It's Not Rocket Science - No, Wait, Yes it Is

"Elon Musk will be keeping his fingers crossed later this month when his latest venture, a low-cost rocket called Falcon I, launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Musk, a 33-year-old South African former internet entrepreneur who has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, says that launch costs are a major reason why humanity has not yet successfully exploited space. 'At the current rate, it will never happen,' he says.

Musk created and bankrolled Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) three years ago, after selling his stake in Paypal, the online payment system, to internet auction house eBay for hundreds of millions of dollars.

With his first rocket, Falcon I, each launch costs $5.9 million to put a 520-kg payload in low-Earth orbit. A bigger medium-lift rocket, Falcon V, is expected to put payloads in geosynchronous orbit for $15.8 million, compared to $60 million for Boeing’s Delta medium-lift launch rocket."

From this Physics Today article.