SpaceX raised $1.9 billion in equity this month during its latest funding round, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC filing details offering the aerospace firm to sell another $165 million in common stock, for a total of $2.07 billion. Bloomberg reports that 75 investors participated in this second round of funding stating that the private rocket company will hold a $46 billion valuation.
The investment comes when the organization has completed a number of important missions. SpaceX returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States. It launched NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket in May to the International Space Station. They were the first astronauts in nearly a decade to launch from American soil. The mission, known as Demo-2, was also the first crewed flight for SpaceX. Behnken and Hurley safely returned early August on board of Crew Dragon marking the beginning of a new age of American spaceflight. The private company showed it can safely launch and return astronauts.
SpaceX does not intend to stop with transporting astronauts to low Earth orbit, the company plans to build a Mars colonization spacecraft. At present, engineers are building a huge stainless steel Starship that will one day be able to carry 100 passengers and tons of freight to the Red Planet. Starship prototypes are being tested at SpaceX’s South Texas facility located on Boca Chica beach along the Mexico border.
NASA astronauts returned from space the same week, SpaceX managed to launch a prototype of Starship at Boca Chica. The test vehicle Starship SN5 soared off the ground 150 meters, and landed flawlessly powered by a single Raptor engine. This was the first concept to take off on a grand scale. Now teams are getting ready to launch the next vehicle, SN6. A low-altitude test flight is scheduled to be performed this month if pre-flight planning goes smoothly.
SpaceX is also releasing Starlink internet-beaming satellites to deliver low latency, broadband internet worldwide. Starlink will be generating extra revenue to finance SpaceX’s space program including constructing a moon and Mars site. To date, about 648 Starlink satellites have been deployed by SpaceX to Low Earth Orbit on Falcon 9 rockets previously flown in.
In reality, the financial disclosure of SpaceX took place on the same day (August 18th), when the company launched and landed the same Falcon 9 booster for a sixth time, setting a new record for reusability. SpaceX is the world’s only aerospace company to have demonstrated superior engineering capability to routinely return orbital-class rockets. Falcon 9 returns vertically from space landing on autonomous drone ships at sea minutes after liftoff. SpaceX officials say the first-stage booster of a Falcon 9 is planned to be reused 10 times with no overhaul. The most that a booster has flown is six times, engineers plan to do 10 flights, and claim that Falcon 9 has the ability to do 100 flights before retirement.
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