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Comment Re:Scarcity (Score 1) 18

Oddly, public health plans tend to spend a substantially larger percentage of their revenue on medical services rendered than do private health plans. (Although I don't have it at the moment, there's substantial data to back this up, which is findable on teh googles.)

So from a fiscal efficiency perspective, I'm a big fan of Universal Basic* Healthcare.

[*: With emphasis on Basic, because of the aforementioned scarcity. Check out the Oregon Health Plan for a reasonable model.]

Comment Re:Cost per pound (Score 1) 200

Wow, some people are hard to please! :-)

Technically you are correct. That said, the public pricing is a useful bit of data for taking a guess at the actual costs. Given the assumption that SpaceX is meant to at least break even on each launch, this pricing data puts an upper bound on the actual launch costs. (At $5,359/kg to LEO.)

(Of course that assumption is a bit dicey, given that Elon Musk is a rich industrial idealist who is not apparently afraid to sink his personal fortune into radical projects. Still, he didn't get rich by being stupid with money, so it's not completely unreasonable as assumptions go.)

Another data point is the ISS resupply contract, which for SpaceX includes at least 12 flights for US$1.6 billion. That works out to US$133 million per flight, but includes not only Falcon 9 launchers and operations but also Dragon capsules and their operations. The stated Falcon 9 launch price of $56 million is about 42% of the contracted per-flight costs. It's easy for me (as an amateur observer) to believe that capsule procurement and operations would soak up around half of a per-flight budget.

The actual costs for SpaceX, however, do remain obscure. Given that SpaceX is a privately-held corporation, it's no surprise that actual launch cost data is held privately.

As for NASA's other options... what other options? The Falcon/Dragon stack Orbital Sciences also has a resupply contract, at US$1.9 billion for eight flights of its Taurus/Cygnus stack. The simple assumption is that SpaceX is cheaper than OSC, but that's without taking into account the per-flight payload mass delivered by each system.

Comment Re:Cost per pound (Score 5, Informative) 200

Pricing

SpaceX offers open and fixed pricing that is the same for all customers, including a best price guarantee. Modest discounts are available for contractually committed, multi-launch purchases. A half bay flight of Falcon 9 is available to accommodate customers with payloads in between Falcon 1 and 9.
Mission Type Price*
LEO (s/c80% capacity to the customer orbit) $56M
GTO (s/c3,000 kg)** $49.9M
GTO (s/c up to 4,680 kg) $56M

*Standard Launch Services Pricing through 12/31/10.

Standard prices assumes standard services (see User Guide) and payment in full within the noted calendar period.

Payments made over time subject to LIBOR +2.5% financing rate. Contact SpaceX for standard payment plan.

Standard price includes a SpaceX-developed and produced payload adapter and tension-band separation system. Other systems can be accommodated or provided — contact SpaceX for more information.

Reflight insurance offered at 8.0% of Standard Launch Services Price.

**SpaceX reserves the right to seek a non-interference co-passenger

Rebates to Standard Launch Services Pricing are considered on a case-by case basis to address (i) inaugural launches, (ii) short turn around opportunities and (iii) multiple launch service procurements.

Performance
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral AFS Kwajalein

Mass to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 10,450 kg (23,050 lb) 8,560 kg (18,870 lb)
Inclination: 28.5 degree 90 degree (polar orbit)

Mass to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO): 4,540 kg (10,000 lb) 4,680 kg (10,320 lb)
Inclination: 28.5 degree 9.1 degree

For further information, contact us at FalconGuide@spacex.com.

Comment Troll Tuesday hits Ask Slashdot! (Score 3, Insightful) 286

Congratulations on getting your story accepted to the front page!

Dozens of man-hours will now be spent explaining basics of inhouse certificate authorities and self-signing, along with comments on your lack of basic research, intelligence, qualification for your position, and legitimate parentage.

Comment Re:Don't buy any servers. Use the cloud. (Score 1) 600

Ticonderoga now has a cloud pencil service? Who knew?!

But seriously, part of any good security plan is business continuity in the event of disaster, such as a widespread multiday power outage. For a lot of places that means closing the doors for a while, but some industries (eg healthcare) can't count on that option. Paper recordkeeping is a very robust interim solution.

Assuming you remember to print out your emergency procedures and forms before the power goes out...

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