The most ambitious space projects around the world surround the world by satellite satellite Internet satellites and the construction of a huge missile that can carry people to the Moon and Mars. Recent regulatory submissions, market intelligence and, of course, tweets from founder Elona Muska provide new details about these two projects and suggest how they will pay.
The company's main product, the Falcon 9 missile, was certified by NASA for its most expensive scientific missions, "the main achievement for the Falcon 9 team" by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell. The company has announced that it has at least 22 Falcon 9 missions scheduled for 2019, a robust manifest (and revenue) that highlights vehicle maturity while preparing for astronaut flying next year.
But the world is only spending $ 5.5 billion on rocket launch every year; competing against national champions in Europe, Russia and China, SpaceX can not fully dominate this market despite the commercial advantages. To justify its enormous value of $ 27 billion, new business lines need to be developed.
Starlink, a plan to launch several thousand satellites in the Earth's orbit and provide Internet service to users below, has been at the heart of SpaceX's financial plans for years. This year saw ups and downs: Successful launch of two satellite prototypes for constellation and government approval for the plan, as well as significant reorganization of its strategic leadership. SpaceX has refused to say who is in the company now in charge of designing and building satellites.
However, the company still targets 2020 to launch services and plans to launch its first satellite series by the end of next year. One computer scientist, Mark Handley of the University of London, believes the link will be fast enough to attract high-speed traders seeking the advantage over their competitors.
SpaceX moves to Washington during the FCC's "Spatial Month", pushing Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to show the government's commitment to facilitating the regulatory path for extraterrestrial operations. One issue is that the Starlink plan requires the final launch of 4,425 satellites – doubling the number that is currently in the orbit, increasing the risk of crashes and new spills from the universe.
On November 7, SpaceX executive director who worked for obtaining satellite licenses met with Pai to express how serious SpaceX takes on this concern, pointing out that survival of the company depends on the ability to launch satellites, making waste with a threat to its bottom. Next day, SpaceX submitted a request to change the height of its satellites in orbit, reducing them to 560 kilometers (348 miles) from the company that originally planned.
Lower orbit reduces the risk because the satellites will fall into the atmosphere within five years, a safe way of disposal that also uses 16 less satellites. While a decision means a faster connection for users, SpaceX has to sacrifice some geographic reach and amortize investment in the aircraft for a shorter period of time. The company clearly notes that these costs are worth winning at the approval of regulators and stakeholders.
Matt Desch, CEO of Iris, leading satellite companies and SpaceX customer launch, it's a move "Very Responsible".
Money for great ideas
The stated purpose of Starlink is to raise enough money for the company to free its Martian dreams. But Starlink itself is not a cheap proposition, and SpaceX is preparing to touch the debt markets to fund its plans. The company seeks to raise $ 750 million in debt through a bid run by Bank of America, according to Bloomberg.
The deal was originally dealt with by Goldman Sachs, the usual banker of Musk, but the investment bank allegedly bothered over SpaceX's concern for the future. The company currently does not have a big debt and insists it's cash, but relies on deposits on the future launch and financing of government development funds to keep the black.
The first spacecraft company, Falcon 1, is mostly financed from Muscat's pocket; his next major project, Falcon 9 and the Dragon Spacecraft, backed government funding. While Google and Fidelity invested $ 1 billion in SpaceX in 2015 as part of Starlink funding, it was harder to find the money for the BFR, the huge, fully reusable rocket that the company wants to launch by 2022 to meet its ambitions to travel to solar system.
One source was space tourism. Musk took a significant deposit, in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars, from Japanese billionaire Yusuki Maezawa in exchange for a future lunar journey.
Musk tweeted update to the BFR plan on November 8th, announcing that SpaceX engineers would build small cars models to be released on the Falcon 9 amplifier. This will enable them to test the material that will protect the aircraft from the re-entry heat, and the ability of the vehicle to control itself while flying it many times faster than the speed of sound, none of which can be adequately tested in the simulations, Musk says that the craft, altered from the second phase Falcon 9, will be ready to fly in orbit in June 2019.
It may also be cheaper than the construction of a complete BFR aircraft that Musk had earlier said would be taking off and landing tests at a low altitude of 2019. However, Musk says the ship is coming, even if someone hits it.