Gwayne Shotwell, president of SpaceX and COO, says that she’s pretty sure that the company will be sending people to Mars in a decade. And, now, she’s preparing to raise money in order to reach that goal.
A report in Wall Street Journal, which was published on Tuesday, claims that SpaceX will be raising additional $500 million in a new investment round. It also says that the assets will be raised at $30.5 billion valuation and the round should close by the end of 2018.
However, only after that round closes it will be known whether those $500 will even materialize. In April, the company approved selling shares in order to raise $507 million in Series I round, however the round ended up closing with only $214 million raised, reported Pitchbook.
Supposedly, the funds are being raised from SpaceX’s current investors as well as new investor Ballie Gifford & Co. and that, as well, holds a stake in the car company Tesla led by Elon Musk. Ballie Gifford and SpaceX, however, refused to make comments on this story.
The new round of funding comes only about few weeks after the organization took out a $250 million utilized loan in a deal led by Bank of America after it had allegedly thought to be going up against a sum of $750 million in that loan deal.
As indicated by WSJ, the capital inflow will be used to support the development of SpaceX’s planned satellite internet network, that includes its Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket. Super Heavy rocket is, also, now planned to take billionaire Yusaku Maezava and a group of artists around the Moon in 2023.
Last week, in the interview with NPR’s Marketplace, Shotwell claimed that Moon won’t be the only stop, she also restated that the company intends to develop spacecraft in order to send people to Mars as well. “I think we’ll have a machine that’s certainly capable of taking people to Mars and back in ten years.”
“It introduces some risk for the company and for shareholders, since a failure would force the company to pay back the loans or return capital to investors without the cash flow that the projects promise. However, I would expect a company making the types of investment that SpaceX is making to need a large amount of money,” said aerospace analyst Bill Ostrove.
Even though it’s rather risky, it’s not something Musk hasn’t been aware of. In April of 2012, before the company even made its first routine cargo trips to International Space Station, he said: “This is not the path to go to maximize riches. It’s a terrible risk adjusted return. But it’s gotta happen. I think that for me and a lot of people, America is a nation of explorers. I’d like to see that we’re expanding the frontier and moving things forward.”