Cost shown is dollars per kilogram of payload.
Launching a spacecraft is 10 times less costly than it was a decade ago, according to Bruno Venditti and data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He used measurements of the per-kilogram cost of the spacecraft and analyzed global launches, including ones dating back to 1960.
While it still takes anywhere from half a million to $50 million dollars per seat for human space travel, the cost of sending “cargo spacecraft” is coming down. There are more players in the market now, with private companies like SpaceX sending both crews and cargo into space — and doing so in innovative ways: “SpaceX rocket boosters usually return to Earth in good enough condition that they’re able to be refurbished,” says Vinditti, “which saves money and helps the company undercut competitors’ prices.”