The company that Elon Musk hopes will some day carry him to Mars has been making big strides in recent months, winning contracts to provide the rockets that ferry public and private satellites and other equipment into space. As NASA looks to limit it new launches and collaboration with Russia breaks down, SpaceX is filling the void. Today TechCrunch reports that the company is in talks to raise $200 million in new funding, an investment that would value it at more than $10 billion dollars.
That may sound like a huge amount of money, but it's pretty much par for the course in the red hot Silicon Valley market we're experiencing these days. Uber, Snapchat, and others have either closed funding or are reportedly in talks that would put them in the $10 billion club. The fact that Musk has experience taking Tesla public no doubt helps to give investors confidence that he has a good chance to guide SpaceX to a similar outcome.
A study from NASA and Nature found that using Space X could save the agency over $1 billion per rocket launch. The fact that Space X has designed reusable rockets is a big factor in reducing expenses, although not every rocket has managed to successfully return to Earth in one piece. In 2014 SpaceX contracted for launches with an Asian satellite company, and the governments of Argentina and Turkmenistan. In 2015 it is scheduled to conduct launches for companies and government agencies from Israel, Taiwan, and Japan.