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Elon Musk tells Tucker Carlson that the U.S. government was able to read the direct messages of Twitter users
The only thing harder than sending men into space may be making money off it. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon capsule into orbit later this week — marking the first time that the US has sent Americans into space in almost a decade. But the billionaire head of SpaceX and electric-auto maker …
The only thing harder than sending men into space may be making money off it.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch its Crew Dragon capsule into orbit later this week — marking the first time that the US has sent Americans into space in almost a decade. But the billionaire head of SpaceX and electric-auto maker Tesla isn’t expected to get rich off the project — just yet.
Saturday’s launch will be the latest and most important step in a decade-long partnership between SpaceX and NASA, which has awarded Musk’s rocket company $3.1 billion in government funding for this and other launches since NASA prepared to scale down the space shuttle program in 2008.
Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., was originally slated for Wednesday afternoon, but was postponed with 16 minutes to go in the countdown due to the threat of lightning.
But launching rockets is a complicated, costly business as SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell explained in a 2018 interview with CNBC. “The years that are financially rough for us are the years where we have had issues,” such as a 2016 launchpad explosion which destroyed a $200 million satellite that Facebook had planned to use, Shotwell said.
And while Shotwell told the financial cable network that the company has “had many years of profitability,” documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal in 2015 showed Musk’s company just squeaking by with an operating profit under 1 percent in 2014. At the time, it was aiming for a pre-tax profit of just 3 percent in 2017.
SpaceX currently brings in most of its revenue from taking expensive satellites into space for telecom companies — at roughly $60 million a pop, according to reports. But the real money is expected to come through space tourism.
In February, SpaceX inked its first deal to launch space tourists into orbit on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Its agreement, with space tourism company Space Adventures, is for four passengers on an orbital trip that’s expected to last five days and could launch as early as late 2021. First, Saturday’s launch needs to go off without a hitch.