JAKARTA, Indonesia – SpaceX's first commercial mission for SpaceX's spacecraft and super-heavy-launch system is expected to be in 2021 in talks with potential customers for the first commercial launch of this system in approximately two years.
"We are currently in talks with three different customers to be this first mission," Hofeller said at the APSAT conference here. "These are all telecommunications companies."
The Super Heavy Booster and Starship upper level of SpaceX should carry up to 20 tons in the geostationary transfer orbit or more than 1
According to Hofeller SpaceX plans several test flights before the next generation start system for satellites is used. These test flights – a figure he has not quantified – will demonstrate the launch system for customers and convince insurers of the reliability of a new vehicle.
SpaceX launched a " hop " in April with a Starship prototype that carried the vehicle only a few inches off the ground, Hofeller said. Future tests will reach higher levels, he said.
"We have future hopes for coming later this year," he said. "The goal is to reach orbit as soon as possible, possibly even later this year, with the full stack ready for use by the end of next year and then customers by early 2021." and Falcon Heavy launchers with fully reusable super heavy booster and starship upper level. However, the company will not push customers from one vehicle generation to the next.
"Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy will be there as long as our customers want them," Hofeller said. "If we make it obsolete with a better product and a cheaper price, that's great." , SpaceX founder Elon Musk said last year that the price of booster missions that had already flown dropped from $ 62 million to around $ 50 million. According to Musk, the SpaceX prices would continue to fall.
Hofeller reiterated that prices would continue to fall as a result of the introduction of super heavy and starship. Full reusability of the firing system allows for lower prices.
Being fully reusable also opens up new mission opportunities, he said.
"You could possibly catch a satellite and shut it down if you wanted," Hofeller said. "In this respect, it is very similar to the [space] shuttle area. So we have this tool and challenge the industry: What would you do with it?
SpaceX investigated making the Falcon 9 fully reusable, but struggled with the upper-stage delay, Hofeller said. Efforts to slow down the upper stage would have consumed energy that would otherwise have been used to carry a payload, he said.
SpaceX has reused a single Falcon 9 first stage booster three times. The block 5 version of the rocket, which debuted last year, is designed for up to 10 launches without major refurbishment.
According to Hofeller, SpaceX plans to reuse a single Falcon 9 booster five times by the end of this year.