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How SpaceX is reframing our definition of “rideshare”

When we hear the word “ridesharing,” we no longer think of hitching a ride from the street or carpooling; we now think of ordering a private car from an app to take us where we want to, when we want to. SpaceX will soon change that association, to include space flight.

NASA retired their Space Shuttles a decade ago and has since been hitching a ride with Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to get to space.  That changed last May when 2 NASA Astronauts were transported by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft and Falcon 9 Rocket to the ISS.  This was the first crewed commercial space flight mission ever.

There are many innovation examples within SpaceX.  For now, however, let’s look at how they’ve changed the cost of space flight.  Statista’s cost per seat estimation shows how space travel has become more affordable over the decades.  Even SpaceX shows significant savings vs. the only alternative, Soyuz.  

Image from Statista

And as it is a commercial space flight, it’s rideshare. SpaceX offers on its website for small satellite operators to put light payloads into orbit for “dedicated rideshare missions as low as $1M.”

What does this mean for us non-astronauts or non-small satellite operators? Well, if you’ve got a few millions of cash, you can now get a seat! Someday soon, because of SpaceX’s cost innovation program, we all be able to order one from an app on our phone and afford our own private space transport service.


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