From Reuters :
Space Exploration Technologies Corp, a startup aiming to slash the cost of launching people and cargo into space, may go public within the next two years, its founder and chief executive said on Monday.
The company beat Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon’s No. 1 supplier, out of at least one launch for the U.S. government, Elon Musk, who also serves as chief rocket engineer, told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.
Musk said he aims to put payloads into space for one-quarter to one-third of what his domestic competitors charge. He said he could beat by one-half the cost of international competitors including China, which he called the biggest potential competitor.
Musk is making bold statements here. When you’re a business entrepreneur, having big brass ones can be a useful trait. Or not.
The SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket hasn’t had much success, but that doesn’t deter Musk from investing his money into the endeavour, he believes he’ll get a huge return on his money. And at 36 years old, I’m certain he will.
So far his only customers are the US government and defense agencies (the Pentagon with their solar energy sats?). But he’s not putting all of his eggs in that basket, which is smart. Not when companies like Bigelow Aerospace are waiting in the wings to utilize SpaceX rockets to service their orbital habitats. And nice contracts to service the International Space Station after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010. Maybe that’s why Musk hopes to have the bugs worked out of the Falcon 9 rocket by 2009. You can’t offer up an IPO and hope to cash in on it with a faulty product. Especially one that can kill people.