back to article SpaceX adds Mars haulage to its price list

Elon Musk's SpaceX has started offering cargo haulage to Mars. The company's ”capabilities” page now includes an option titled “Payload to Mars” that wasn't there last time the internet archive scanned the page back in early April 2016. For just US$62m SpaceX will send 4,020kg to Mars atop a Falcon 9. If you've rather more …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to send 13,600kg to Mars, and make the Martians pay for it.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Calm down Donald

      Why? There are no waterfront properties to ruin and run down there, so from that perspective, why bother?

      Even if they were, how do you define suitably puritan (no t*ts allowed) and suitably misoginistic dress code for the Martian entry into the Miss universe pageant. For sake of argument, let's assume certain movies with Natasha Henstridge to be documentaries. Also, how do you prevent them from eating (or f*** the brains out) of other participants?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Let's take up a collection

      And send the remaining five presidential candidates to Mars. I'm sure we could raise that money in no time at all. It'll be cheap, even with Trump's ego the total weight would be under 4850 kg (we won't bother with food, water or oxygen for them, to save weight)

      Then we'll be forced to start over with new candidates. Sure, they might not be better, but pretty sure they couldn't be worse!

      1. IglooDude

        Re: Let's take up a collection

        Yep, it's delivery to Mars. Doesn't say anything about a landing so either leave it in orbit (and wait for the occupants to come out and retrieve it), or just let Martian gravity reel it in and see if they're packaged well enough to survive a 50km drop off the truck.

        1. annodomini2 Bronze badge

          Re: Let's take up a collection

          Change the mars approach angle so it hits the planet, there it's landed, nothing about landing intact.

    3. Outcast !!!

      Ex-work Mars.

    4. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      I'm going to send 13,600kg to Mars, and make the Martians pay for it.

      Well, if they refuse to accept the parcel and it has to be returned, that might be expensive?

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Considering NASA struggled to get Curiosity to Mars, and it only weighs 1 ton, that's pretty impressive.

    Note that this is quite an upgrade of the Merlin, and probably includes the supercooled fuel and other tweaks.

    Also notice these prices are with recovered boosters, but the payload quoted is where the boosters are NOT recovered. Musk had an earlier tweet where he said recovery cost something like 15% of payload, but it's been deleted.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      I assume...

      That's to Mars orbit or even less, "the general direction of Mars". A lander/rover is going to be less weight than the entire package.

      1. Chemist

        Re: I assume...

        "That's to Mars orbit or even less, "the general direction of Mars". A lander/rover is going to be less weight than the entire package."

        A Landrover is going to weigh less than the entire package !

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Hmm... Am I missing something

    Most other long range stacks have a fourth/trajectory insertion stage. ULA and Arianne if memory serves me right bespokes that part every time. They standardize at payload fairing level. Russians have it standardized all the way by means of Fregat and Briz. This is one of the reasons most long range missions use them nowdays.

    What is Elon going to use here?

  4. redpawn Silver badge

    Less than $200 an ounce

    if I did the maths right. Even I could afford to send something small at that price.

    What would you send?

    1. Oengus Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Less than $200 an ounce

      If a few of us chip in and we use a dehydrator I am sure we could send a good number of IP lawyers or politicians.

      I wonder how much it would take to send Donald Trump to Mars...

      I think I need to start a Kickstarter crowd funding project...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Less than $200 an ounce

        According to this still from the documentary 'Total Recall', Trump has already been to Mars:

        https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7114/7423325574_33f7ee54aa_b.jpg

    2. RegGuy1

      Re: Less than $200 an ounce

      What's an ounce?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Less than $200 an ounce

        "What's an ounce?"

        An "ounce" is what the lander does when the chutes don't open and it lands too hard for the bouncy packaging to work. It's shorthand for lithobraking.

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Less than $200 an ounce

      "What would you send?"

      A big box of Mars bars, obviously...

  5. Thesheep

    $62!

    I'm going with the ElReg offer of $62 for 4,800kg. Presumably on LOHAN Heavy.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Amazon Prime?

    Wait until Amazon adds Mars to their "Prime" free shipping list - then you'll know that Mars has really arrived.

    1. IglooDude

      Re: Amazon Prime?

      "Wait until Amazon adds Mars to their "Prime" free shipping list - then you'll know that Mars has really arrived."

      Till then, if I was Jeff Bezos, I'd offer delivery to Mars using SpaceX's shipping rates with a small 5% handling fee markup.

      1. stucs201

        Re: Amazon Prime?

        "Wait until Amazon adds Mars to their "Prime" free shipping list"

        Well they'll already ship mars to you in bar form...

  7. IT Poser

    GTO payload capacity

    The performance of the Falcon 9, on the archive is 4850kg to GTO. On the new price chat it is 8300kg. Prices for Mars are impressive enough but the increased payload of the Falcon 9 is just plain amazing. I don't know if there is room for another 50% increase with the current engines but Musk might not need a Heavy for Red Dragon.

  8. Sandtitz Silver badge
    Joke

    Hmm...

