By Morgan T. McCulley
SpaceX continues with their plans for their latest project to get to Mars. They have just closed on $500 million in new cash, accomplished by a financing round that was led by Fidelity (an investment company). This was caused by investors’ demand and desire to cash in a little bit, resulting in them creating several special purpose vehicles so they could sell shares on a secondary market. These are controlled sales of existing shares. These offerings could total to an estimated $500 million. At the moment, shares of the company are between $160 and $170. Elon Musk is reportedly one of the biggest buyers of these shares.
According to CNBC, Musk’s space exploration venture is valued at 21.5 billion. They said, “The latest injection of cash values SpaceX at $21.5 billion, according to Equidate, a platform that facilitates the trading of shares in private technology firms.” Considering that the company’s stocks were originally 5 cents and they had trouble getting cash at all, this is a big leap for them. Now they have a huge award from the US Air Force coming their way since their alliance went it comes to U.S. launches. They are also expected to get $290 million in contracts to come in. They hope to transport three global positioning system satellites by the end if 2020 into orbit. Between all these things and private agreements with other commercial space companies, their activity is boosted thanks to cost reductions at all level of the supply chain.
These other companies include Blue Origin, Virgin Orbit (the same people who do the phone service), Rocket Lab, Relativity Space, and SpinLaunch. With them, SpaceX is looking to bring down the cost of launching payloads to space. There are also satellite companies (Spire, Astranis, Akash Systems, OneWeb, and Planet) who are helping to reduce costs for monitoring, communications technologies and equipment for space travel.
So SpaceX will test the capabilities of the rockets for the Mars mission. This has caught the international attention with ispace (a Japanese space company) it’s $90 million funding for lunar lander and two lunar missions by 2020. At the moment, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said that the company was planning launch missions every two to three weeks. Some of those include SpaceX’s planned network of satellites. They will be used to provide high-speed internet connection to populations around the world. Their next launch is predicted to be on March 21 with the Soyuz.