Leaked Financials Reveal SpaceX's High Ambition, Highlight Elon Musk's Big Spendings On R&D

Elon Musk‘s rocket manufacturing company SpaceX‘s expenses reportedly jumped last year to $5.2 billion from $3.3 billion a year ago owing to rising research and development costs, among other things.

What Happened: Despite the mounting expenses, SpaceX still managed to lower losses last year to $559 million from $968 million a year ago thanks to a doubling in revenue, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing leaked documents. The company further managed to make a small profit of $55 million in the first quarter of this year.

SpaceX, a non-public company, does not publicly reveal its finances like Musk’s public company Tesla.

Why It Matters: Last year, a whopping $1.3 billion was spent solely on research and development, a 11% increase year-on year, the report added. While it is unclear as to how much was spent on the Starship project, a portion is expected to be tied to the project that is key to Musk’s dream of enabling human existence on Mars. SpaceX conducted the first test flight of the Starship earlier this year on April 20 and the rocket exploded in less than four minutes after takeoff. 

The company has also been spending to expand its Starlink constellation in low earth orbit and enable service in different parts of the globe. Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite internet service.

Previously, Musk had pinned the company’s success in space exploration on its high ambitions. “The mission of SpaceX is to make life multiplanetary. Even slightly succeeding in that goal results in crushingly good performance to Earth orbit,” Musk said, while also adding that the lack of ambition of other countries and companies is their shortfall.

SpaceX was valued at about $150 billion in June during a share offering.

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Read More: "I Didn't Start Out Wanting To Do Rockets," Says Elon Musk On SpaceX Origin

Image courtesy official SpaceX Photos on Flickr and BZAI on MidJourney

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