Congress has pumped $23.7 billion into Orion for this single flight.

MOVING AT THE SPEED OF GOVERNMENT: The Orion spacecraft is now 15 years old and has flown into space just once.

Congress has pumped $23.7 billion into Orion for that single flight.

On the other hand:

SpaceX is generally considered one of the most efficient space companies. Founded in 2002, the company has received funding from NASA, the Department of Defense, and private investors. Over its history, we can reliably estimate that SpaceX has expended a total of $16 billion to $20 billion on all of its spaceflight endeavors. Consider what that money has bought:

• Development of Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy rockets
• Development of Cargo Dragon, Crew Dragon, and Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft
• Development of Merlin, Kestrel, and Raptor rocket engines
• Build-out of launch sites at Vandenberg (twice), Kwajalein Atoll, Cape Canaveral, and Kennedy Space Center
• 105 successful launches to orbit
• 20 missions to supply International Space Station, two crewed flights
• Development of vertical take off, vertical landing, rapid reuse for first stages
• Starship and Super Heavy rocket development program
• Starlink Internet program (with 955 satellites on orbit, SpaceX is largest satellite operator in the world)

To sum up, SpaceX delivered all of that for billions of dollars less than what NASA has spent on the Orion program since its inception.


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h/t Stephen Green