Author Topic: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans  (Read 114450 times)

Offline gosnold

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #480 on: 10/08/2017 09:39 PM »
I thought on the BFR thread it was calculated that the BFR could inject 20 tons to GTO without refueling and while still being fully reusable. If so it seems to easily meet the above requirements.
Yes for GTO it should be OK, I would be more worried about direct GEO and MEO if there is fine print somewhere saying that they are time-sensitive. You can send the tankers first to gain time if this is the case, but the approach maneuvers and the refueling will still take time.

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #481 on: 10/08/2017 09:58 PM »
What would be time-sensitive? Only thing I can think of is time from sat going to internal power until it can open its solar arrays. But that is solved by letting the sat draw power from the ship until just before release. Otherwise just launch earlier to provide time before separation for on-orbit refueling. Are there payloads where even 24 hours (estimate for docking and fueling with already-launched refueling ship) between launch and separation would create a problem?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #482 on: 10/08/2017 10:13 PM »
I thought on the BFR thread it was calculated that the BFR could inject 20 tons to GTO without refueling and while still being fully reusable. If so it seems to easily meet the above requirements.
Yes for GTO it should be OK, I would be more worried about direct GEO and MEO if there is fine print somewhere saying that they are time-sensitive. You can send the tankers first to gain time if this is the case, but the approach maneuvers and the refueling will still take time.
Consider that Centaur does direct GSO and uses the much-less-storable hydrogen for fuel. With refueling, GSO is no problem, and I am pretty sure MEO (depending on altitude) is doable without refueling.
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Offline philw1776

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #483 on: 10/08/2017 10:36 PM »
Air Force RFP possible source of BFR funding...

http://www.teslarati.com/us-air-force-rfp-super-heavy-lift-rockets-spacex-bfr/

"The payload requirements necessitate heavy lift or even super-heavy lift launch vehicles capable of placing anywhere from 5,000 to 37,500 pounds into a variety of Earth orbits, ranging from low Earth orbit (~500 mi) to direct transfer geostationary orbits (~19,200 mi)."

" the RFP’s explicit goal of facilitating the creation of “at least three…prototypes as early as possible”. These four vehicles are SpaceX’s BFR, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, ULA’s Vulcan, and Orbital-ATK’s NGL, all of which already have tentative inaugural launch dates clustered from 2019 to 2022. Perhaps even more telling, all four vehicles can be expected to utilize several rocket propulsion systems (rocket engines) already funded by the Air Force, namely SpaceX’s Raptor, Blue Origin’s BE-4 and BE-3U, and Aerojet-Rocketdyne’s AR-1."

BFR is oversized for the tonnage.  Need to see all the specs to determine if viable.
Schedule a big factor.  Since Raptor has been test fired more than other contending engines, SpaceX could be in good shape.
I posted a summary of the RFP in the RFP thread there

Basically the Air force allows two proposals per company, but will only select one per company at most. If SpaceX submits the BFR (which they will most likely do since they want to retire F9), then it has to:
- be ready for 2021
- do vertical integration
- be based at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
- inject 9t to GTO
- inject 7t to GEO (and maybe there is a catch about the time for injection, preventing the use of refuelling and forcing to expend the booster, the ship or both)
- inject 5.5t to 18 000km MEO

Yet another SpaceX possibility would be a Raptor upper stage & fairing for the FH.
Even bidding expendable SpaceX could be in the price running, especially using "flight proven" cores.
I would hope not, as I see this as a diversion of top engineering resources and management attention from BFR.
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Offline cppetrie

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Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #484 on: 10/09/2017 12:52 AM »
...
Yet another SpaceX possibility would be a Raptor upper stage
...
Not going to happen. It has been said implicitly by both Elon and Gwynn within the last two weeks. It’s dead now, if it in fact ever was alive.

Edit:typo
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 12:53 AM by cppetrie »

Offline sanman

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #485 on: 10/10/2017 12:18 PM »
Air Force RFP possible source of BFR funding...

http://www.teslarati.com/us-air-force-rfp-super-heavy-lift-rockets-spacex-bfr/

"The payload requirements necessitate heavy lift or even super-heavy lift launch vehicles capable of placing anywhere from 5,000 to 37,500 pounds into a variety of Earth orbits, ranging from low Earth orbit (~500 mi) to direct transfer geostationary orbits (~19,200 mi)."

