Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • Thanks for coming.

  • We're super excited at SpaceX to announce some of the details around the Falcon Heavy

  • rocket, which is our large rocket development - our really large rocket development, and

  • this is something we've alluded to in the past but I've only just recently completed

  • the design and I've been able to increase the thrust and payload capability of the rocket

  • considerably over our previous estimations.

  • With Falcon Heavy we'll be able to put well over 100,000 pounds into orbit. In fact, it's

  • looking like at least on the order of 117,000 pounds, maybe even above 120,000 pounds, depending

  • upon what the final performance numbers look like. This is a rocket of truly huge scale.

  • As we mentioned in the press release, this is - the 117,000 pounds is more than a fully

  • loaded Boeing 737 with 136 passengers, luggage and fuel - in orbit. So that is, really really

  • humungous. It's more payload capability than any vehicle in history apart from the Saturn

  • V, and so opens up a range of possibilities, for government and commercial customers, that

  • simply aren't present with the current launch capacity. If you compare our lifting capacity

  • to, say, the space shuttle or the Delta IV Heavy, which are the two most capable vehicles

  • in the world today, we're twice - more than twice - the capability of either of those

  • vehicles. Although the space shuttle is obviously retiring this year - I think - this is something

  • America can be really proud of - the fact that there's actually going to be a vehicle

  • with twice the capability of the space shuttle, that going to be ready to launch at the end

  • of next year.

  • The initial launch will take place from Vandenburg air force base in California, where we have

  • space launch complex 4 and shortly thereafter expect to be launching from Cape Canaveral

  • as well. So we'll certainly have that capability on both coasts. We expect to be launching

  • Falcon Heavy a lot, actually. Whereas Falcon 9 can address about half the market, Falcon

  • Heavy can address the other half of the market which is the largest government and commercial

  • satellites, as well as - as I mentioned - as well as opening up new market opportunities

  • for satellites and spacecraft that simply cannot be carried to space by the currently

  • available rockets. So I expect to see, potentially new opportunities arising because of Falcon

  • Heavy.

  • Also, from a cost standpoint - which is critically important in space, because launch costs have

  • been steadily rising over the years, Falcon Heavy represents a huge economic advantage.

  • Falcon Heavy costs about a third as much per flight as Delta IV Heavy, but carries twice

  • as much payload to orbit, so it's effectively a six-fold improvement in the cost per pound

  • to orbit. In fact, Falcon Heavy sets a new world record for the cost per pound to orbit

  • of around about $1000. So that's a pretty huge leap in capability.

  • Let's show the video.

  • In addition to representing a new world record in cost per pound to orbit, the Falcon Heavy

  • is also designed to meet the NASA human rating standards. For example, it is designed with structural safety margins that are 40%

  • above the actual flight loads that it expects to encounter, as opposed to normal satellite

  • launchers which are designed to only 25% above the flight loads. It also has engine-out capability,

  • so you can lose multiple engines on the vehicle and still complete the mission. It has cross-feed

  • between the cores which is the first time any rocket has been able to cross-feed propellant

  • between the cores. Triple-redundant avionics. All of this is such that it can launch people

  • if need be and do so safely.

  • Also, it has so much capability, so much more than any other vehicle, that we can start

  • to realistically contemplate missions like a Mars sample return - which requires quite

  • a lot of lift capability because you've gotta send a lander to Mars that still has enough

  • propellant to return to Earth. If you try to do a mission like that with a smaller vehicle

  • you have to do several launches and either do orbital rendezvous or do some sort of much

  • more complex mission whereas with Falcon Heavy you could potentially do it with a single

  • flight.

  • Let me turn it over to questions.

  • The payload to Mars would be about a quarter of its payload to LEO. So we're talking about,

  • something like, 30,000 pounds to trans-Mars injection. To the Moon it would be about,

  • maybe, 35,000 pounds.

