Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. The company is based in Hawthorne, California with additional offices in Washington, D.C., McGregor, Texas, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and Lompoc, California.
SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit. SpaceX's products include Falcon 9, a two-stage rocket; Falcon Heavy, a two-stage heavy rocket intended for super-big satellites, as well as cargo destined for points far beyond, such as Mars; and Dragon, a free-flying spacecraft.
SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth — a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments.
SpaceX's achievements include the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008), the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010), the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012), the first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015), the first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017), and the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun (Falcon Heavy's payload of a Tesla Roadster in 2018).
SpaceX has also made good progress on its Starlink spacecraft development program, with a successful short test flight of the prototype this month, and it won multiple multi-year contracts from NASA and the U.S. government for launch services this year.
SpaceX is backed by Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Investments, Founders Fund, GV, Bank of America, Oakhouse Partners, DFJ, All Blue Capital, Capricorn Venture Partners and others. The company raised $1.9B in a new financing on Aug 18, 2020. This brings SpaceX's total funding to $5.4B to date. The round also puts the company's valuation to $46B, up from its previous $36B in March 2020.