing has joined with several nations to form a consortium called the Sea Launch; it uses the Ukrainian Zenit 3SL to put up commercial payloads."
Read more here.

-tdr

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