  • The Falcon 9 is suitable for transporting people to low Earth orbit, like to the space

  • station and back, but Falcon 9 doesn't quite have the lifting power to go beyond the space

  • station, whereas Falcon Heavy go, really, much further than low Earth orbit. Falcon

  • Heavy is about half the lifting capability of a Saturn V, so, in principle you could

  • do another mission to the Moon, just by doing two launches of a Falcon Heavy. Perhaps one

  • that delivered the return vehicle to the surface of the Moon and one that delivered the lander

  • to the surface of the Moon. As far as human standards are concerned, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are designed

  • to meet all of the published NASA human rating standards. So it would only be if there's

  • some unpublished standard or some new standard that's about to be published - that it would

  • not be in compliance.

  • Falcon 9, we've always said it would be about 3 years from when we received NASA funding

  • to conduct a demonstration, and the gating fact on that isn't actually the rocket, it's

  • the launch escape system on the spacecraft. Falcon Heavy would be, really, capable of

  • launching people as soon as we've proven it out with a few launches, really. There's no

  • changes, that we are aware of, that we would make to the Falcon Heavy that would be required

  • to launch people. There may be changes to the spacecraft that it carries, but not to

  • the launch vehicle itself - or if there are, they're very minor. So yeah, it certainly

  • opens up a wide range of possibilities, such as returning to the Moon and conceivably even

  • going to Mars, although it would require probably twice as many launches as a Moon mission.

  • We have an upgrade in the works for our Merlin engine. Going from 95,000 pounds of sea-level

  • thrust to 140,000 pounds of sea-level thrust. So, pretty substantial upgrade. We're also

  • doing some design improvements to improve the manufacturability, so we can go to a high

  • rate of engine production. We're anticipating, if launch demand ends up being like we think

  • it is, we'll have a production rate of about 400 booster engines per year. Which, I think,

  • would be more engines than the rest of the world production combined. As it is, we're

  • already more than the rest of US production combined. Although that's not saying much.

  • Unfortunately.

  • We do not have - so we're expecting to do an initial demonstration flight of Falcon

  • Heavy, that doesn't have a primary customer, although that could change. It'll probably

  • have some smaller secondary satellites on-board. However, we are highly confident of announcing

  • customers for Falcon Heavy for the second and subsequent flights, and we're in liaison

  • discussions with government and commercial customers in that regard.

  • Even on Falcon 9 we have been launching secondary satellites, we launched some secondary satellites

  • on the last flight of Falcon 9. With the upcoming flight of Falcon 9, the first one that's going

  • to the space station, that will carry a couple of ORBCOMM satellites. With every, with most

  • missions we expect to be launching secondary satellites. It's not always with the same

  • dispenser, although that would make it a lot more convenient, but I think it's likely that

  • most of our flights will carry secondary satellites.

  • I think you should definitely count on Falcon Heavy being there for the long term. When

  • it succeeds, and certainly that is right from the initial launch as it was with Falcon 9.

  • We're starting off at Vandenburg but we'll then be transitioning to the cape. We'll be

  • upgrading our launch pad at Cape Canaveral so that we can process both a Falcon 9 and

  • a Falcon Heavy simultaneously and they can both roll out to the pad. We're also investigating

  • the possibility at the cape of using one of the old shuttle pads for the Falcon Heavy.

  • That's a possibility but our default plan is to use our existing launch pad but upgrade

  • it such that there's a hanger where you can process Falcon 9 and that rolls to the pad,

  • and another hanger - kinda at 90 degrees - where you can process Falcon Heavy and either one

  • of them can roll to the pad, so you can have dual processing take place.

  • In terms of the number of jobs, it really depends on the launch rate, so I'd expect

  • that number to grow over time, but I think once it really gets going - and we do expect

  • more launches to occur from the cape than from Vandenburg in the long haul, with Falcon

  • Heavy, because most of our commercial customers want to go to GTO which, obviously, is cape

  • launches. So we're expecting probably a couple of hundred jobs. It depends on customer demand,

  • so I'd say, it's probably 2 to 3 years, but it really depends on what the customer adoption

  • rate is. I'm confident of a couple of hundred jobs when the customer adoption is high, when

  • we're doing several launches a year. I think we'll probably do as many Falcon Heavy launches

  • as we do Falcon 9 launches. Our rough ballpark estimate is something on the order of 20 launches

  • per year of which roughly half are Falcon Heavy, roughly half are Falcon 9 and of those,

  • probably 60%, 70%, are [inaudible].

