Sending things to space isn’t cheap, which is exactly why Elon Musk got into the business with SpaceX. In a press release today about some newly signed contracts for use of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, the company updated just how much money it has booked.
Seven Billion Dollars under contract for the 60 missions on manifest. To put all of this into perspective, Uber has raised $8.2 billion to date.
Space exploration is a capital intensive business. To date, SpaceX has raised $1.2 billion. Given the massive discrepancy between the startup’s past raise total, and its recent raise quantity, it seems quite reasonable to presume that the firm isn’t cash poor looking ahead in the short, or moderate term.
Still, $7 billion in new revenue will incur capital and operating costs that could send the company back to private investors. Just for fun, given that SpaceX has 60 missions under contract worth around $7 billion, the firm is charging more than $100 million per show.
SpaceX faces an interesting financial question: As it drives the cost of space travel down, does that lower its revenue potential by cutting its own sticker price, or does lower-priced space flight lead to such a surge in demand, that any cost cutting leads to long-term revenue expansion?
On the newest bookings, Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO, of SpaceX said:
We are pleased to add these additional launches to our manifest. The diversity of our missions and customers represents a strong endorsement of our capabilities and reflects SpaceX’s efforts to provide a breadth of launch services to our growing customer base.
The new projects include a launch of a communications satellite for HISPASAT and the launch of the Saudi Arabian Arabsat 6A communications satellite. Both projects will (literally) take off in late 2017 and 2018.
Additionally, NASA suggested today that it may use SpaceX’s equipment to bring back rocks and other samples from Mars starting as early as 2022 for its ‘Red Dragon’ project: