SpaceX is a private company that designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft; therefore, categorized under the aerospace industry. The 18-year-old company has gained popularity over the years as it has entirely disrupted international space flight over the past decade. The organization aims to design vehicles that embody its innovative and cost-saving approach. The successful execution has been based primarily on the material used to build the launch vehicles. Sourcing and manufacturing in the space industry are relatively complex; however, SpaceX has navigated through this by shortening its supply chain and focusing on vertical integration.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The organization has internalized approximately 70% of its components to its manufacturing warehouses, making it possible to closely monitor cost and time spent on manufacturing (Jorge, 2015). Nevertheless, the raw materials have to be outsourced, and they include stainless steel, titanium, cryogenic liquid oxygen, and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1). Unlike other aerospace manufacturers who use aluminum, SpaceX opted for stainless steel as its primary build material due to its greater temperature tolerance. Similarly, titanium is used to produce grid fins due to its high strength and temperature resistance. Lastly, when it comes to fuel, liquid oxygen is used as a powerful oxidizing agent, hence burning rapidly, while rocket propellant-1 is cheap and stable at room temperature.
Aside from insourcing materials, SpaceX has won contracts to be the main supplier of space-related materials to other companies within the industry. SpaceX has expanded its in-house manufacturing business model to provide NASA, Boeing, and even the U.S. military with vehicles (Jorge, 2015). For instance, NASA procures the technology it has developed for the International Space Station for cargo and commercial resupply services.
Additionally, the U.S. military has contracted it to design and develop the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle – class (EELV) payloads. Finally, SpaceX has a contract with Spaceport America to provide a full-scale public and commercial spaceport. Overall, SpaceX can be identified as a market leader in the aerospace industry, and this is primarily centered on its short supply chain, unique in the aerospace industry. As a result, it has had a huge control of cost.
Jorge, A. (2015). Space X- Lowering cost of access to space. Digital Initiative. Web.