Millionaire Elon Musk, who is backing a new lower-cost satellite launching rocket system, is planning a third IPO to raise extra cash for the venture. Musk is also financing the development of the all-electric Tesla car, which was Musk’s first IPO. His second IPO is imminent and covers his SolarCity project in California.
South African-born Musk, who made his fortune when he sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion, formed Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) in 2002, and says he’s considering another IPO in 2013.
“SpaceX, in terms of launches awarded, is the world leader in space launch,” Musk said. “We’re beating the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans, everyone.”
SpaceX has certainly won support from NASA, and from a number of very hard-headed satellite operators. SES (for SES-8 and another), Thaicom, Israel’s Spacecom, and only a few days ago AsiaSat (for its AsiaSat 6 and 8 craft), have all contracted with SpaceX in recent months.