[FPSPACE] "all launch systems are subsidized"
28 Jan 2002 19:00:05 +0200
>All launch systems are subsidized.
This reiterates a point made in earlier arguments years ago, by both Joan Gab. & Robert Kennedy 3. If we drop all rhetoric of ideological grandstanding,
1. the "space market" is still mostly a quasi-market, where the terms of many contracts are politically negotiated. By a monopsonist, ie. a govt. buyer, who pays into being a duoopoly of aerospace firms with skills he needs for wartime.
2. Due to the infinite range of indirect subsidies, (from parastatal equity to launchpad costs) it is actually quite hard to give the real money market cost of building a rocket such as the Proton, Titan 4B, Ariane V, GSLV, Long March 2F.
We can quote the prices offered as launch services for comsats & space tourists. That is the nearest thing to a cash price. But even these are individually negotiated with clients. They are not yet put on a board as fixed prices.
"Only $19 999 999-95 for a week's vacation in LEO" :)
But we will get there. Some of this also applied to nuclear electricity power, where governments wanted that infrastructure, so they could also be literal nuclear powers.
As the market expands, it also evolves from a quasi-market to a more common oligopolistic market. Brand loyalty not just price. In this case, national loyalties, not just price.