  • I think there's a lot of wishful thinking on the part of our competitors that our prices

  • must be higher, but they are not. In fact, I think that we're unique in the launch business

  • of publishing our prices on our website. Whereas other launch providers sort of treat it like

  • a rug bazaar - they'll charge you what they think you can afford. We believe in every

  • day low prices, you know, and we've stuck to our guns on that. The Falcon 9 costs $50

  • million, and it's been that way for a while, and the Falcon Heavy is, on average, about

  • $100 million, so we're very very confident of being able to maintain those prices, and

  • I say let history be the judge. Here I am saying it, we'll see if that remains true,

  • but you have it on camera.

  • [Question about getting to the Moon.] If you had a small enough spacecraft, you could conceivably

  • do it with one Falcon Heavy. It kinda depends on how big of a spacecraft and how many people

  • you want to send, but I think you could slim it down to just do it on one Falcon Heavy.

  • [Question about getting to an asteroid.] I'm sure you could do it with two Falcon Heavy

  • launches. If your spacecraft had a little bit of propellant on-board, presumably it

  • would because it has to get back from the asteroid too, then I think you could do it

  • with two Falcon Heavy launches.

  • I think we've thought a lot about going public but before we do so we want to make sure that

  • we have a very predictable revenue stream because the markets don't like surprises,

  • but I think that there's a decent chance we'll look at going public towards the end of next

  • year. Not saying we will, but it's a possibility. It's possible that we could see acquisition

  • interest, but I have no interest in selling and I am the controlling shareholder in the

  • company. We've had some inquiries, but then I'm pretty clear with them that I would not

  • give up a controlling stake in the company because SpaceX has some philosophical goals,

  • or philanthropic goals, which may not be coincidental with the goals of a large government contractor.

  • I think end of next year meaning November, December, is when we expect to have Falcon

  • Heavy at the launch pad at Vandenburg. The launch itself is a little more difficult to

  • predict, because we have to go through final regulatory approvals, there could be things

  • that we have to debug about the rocket and the launch site interaction, so I think, most

  • likely what you'll see is a rocket at the pad towards the end of next year and a launch

  • sometime in 2013.

  • I don't want to speak for specific customers, but I can say that there is strong interest

  • from both the US government and large commercial operators in Falcon Heavy and that we are

  • at an advanced stage of discussions with both, and part of what's needed to get them to sign

  • up to a launch is to not be the first. It's always possible that a customer may jump in

  • at the last minute and say, okay, they'll do it, but it's a lot easier to get deals

  • done if customers know that they don't have to be the first flight. It's a bit of a, I

  • guess, a slight risk on our part to be doing the first launch on our own funds, and of

  • course, it does cost us some money, but it's an important thing to do in order to get customers

  • to sign up. We had to do something similar with Falcon 9.

  • Ramping up production is our number one focus. That's what I have the whole company focused

  • on. We're bringing in people both from the rocket industry, as well as from other industries,

  • like automotive and high volume aircraft production. We'll be making more rocket engines than any

  • company - actually, more than any country, I think - has every made. At 400 booster engines

  • per year, I guess, at 500 booster engines per year it is more than the rest of the world's

  • production combined. So that's pretty serious scale in the rocket business. In terms of

  • the number of cores, we're talking about 40 cores. So it's very high volume but that's

  • what's needed in order to do 10 Falcon 9s and 10 Falcon Heavys in a given year. As it

  • is, if you look at our launch manifest, just based on existing contracts that we have,

  • if you go out 3 or 4 years, we already have on the order of 10 launches booked of Falcon

  • 9 and we've only done two Falcon 9 launches, and we're only just putting a stake in the

  • ground with Falcon Heavy. Twenty launches a year, is not a crazy number at all. We expect

  • that to occur without any miracles. So we must make sure that we are building our production

  • capability and our launch capability to meet that demand.

