SpaceX has launched a new web-based booking tool that announced last year to expand its addressable market to include small satellite customers who do not have a budget or need to book a rocket launch,media outlet TechCrunch reported. SpaceX’s shared service through its website starts at $1 million and the payload will not exceed 200 kilograms, compared with $5 per kilogram over weight.
The selection tool will require the customer to specify the required orbit (sun synchronization, near-Earth, etc.) and the minimum preparation date (the date on which the payload may fly at the earliest). The user then enters the total mass of the payload to be launched and obtains the estimated cost. Continuing will take the user to a series of screens where you can choose whether you need a 15-inch or 24-inch port on the launch vehicle (depending on volume and quality), and the specific rocket the customer will use to rebook the itinerary (for the upcoming scheduled mission).
Other options include add-ons, such as a standard-size port adapter for SpaceX, and a separation system provided by SpaceX if it does not have its own space, or a field-based propulsion system that can refuel the spacecraft and provide insurance for up to $2 million. After the customer selects all options and confirms that they are not subject to any action imposed by the U.S. government or the International Arms Trade Regulations (ITAR), they can enter the credit card number and immediately pay a deposit of $5,000, after which they will pay the total fee in three installments. This includes the largest payment within five days of SpaceX confirming that it accepts their request.
SpaceX also released the accompanying Rideshare User Guide, which contains more details about the program, including technical requirements, more information about environmental testing, legal considerations, and more.