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Gywnne Shotwell says there is a market for "private crew" flights on Dragon

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by ecarfan, Jun 27, 2017.

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  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    In the Space Show radio program broadcast on 7/22/2017 at http://www.thespaceshow.com/file/7663/download?token=0hnS0L2y Gywnne Shotwell said that there is an "unexpectedly large market for private crew" flights on Dragon, to LEO and farther.

    We know that Elon announced a 2018 Dragon mission to fly around the moon (not land) with two private paying customers. Gywnne is implying that there are other paying customers who want to do a Dragon mission and that it could be a real part of SpaceX business.

    Wow.
     
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  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for my misspelling of Gwynne's name! :confused: I've asked the moderator to correct my thread titles.
     
  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    She said that SpaceX will focus on their NASA Commercial Crew contract first but after that is going well then they will be up for paying customers.

    The already announced cislunar flight will use a Falcon Heavy and a Dragon 2. SpaceX is building 4 Dragon 2's currently.
     
  4. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Maybe Bigelow has a point?
     
  5. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    How much is a ticket around the moon? I need to figure out the dimensions of the piggy bank I need to start saving.
     
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  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    My guess is $75 million each. Start saving your bitcoins. Or if you bought $10K of Tesla stock at the opening you should almost be there... :)
     
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  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thanks for clarifying. I was just amazed that she was being so open about saying how much interest there was in "private crew" flights given the cost...
    I didn't get in at the opening but am still pretty happy about the current TSLA price. Unfortunately, my spouse/CFO says that we haven't quite got the necessary $75 million to get me a seat in a Dragon. Darn it. Some rich person is going to get my seat! :mad:
     
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  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Based on @Grendal's guess of $75M, if you want to start saving your pennies, then simplifying a lot, your moon-shaped (of course!) piggy bank would need a radius of about 78 feet.
     
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  9. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    IMG_0003.JPG
    Something like this?
     
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  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    So all you have to do is fill a Bigelow module with cash.
     
  11. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    For how many people?
    The launch is about $100m and my understanding is the Dragon is about another $100m, although I've not been able to find any current pricing and I don't think that was for a crewed mission.
     
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  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    The wealthy have to find something to do with their undistributions.

    Expected future headline: Billionaire Love Cheat "Took Mistress To Space"
     
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  13. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The announcement for the cislunar excursion was that two people would be paying customers. So that is $150 million for this trip. It will be interesting to see if someone from SpaceX comes along as well. I'm thinking there won't be.

    A FH costs $90 million retail. A Dragon 2 can't be $100 million. That was probably early development cost versions. I'd guess it's probably about $20 or $30 million for a fresh D2. So a nice little profit for SpaceX and a huge amount of positive PR. It's possible that one or more pieces will be "flight proven." If so, the profit margin for this endeavor jumps up accordingly.
     
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  14. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Aren't Dragon 2s reusable?
     
  15. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The quick answer is yes. However. Dragon 2's are being created under the Commercial Crew program from NASA. NASA is paying for all new capsules for their initial run. The other issue for NASA is that there is no way they will allow for powered landings. So the D2 capsules will be using parachutes and landing in salt water. That will damage them to some extent over doing a powered landing. No doubt that SpaceX will still get them back and refurbish them as much as possible though. So the long answer is that SpaceX wants them reusable and doing powered landings but that won't happen anytime soon as far as we know.

    I hope that answered your question.
     
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  16. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Thanks. Ok, but if SpaceX went whole hog on the space tourism thing, presumably they'd prove out rocket landings for D2 and do that.

    Too bad SpaceX wasn't public, their stock price would've just jumped at Shotwell's comment!
     
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  17. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It certainly sounds like there is a decent market for tourism flights. I can only wish that SpaceX would be public and I'd be all in. No chance for it though. Maybe the Boring company....

    Since we're speculating on space tourism, Let's speculate on what various flights would cost. Here are my guesses:

    You need a Dragon 2.
    Reused D2 is an additional cost of $10 million.
    A new D2 is $20 million.
    You get to keep your reused Dragon as a souvenir at $30 million.
    You keep your new Dragon you used for $40 million.
    A SpaceX "guide" is an additional $5 million.

    A reused Falcon 9 trip to LEO is $60 million. (maybe $50 million)
    A brand new F9 to LEO is $70 million.
    For every extra day in orbit it is $1 million.

    Going to MEO or an elliptical orbit is an additional $5 million.

    A reused Falcon Heavy is $90 million.
    A new Falcon Heavy is $110 million.

    A cislunar flight is an additional $40 million (add in number of days as extra).

    Your space suit is included and you get to keep it as a souvenir.

    The price is split among the various paying astronauts. A minimum of two are necessary to a maximum of 4. The capsule can hold up to seven, and that can be arranged, but not recommended for the best experience.

    :)
    I'm obviously having fun with this but c'mon these folks are extra rich and can easily afford this extravagance.
     
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  18. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

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    Always learning something new here. I didn't realize that NASA was initially restricting manned Dragon 2 capsules to ocean landings. I assume that after X amount of powered landings, NASA will eventually acquiesce to the new technology, perhaps beginning with unmanned CRS missions to the ISS. So here's a question. Does anyone know if a powered landing might be utilized for the private lunar mission next year?

    Another question related to the private lunar mission next year. I've seen it referred to as cislunar, meaning an area in space that lies between the earth and our moon's orbit. My understanding is that this mission is designed to circumnavigate the moon, thereby flying somewhere beyond our moon's orbit, space referred to as translunar. Can't forgot the old Apollo call out, "go for TLI". Am I missing something?
     
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  19. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    I think they consider it cislunar tourism because it won't orbit the moon and the fly by either isn't considered translunar or is such an insanely small portion of the trip it isn't significant and doesn't get naming clout. Like they spend 99% of the trip in cislunar space and 20 minutes translunar so we call it cislunar. I don't know the official industry cutoff on how they decide to name the flight cis vs trans if it goes through both so that's just my guess.
     
  20. ccutrer

    ccutrer Active Member

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    There are about 2,000 billionaires worldwide. Even at a billionaire level, you're talking dropping 10% of your net worth on a single "vacation". Most of these people did not get to be billionaires by spending significant fractions of their money on the way. So yes it's easily affordable, but I don't think even the uber rich will pay $100+ million without some amount of thought.
     
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