    So, how many telephone sanitizers equals 13,600kg?

  9. xperroni
    Thumb Up

    For the low, low price of 0.09 Instagram...

    ...you could get some actual work done!

    Peanuts, really.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Pizza delivery to Mars!

    However, I imagine the tip might be sizeable.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Pizza delivery to Mars!

      We would have to send it back as it will be cold by the time it gets there.

  11. The Nazz Silver badge

    What a bargain! "For just US$62.0 SpaceX will send 4,850kg to Mars"

    Okay, i've booked the Ex on the first flight, no guarantee required other than it at least tries to take off.

    Bonus too, 4,740 kgs spare capacity, free to a good home.

  12. fpx
    Facepalm

    The Missing Link

    The $62M gets you off the launch pad and into a transfer orbit.

    If you play your cards well that might get your four ton payload to Mars, but presumably the transfer vehicle comes out of your own budget (dollar-wise and weight-wise).

  13. oceanhippie

    I wonder if it's El Reg's typo or Space x's? If it's Space X's book before they notice.

    Sixty two bucks is a pretty good deal for Mars. Don't go over the weight limit or they'll put it up by 90 million.

  14. Mikel

    Design flaw

    There doesn't seem to be any way to add it to your shopping cart on the website.

  15. Hero Protagonist

    Hmm, this has got me thinking

    What would it take to design a paper airplane that could fly in Mars' thin atmosphere? Get on it El Reg!

    1. Esme

      Re: Hmm, this has got me thinking

      it'd have to be pretty thin tissue and mahoosive wings, bit like some of those indoor gliders/rubber band planes that fly at walking pace.

  16. Stoke the atom furnaces

    Trip to Mars

    "$90m buys you up to 13,600kg of cargo on a Falcon Heavy."

    Interesting. Admittedly designed for a weaker gravity field than Mars, but the gross mass of the Ascent Stage of the Apollo Lunar Module was only 4,700 kg.

  17. Dave Bell

    Seriously for the moment.

    This flight to Mars is about at the right time to test Falcon Heavy. The timing is set by the orbits of Earth and Mars, and there might not be that many payloads that need to be that big, so it's certain to be an early Falcon heavy launch. Because they're using so much of the same hardware at the Falcon 9, it's less of a risk, but it'll show the system is good, if it works. The flight to Mars and the landing are almost a bonus.

    (Yes, I have Kerbal Space Program.)

  18. Kharkov
    Pint

    Aren't SpaceX missing an opportunity here?

    Advertising that they are ready to take stuff to Mars (vicinity? orbit? surface?) is great, kudos SpaceX, but...

    The best way to advertise that you can do a thing is to... actually do a thing.

    Thus, the best thing SpaceX could do would be to buy a lander (or make one, but getting someone else who has done it before to build it for them would be better), get all the SpaceX employees to throw in some stuff they want to send (Have your family's picture sent to Mars or, symbolically your Mother-in-Law's picture.) and just send it off.

    As long as SpaceX remembers to have four cameras transmitting back to Earth, it should work great.

    PS Didn't the Arkyd Series 100 asteroid spotter get advertised as having a screen within the camera's line of sight? If memory serves, you could pay to have your picture appear on the screen and then the camera would take a picture of it with one he-double-hockeysticks of a background. Let SpaceX do that!

    1. Brangdon

      Re: Aren't SpaceX missing an opportunity here?

      They already have their own lander being developed. They plan to send it to Mars in 2018.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Aren't SpaceX missing an opportunity here?

      "he-double-hockeysticks"

      It took me quite a while to realise that you were trying to say 'hell' here. It's ok, you're allowed to swear on elReg, just as long as you don't say something really filthy like B*lgium.

      1. Black Betty

        Aitch ee, double hockey-sticks is a Radar O'Reily quote from M*A*S*H

        The above is not at all mild, it is paint blistering profanity.

  19. Sproggit

    Practicalities

    Thinking about the successful First Stage landings that we've seen from SpaceX so far (3), it's obvious that Elon Musk is pushing his domestic program to learn enough to be able to safely land the Red Dragon on Mars.

    Now, you *could* do all sorts with that, including carry payloads for the likes of NASA and other agencies, such as rovers and the like. At the moment I do not see much in the way of commercial demand for landing payloads there, but would love to be proven wrong.

    Where this gets interesting, however, will be the work done in preparation for a human landing. We have already seen how SpaceX uses "spare capacity" to push their design envelope and experiment with new technology. You can bet that if anyone wants to send a partial payload to Mars, then SpaceX will take the order and pack every gram of spare capacity with their own experimental gear. Even if the rockets carry nothing more than spare materials or tools then it will be worthwhile.

    The true genius of SpaceX and Musk has been the way they have got their current customers to pay for their R&D in such an efficient way. Don't expect that to stop any time soon.

  20. gymychoo

    13ish tonnes, should just about do it,

    OK at first glance it's an expensive way to get rid of Kim Kardashian and her enormous backside, but 90m US squids well really it's a veritable bargain!

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