Traditionally, for NASA to launch anything into space JUST ONCE could cost anywhere from $100 to 260 Million dollars. For the SpaceX program, a Falcon 9 rocket costed about $57 Million to make and most importantly, it is REUSABLE. This is a quantum leap in cost savings. But how does Elon Musk gets it done? Here’s a story!
At Space X, Elon once got a $120,000 quote from a supplier for an electromechanical actuator, which is a part used to build a rocket. Now, most aerospace companies probably would have accepted the quote price, shoved the part into their rocket, and passed the expense on to their clients. But, Elon Musk, instead, laughed at the supplier and told an employee to go build the exact same part from scratch with a budget of $5,000. And, that employee, whose name was Steve Davis, ended up building the part for $3,900 which was even under the budget that Musk set. And that part ended up going in space in the Falcon 1 rocket. Today, about 80% of all parts from any SpaceX rocket are made in-house.
Moral of the story: There is always a better (& cheaper) way of doing things.