Enabling people to live on other planets
BackgroundSpace Exploration Technologies Corporate (“SpaceX”) is a space-transportation & satellite-internet company based in California, USA. Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX aims to revolutionise space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.
Through its 2 business units: (1) Launch Services, and (2) Satellite-Internet Programme, SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches reusable rockets, with plans to establish a global internet service.
(1) Launch Services
SpaceX builds and launches reusable rockets for both commercial and military projects, disrupting the rocket / space travel industry by providing the lowest cost launch services in the market. They have gained significant market share having made 59 launches to date, with >100 missions to its manifest, representing >US$12bn of contracts (commercial as well as NASA and other US Government missions).
(2) Satellite-Internet Programme
Part of SpaceX’s Satellite-Internet Programme, SpaceX announced plans to launch low orbit satellite constellation to provide gigabit internet globally. This includes setting up a constellation of large quantities of satellites in the low-Earth orbit to provide low-cost internet access on a global scale. To date, 2 test satellites have been successfully launched, with limited internet service expected to commence in 2020.
Since inception, SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historical milestones:
- 2017 – successfully achieved the first re-flight of an orbital class rocket – a historic milestone on the road to full and rapid rocket reusability
- Feb 2017 – successful Falcon Heavy Launch allows SpaceX (1 of 2 companies) to bid for multi-billion-dollar contracts with the US Department of Defense
- May 2012 – Dragon spacecraft delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station — a challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments; since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA
- Dec 2010 – the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit