Morgan Stanley, an American investment banking firm has made a prediction stating that Elon Musk could become the world’s first-ever trillionaire, all thanks to his space exploration company SpaceX. The billionaire started SpaceX in 2002 with two major goals, to make space travel affordable for common citizens and to eventually construct a permanent human settlement on Mars. However, currently, SpaceX does not contribute much to the entrepreneur’s wealth. Most of Elon Musk Net Worth lies in the Tesla Stocks he owns, which is his EV company as well as the 3rd most valuable carmaker in the US with a market cap of around USD 850 billion. Compared to Tesla, SpaceX has a very nominal worth of around USD 30 billion.
Musk sought to purchase reconditioned Russian ballistic missiles to fund his spaceflight aspirations, which became too costly and collaborating with Russian officials proved to be problematic. “After my 2nd or 3rd journey back to Russia, I remember thinking, ‘Whoa, there has to be another way of solving this spaceship problem,'” Musk remarked at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, in 2018. “So we set out on that quest to build SpaceX.” NASA relied on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, paying about USD 80 million per seat, as per Phil McAlister, NASA’s Director.
After SpaceX’s Falcon 1 struggled to meet orbit 3 times but succeeded on the 4th attempt, his fledgling business was cash-strapped and nearing the end of its life. NASA as well as SpaceX agreed to form a mutually advantageous collaboration at that moment. For the last 10 years, NASA has been collaborating with SpaceX as well as Boeing on their respective systems, lending some of their experience from 6 decades of human spaceflight to those firms and assisting them with their advancements. NASA’s collaboration paid off. According to McAlister, a seat that once cost USD 80 million on a Soyuz ship currently costs only around USD 58 million on SpaceX launchers. SpaceX most recently sent its first all-civilian team into orbit. In a rocket dubbed Inspiration4, a physician’s aide, an engineer, a lecturer, and a businessman orbited the Earth for 3 days.