They didn’t recover the fairing… But it landed on water intact! Incredible. Another 6 mil in savings per launch.
That’s a good little chunk. Every time you take off an equal sized chunk, you increase the percentage you’re gaining of the next reduction in savings.
So, you know, if you save 70% on the booster, 6 million is suddenly a much larger percentage of your per launch cost. Sum over a bunch of rockets, and that ends up being a lot of money. Say they can save 4 additional million per launch.
That’s 120-160 million over 30-40 launches, which is what SpaceX is aiming to level off at with the Falcon 9. Whatever the case, if the nose cone can be recovered, it’s actually a LOT of money that can go towards future launch vehicles over the life of the Falcon 9. I’d estimate it’s got another 100-300 launches, which is 400 million to 1.2 billion dollars from recovering the nose cone, and it’s looking like its doable.
BFR will be the insane money making machine though. They’ll probably start out charging per launch about what the going rate is. They could probably charge 500 million fully loaded, so realistically they’ll keep their launch rates secret and charge by the payload mass because of supply and demand.
So, they might actually profit by well over a hundred million on some launches.