In 2002, SpaceX was valued at $27 million. Seventeen years later, Elon Musk’s ambitious space transportation company has a price tag of $33.3 billion.
Up until mid-2019, Musk seemed to be gearing up for a difficult year as Tesla stock fell below $180 in an extended correction.
In May 2019, CNBC reported that SpaceX officially secured a $33.3 billion valuation, eclipsing the valuation of Tesla at the time.
A key factor in the fast growth of SpaceX in 2019 has been the launch of the Starlink satellite network . Starlink is an ambitious project introduced by the company to target the $1 trillion internet connectivity market.
For SpaceX to complete the network, some 12,000 satellites are required. The firm has been making progress towards the long-term initiative, launching 60 new satellites in November.
The company has hinted that it may launch 30,000 more satellites once the initial 12,000 are launched. However, complaints about the impact of the satellite network on scientific observations of the night sky are considered to be a potential roadblock in the project.
Satellite researcher Marco Langbroek told Space.com :
I do have concerns about these mega-constellations in low earth orbit. One is what it will do to our night sky – on a clear summer night, there is always one or several satellite (s) visible almost at any given moment already. With so many to be added over a short time span of only a few years, it will drastically alter how we experience our night sky: the old character of the night sky will basically be lost.
Significant progress in the highly anticipated Starlink as well as successful cargo missions to the ISS delivering fresh supplies have allowed the firm to bring in consistent revenues, boosting its valuation.
The most recent Dragon spacecraft launch to the ISS was widely congratulated by the community, including NASA administrators.
Reports show that SpaceX secured $2 billion in launch revenues alone in 2018, vastly outperforming its competitors.
The increase in the valuation of SpaceX in recent years shows the confidence of investors in the sustainability of cargo missions, which serve as an important source of revenue to sustain the firm’s financial stability.
In the years to come, SpaceX is expected to face competition in spacecraft manufacturing and space tourism from companies like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.
But, with SpaceX’s dominance in the space transportation industry, competing companies have struggled throughout the past two years.
In the past month, for instance, the stock price of Virgin Galactic fell from $9.99 to $7.27 despite positive forecasts from analysts .