The US-based Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk is in negotiations with investors to raise another funding round and aims to double its value to up to $92 billion, reports claim.
The talks are still at an early stage, according to individuals familiar with the matter, with SpaceX aiming to close the funding in January. The rocket maker may be unable to persuade investors that its valuation should double from its level in a deal that closed about four months ago. SpaceX had raised $1.9 billion in August.
SpaceX, already one of the most valuable private companies in the world, flew the first regular crew mission International Space Station (ISS) for NASA after the previous funding round. It was another milestone for a company pioneering the rush to cash in on the commercialization of space and planning major investments in satellite-based internet service and a big new rocket.
Last week, SpaceX performed the first high-altitude test of its new Starship SN8 prototype vehicle, which is designed to carry humans to the moon, Mars and other destinations. Musk deemed the flight a success, even though the test ended with a fiery crash landing in South Texas.
SpaceX has two additional Starship test vehicles nearing completion and Mr. Musk has said the craft is likely to conduct its first orbital flight in 2021.
The California-based company is also under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to build a Starship that can land humans on the moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program. Ultimately, Musk wants to send hundreds of Starships to colonize Mars and spread human life beyond Earth.
In addition to human exploration, SpaceX is building out its Starlink satellite constellation to provide worldwide broadband Internet from low-Earth orbit. The company has launched more than 700 satellites with thousands more planned to offer global coverage. The company has opened a “Better Than Nothing” beta testing program in the US and Canada, with kits costing $499 plus $99 per month for the service.