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When will commercial space launch be priced at less than $500/pound?
In recent years, with hundreds of launches under the belts of Arianespace and American commercial launchers like United Launch Alliance, the industry has been reshaped by the entrance of Musk's SpaceX and his Falcon 9 rocket, which is taking market share from the longtime players in the commercial space game. A Falcon 9 launch to low-earth orbit currently costs just under $60 million per launch, the "cheapest rocket in the industry." Competitors are scrambling to keep up.
How much do these launches actually cost per pound? Currently, the best-case fully loaded Falcon 9 configuration can deliver cargo to low earth orbit for $1,233 per pound ($2,719/kg). In 2004, however, Musk stated that launch costs of $500 per pound ($1100/kg) were "very achievable."
When will commercial space launch prices reach $500 per pound ($1100/kg)?
This question will resolve when a credible news story or corporate press release announces a launch pricing structure for any commercial space company in which the price to launch to low-earth orbit, divided by the fully-loaded cargo capacity, is less than or equal to $500 per pound or $1100 per kilogram, or the equivalent in foreign currency.
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Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
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Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.