Table: U.S. Launcher Comparison

Above is a comparison table showing American rockets that are in operation, in development, and proposed. Most of this information is taken from FAA documents. I have added information for Taurus II, which is set to debut in September, and the proposed Falcon 9 Heavy based on company documentation.

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Taurus II is a medium-launcher that is set to fill the market void is being left by the pending retirement of ULA’s Delta II rocket. The company has contracts to launch 8 resupply missions to the International Space Station. The figures for it are the maximum payload from Wallops Flight Facility using the most capable variant of the booster.

SpaceX’s proposed Falcon 9 Heavy would be the most powerful American booster if it is built, being able to lift almost 10 metric tons more than Delta IV Heavy. SpaceX is advertising the rocket at $95 million, which would be significantly lower than the largest version of the Delta IV.

SpaceX Hires Former Air Force Officer


Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces that Colonel Scott Henderson has joined the company.

He will serve as the director of Mission Assurance and Integration and will also handle Florida external relations, assisting with state and local governmental, customer and media relations. Henderson will primarily support former astronaut Ken Bowersox, vice president of SpaceX’s Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance office, working out of the company’s Florida office.


SpaceX Upgrades Falcon 1, Raises Launch Fee


SpaceX’s Falcon 1e Rocket Replaces Cheaper Falcon 1
Space News

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., will replace its Falcon 1 rocket by the end of 2010 with the more capable and more expensive Falcon 1e rocket, the company said Aug. 6.

The upgraded version of the rocket uses a more powerful engine than the one originally designed for Falcon 1 and will be able to put larger, heavier payloads into orbit. A Falcon 1e launch will cost “under $11 million,” Rob Peckham, SpaceX vice president of business development, said in an e-mailed response to questions. Originally marketed as a $6-million rocket, SpaceX more recently pegged a Falcon 1 launch at $8 million.

Read the full story.

SpaceX Could Bring 100 New Jobs to Florida’s Struggling Space Coast

SpaceX could add 100 jobs: Successful launch of untested rocket on Cape may boost business
Florida Today

“A successful launch could mean more than 100 additional jobs in the space industry, which is threatened by the end of the shuttle program.

“But success isn’t guaranteed. SpaceX’s smaller, single-engine rocket racked up three failed launches before a fourth launch attempt reached orbit from an island in the Pacific. SpaceX, however, hopes for immediate success with the larger rocket, which uses technologies refined from the four launches of the smaller version…”

“Started with a $100 million investment from Internet tycoon Elon Musk, SpaceX has attracted the $278 million in NASA funding and at least $20 million in private investment, as well as payments for cargo on some of its failed flights.”