SpaceX: 7 Landmark Moments Leading Up to the SpaceX IPO

SpaceX-IPOSpaceX IPO Opens New Possibilities

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., more commonly known as SpaceX, is the Holy Grail for those who spent their childhood pretending to be astronauts. If Elon Musk makes an initial public offering (IPO) for SpaceX a reality, then the geeks of the world could unite around SpaceX stock.

Even if you weren’t space-crazed as a kid, there’s no denying that a SpaceX IPO could change the world. After all, the goal of SpaceX is to achieve interplanetary travel and an initial public offering could help fund this mission. Elon Musk, the famous CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Inc., genuinely believes it’s possible to set foot on Mars in his lifetime. If history shows us anything, it’s that Elon Musk usually gets his way.

Musk co-founded PayPal Holdings, Inc. and sold it for $1.0 billion. This was after having sold a previous startup for $300 million. Following these sales, Musk founded Tesla and SpaceX.

Space travel and electric cars are both items that have never been handled successfully by the private market, yet Elon Musk made it happen, or at least he did with electric cars. In fact, Musk’s Tesla IPO was enormously successful, with the stock rising more than 1,051% since it premiered on the stock exchange.

Now it’s time for an IPO. Elon Musk managed to secure a $1.6-billion contract with NASA and book $5.0 billion worth of future launches with SpaceX as a private company. Through SpaceX, Elon Musk has stepped out of the realm of companies and into the sphere of nation states. This guy now competes with governments!

SpaceX Stock Could Help Us Get to Mars

SpaceX is flying at least 12 resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Musk also managed to get $440 million from NASA to ferry astronauts back and forth in its “Dragon” capsule. All told, SpaceX is by far the fastest-growing provider of launch services, with more than 50 missions registered on the company’s manifest.

But by far the coolest SpaceX project is its reusable rockets. The biggest costs in space travel are the rockets that fall away into the ocean after blast-off and don’t get used again. SpaceX has designed and successfully tested rockets that will land safely back on a platform, so they can be reused. Cutting costs would sweeten the notion of a SpaceX IPO even more.

Not that SpaceX has that much fat to trim. The company is cash-positive and earning a tidy profit at present. Elon Musk keeps pushing SpaceX forward, because he knows that the long-term future of space travel demands a lower cost per flight.

The engines for SpaceX’s “Falcon” rockets are 3D-printed, saving the company money, while strengthening the structural integrity of the equipment.

The benefits of a SpaceX IPO could also be seen more intimately here on Earth, as SpaceX recently filed an application to set up a constellation of 4,000 satellites that would broadcast Internet across the planet. Bringing the Internet to remote areas of the world could help lift millions out of poverty. Issuing an initial public offering could help make that a possibility.

Let’s take a look back at seven moments that loom large in the history of SpaceX.

#1 Moment Leading to SpaceX IPO: Falcon 9

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, “Sputnik 1,” into space. In the decades that followed, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union pushed the human race further into the stars than we’d ever imagined we’d go at that time.

Then progress hit a wall. The end of the Cold War removed the urgency of the space race and innovation stagnated. No one was pushing the boundaries of manned space exploration. Elon Musk saw an opportunity and SpaceX was born.

The SpaceX “Falcon 9” is the first rocket completely designed and built in this millennium. Unlike NASA’s old space shuttle, the SpaceX Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket that “minimizes the number of separation events.” (Source: “Falcon 9,” SpaceX web site, last accessed November 19, 2015.)