SpaceX is grabbing headlines and attempting to turn the aerospace industry on its head. It’s also among the world’s most precious privately held companies.
The space exploration outfit, led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, recently raised another $350 million — bringing the organization’s worth to $21 billion, according to Equidate, which operates a market for investing in private businesses. The new evaluation was reported before by The New York Times.
SpaceX is one of an exclusive group of personal U.S.-based businesses which have multi-billion dollar valuations.
They include the world’s highest-valued private company, Uber, which is estimated to be worth almost $70 billion, and Airbnb, which will be worth more than $30 billion.
While Uber, Airbnb and other so-called “unicorns” are focused on more traditional marketplaces — SpaceX’s ultimate objective is to put people on Mars.
Rocket manufacturing has long been solely the job of authorities and massive heritage aerospace firms — like Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s United Launch Alliance — that associate with authorities. The general consensus was that space exploration is too risky and rocket construction too expensive for the private sector.
Within the course of a decade, the company built and analyzed its Falcon 9 rocket.
It then proved it could safely complete trips to the International Space Station — all for a lot less money than its rivals.
It’s also worked out a strategy to cheapen launches even further by reusing parts of its rockets — an idea that was originally scoffed at. It’s a challenging feat, which is the reason why rockets have traditionally been left to burn up in the air after one flight.
But SpaceX invented a way to recapture its rockets after launching. Following some trial and error, the business mastered the move and has also twice sent used rockets back into space, boasting a perfect performance for the two launches.
The business has had its drawbacks. It suffered a major one in September, when one of its rockets erupted into flames on the launching pad, ruining a satellite and grounding the firm for months.
It’s implemented ten complete launches so far this season, and it has plans to start at least 10 more times until the finish the end of 2017. SpaceX sent just eight rockets to space in most of 2016.
And there is at least two more next steps beforehand. Later this season, SpaceX plans to test launch its new Falcon Heavy vehicle. When that rocket is operational, based on current specs, it is going to become the most effective launch vehicle in the marketplace.
SpaceX also has plans to create the first privately funded trip to the moon in December, carrying a rover for a rival in the $20 million Google Lunar XPrize contest.
image credit : Fox news