#2 Moment Leading to SpaceX IPO: Dragon
In order to become a viable space exploration firm, SpaceX needed a command module that could carry payloads and be retrofitted to hold passengers. After all, the SpaceX Falcon 9 was a powerful rocket, but there’s no point of launching it without a shuttle to match.
We all know the “Eagle” lander from which Neil Armstrong leapt onto the moon. It was a turning point in human history; it was the first time that one of our own set foot someplace other than Earth. But with the end of the Cold War, space exploration took a back seat.
Elon Musk wasn’t OK with that. On December 8, 2010, SpaceX kick-started space travel once more when the Dragon module, a SpaceX creation, “became the first privately developed spacecraft in history to re-enter from low-Earth orbit.” (Source: “Making History,” SpaceX web site, last accessed November 19, 2015.)