Elon Musk’s astronautics startup SpaceX has announced that it has raised over $7 billion dollars in total after signing a series of new contracts to employ its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles for 60 new missions. It made the announcement at the World Satellite Business Conference in Paris, France on Monday.
“We are pleased to add these additional launches to our manifest,” Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operations Officer of SpaceX, said in a press release. “The diversity of our missions and customers represents a strong endorsement of our capabilities and reflects SpaceX’s efforts to provide a breadth of launch services to our growing customer base.”
SpaceX has long denied that it has reached a $10 billion valuation, but the funds from its new contracts and the fact that it raised another $1 billion from Google and Fidelity during a funding round back in January this year, it can’t be far off.
The new missions, which include the launch of a communications satellite for HISPASAT and a Saudi Arabian Arabsat 6A communications satellite, are due to launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station sometime between late-2017 and 2018.
In related news, NASA has revealed that it may use SpaceX to extract rock and mineral samples from Mars as part of its ‘Red Dragon’ project, which could launch as early as 2022.
In expendable mode, Falcon Heavy can send a fully loaded Dragon to Mars or a light Dragon to Jupiter's moons. Europa mission wd be cool.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 14, 2015
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