  • Right now our engine production rate is around 50 to 60 per year. That's what we're doing

  • with the Merlin 1C. Merlin 1D, in addition to being a thrust upgrade, and some performance

  • upgrade, is really a design for manufacturability as well. It's helpful that I have experience

  • from the automotive world as well because, in automotive, 400 engines per year is nothing.

  • There are a lot of techniques which the car industry has developed to be able to do high

  • volume production but also be very reliable and consistent in doing so. I'm very confident

  • that with the Merlin 1D design we'll be able to build 400 engines per year or frankly even

  • 600 or 700 engines per year if we need to, and then the same with the cores. So we are

  • making a significant investment in tooling and production process efficiency, honing

  • our software systems within the company that manage the procurement, assembly, and launch,

  • trying to automate as much as possible.

  • None-the-less, we are expecting to hire a lot more people and last year we grew quite

  • dramatically - over 50% employment count growth last year - we went from 800 to 1200 in 2010.

  • This year, I think we'll probably grow 15 to 20% and I am intentionally slowing growth

  • down a little bit just because I want to make sure we're building the company on the right

  • foundation, and then next year I expect the growth rate to continue to increase up to

  • the 30 to 40% level in personnel growth.

  • We actually have been steadily acquiring the buildings around us in California. So we're

  • sort of growing like the Borg. Actually, almost all the buildings around us have been acquired

  • and that's increased our capacity in California by about 50% in terms of real estate, but

  • I think we'll actually do a lot more with the existing physical locations we have. Actually,

  • I really like density. I like a beehive of activity and people fairly close together.

  • I think it creates a much better esprit de corps. You may have seen the announcement

  • in Texas that we've more than doubled the size of our rocket development facility in

  • Texas which is where we do development and acceptance testing of the rocket engines and

  • stages and that's in anticipation of a lot more growth. So we're now at over 600 acres

  • in Texas. We're building up a launch site at Vandenburg and we'll be enhancing our launch

  • site at the cape. So it's a lot of growth across the board.

  • [A thousand dollars per pound,] it's the mythical number. Not so mythical anymore. [Comparison

  • to shuttle and volume.] Good question. I think we'll need to launch, maybe, on the order

  • of four per year to maintain those cost numbers, but I'm very confident that we'll be able

  • to do that. That is not, I think, a tall order, and I think it's going to be a lot closer

  • to 10 than 4. Also, because of the commonality between Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy we're able

  • to spread the overhead across both vehicles. Because really, Falcon Heavy is essentially

  • the upgraded Falcon 9 with two additional first stages as side boosters. So it's able

  • to use the same tooling, be made in the same line, and I think therefore significantly

  • improves the probability of being able to hold to our cost numbers on Falcon Heavy.

  • You're hearing it from me directly, you know, it's being recorded that we will stick to

  • those prices, and not go above them, except for, you know, inflation and stuff like that.

  • So, in current year dollars, we'll stick to what we have said.

  • The first mission is really a demonstration flight. It's there to prove that Falcon Heavy

  • will work. That it will deliver the payload that we say it can, and we don't have a primary

  • customer for it, but we are likely to have several smaller secondary satellites on-board

  • that will do a variety of things, and if we get lucky, maybe there will be a big satellite

  • at the last minute that wants to buy the flight at a reduced price.

  • Dragon is capable of reentering from even Mars velocities including lunar velocities,

  • etc. It's a very capable vehicle and is not limited to simply low Earth orbit operations.

  • It's certainly possible to do a lunar fly-by mission with Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Where

  • you sort of send a Dragon spacecraft on a loop around the back side of the Moon. In

  • order to land on the Moon, there would need to be a propulsive landing system developed

  • which we do not currently have planned. Certainly it is something we could potentially do, but

  • there's no question that with Falcon Heavy and Dragon you could do a really cool mission