Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, is a leading private space transportation service provider and an aerospace manufacturer. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Hawthorne, California. SpaceX was launched with several goals in mind such as reducing cost of spaceships, bringing more reliability and safety in space travel, and making space accessible to everyone in the long term.
Since its inception, the company has achieved several milestones including launch of spaceships to International Space Station (ISS), launch and retrieval of reusable rockets, flying commercial cargo spacecrafts, and sending humans to space and the ISS. SpaceX is the first private company to achieve these significant milestones.
The story of SpaceX started taking shape way back in 2001 when founder Elon Musk came up with the idea to send a spaceship to Mars. He wanted to carry out various experiments on Mars such as learning the ways to grow plants on the planet. To implement his idea, Musk tried to source rockets at cheap prices from Russia. However, this approach failed, as the Russian rockets were costlier than the budget he had in mind.
This was when Musk decided to start his own company that could manufacture rockets and spaceships at affordable rates. SpaceX was launched subsequently in 2002. By developing reusable rockets, manufacturing most of the hardware in-house and using advanced software engineering, Musk was able to significantly reduce cost of rockets. He was also able to ensure that his business was generating gross margin of around 70%. SpaceX has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and currently has more than 8k employees.
SpaceX has received investments worth USD 5.4 billion through 14 rounds of funding. Top investors include Google, Fidelity Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Cavmont Bank, Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Baillie Gifford, Gigafund, Bank of America, DBL Partners, Ace Capital and Rothenberg Ventures.
SpaceX has not made any acquisitions in recent times. However, such business deals are possible in the future.
SpaceX competes with other private aerospace and space exploration companies such as Boeing, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace, United Launch Alliance, Rocket Lab, ArianeGroup, Space Adventures, and Firefly Aerospace.
About the Founder:
SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk, who is an entrepreneur, engineer, industrial designer and a philanthropist. Apart from SpaceX, Musk is also handling other companies such as Tesla, Inc., The Boring Company, Neuralink and OpenAI.
Musk had taken to software programming when he was just 12 years of age. His educational qualifications include Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Wharton School. Later, he also enrolled at Stanford University in California for his Ph.D. in energy physics/materials science.