SpaceX Discloses $1 Billion Raised After First Satellite Launch
(Bloomberg) -- Space Exploration Technologies Corp. disclosed having raised more than $1 billion in equity offerings during the last few months, a day after launching the first satellites for a broadband service network Elon Musk is counting on becoming a major revenue source.
SpaceX disclosed the influx of cash after launching the first 60 satellites into orbit for its Starlink project, which involves building a constellation that beams broadband to underserved areas across the globe. Fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos is also pursuing the business of becoming a space-based internet provider.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and payload rumbled aloft Thursday at 10:30 p.m. local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Minutes later, SpaceX successfully recovered the Falcon 9’s first stage on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. The satellites began deployment about 62 minutes after the launch, as planned.
A space-based internet service will be an important source of funding for Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, Musk has said. He founded the company in 2002 with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.
“We see this as a way for SpaceX to generate revenue that can be used to develop more advanced rockets and spaceships,” Musk told journalists during a conference call last week, before the launch was delayed by high winds. “This is a key stepping stone on the way toward establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon.”
Musk said that revenue from launching rockets for customers peaks at about $3 billion a year, but that he believes internet service revenue could be $30 billion a year.
SpaceX has not announced any customers for the Starlink service. Several more launches of roughly 60 satellites each will be required before a service would be operational.
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