SpaceX fast facts...
- Founded - 2002
- Vehicles - 3
- Launches contracted - 100+
- Employees - 6000+
- Launch locations - 3
What is Spacex?
SpaceX is a private space exploration company (hence the name) which is eventually looking to be a pioneer in the habitation of Mars and making it a safe place to inhabit.
The company was fpunded in 2002 and is now a multi billion dollar company that has done contracted work for NASA and is currently valued at arround $33.3 billion, to put this in perspective, Apple is worth around $1 trillion and NASA had a budget of $19.3 billion in 2017. This is barely o.05% of the federal funding available each year which is around $3 trillion.
When we refer to the term private company, this is in reference to the way that it is funded and contracted. It will not have government funding and will be running its own research, launches and space explorations.
However, NASA has contracted the company to do 18 resupply missions to the International space Station - ISS. In addition to tjis, in March 2019, SpaceX's "Crew Dragon" autonomously docked onto the ISS becoming the first capsule to do it completely automatically. The contract to allow these was signed in 2008 and came with an award of $1.6 billion, it was known as the commercial resupply contract.
This company was originally started with funding from Elon Musk's other entrepreneurial endeavours but in 2014 was granted a NASA commercial crew contract allowing the company to fly American Astronauts; this also came with a substantial amount of award money, $2.6 billion to be precise.