" the RFP’s explicit goal of facilitating the creation of “at least three…prototypes as early as possible”. These four vehicles are SpaceX’s BFR, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, ULA’s Vulcan, and Orbital-ATK’s NGL, all of which already have tentative inaugural launch dates clustered from 2019 to 2022. Perhaps even more telling, all four vehicles can be expected to utilize several rocket propulsion systems (rocket engines) already funded by the Air Force, namely SpaceX’s Raptor, Blue Origin’s BE-4 and BE-3U, and Aerojet-Rocketdyne’s AR-1."

BFR is oversized for the tonnage.  Need to see all the specs to determine if viable.
Schedule a big factor.  Since Raptor has been test fired more than other contending engines, SpaceX could be in good shape.
I posted a summary of the RFP in the RFP thread there

Basically the Air force allows two proposals per company, but will only select one per company at most. If SpaceX submits the BFR (which they will most likely do since they want to retire F9), then it has to:
- be ready for 2021
- do vertical integration
- be based at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
- inject 9t to GTO
- inject 7t to GEO (and maybe there is a catch about the time for injection, preventing the use of refuelling and forcing to expend the booster, the ship or both)
- inject 5.5t to 18 000km MEO

2021 is an ambitious timeline, but this RFP seems like the best way for SpaceX to get money upfront for BFR.

I certainly hope that SpaceX will at least try to make a go of it, because this looks like a golden opportunity.

Based on BFR's known specs, it sounds like it could clobber the USAF's performance requirements, if it can be made to work as desired.

Even if it strains SpaceX's capabilities, the fact is that the other competitors would also be hard-pressed too.

Based on track record, my money would be on SpaceX winning this competition.

This RFP is very well timed - I wonder if Musk knew it was coming down the pipeline, when he made his decision for the revised BFR?
This is the best chance of making BFR come to fruition.

Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #486 on: 10/11/2017 05:58 AM »
Will the RFP require that SpaceX use DoD style accounting (vs COTS or whatever)? If so, it might not be worth the value of money they get from it ... and if they can develop it separately, then win contracts anyways possibly ... ?

Offline CapitalistOppressor

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #487 on: 10/13/2017 01:31 AM »
I had some discussions with Adam Jonas about how to value Tesla back in 2012-13 and he is one of the more informed analysts on the street about all things Elon.

Whenever he makes a public suggestion that Tesla take some action to raise capital it's often followed by Elon doing just that. 

Elon presumably still plans on keeping SpaceX private, but this report is both an invitation for an IPO, and a demonstration of the hype that would accompany it.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/morgan-stanley-sees-spacex-value-growing-to-more-than-50-billion.html

Offline sanman

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #488 on: 10/13/2017 11:58 AM »
I had some discussions with Adam Jonas about how to value Tesla back in 2012-13 and he is one of the more informed analysts on the street about all things Elon.

Whenever he makes a public suggestion that Tesla take some action to raise capital it's often followed by Elon doing just that. 

Elon presumably still plans on keeping SpaceX private, but this report is both an invitation for an IPO, and a demonstration of the hype that would accompany it.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/morgan-stanley-sees-spacex-value-growing-to-more-than-50-billion.html

But Musk has previously stated that he didn't want to take SpaceX public because that would put the company in the hands of interests who would only have a myopic view of quarterly earnings, causing the agenda for a multiplanetary humanity to be derailed.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #489 on: 10/13/2017 12:30 PM »
The satellite constellation (although it could provide necessary orbital infrastructure) isn't so central to Mars except as a cash cow and to provide sufficient demand for BFR. If it's successful, it might make sense to spin it out as a separate company to make money for Mars.

I kind of suspect Elon Musk has something else in mind, though.
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 12:31 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline philw1776

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #490 on: 10/13/2017 02:26 PM »
The satellite constellation (although it could provide necessary orbital infrastructure) isn't so central to Mars except as a cash cow and to provide sufficient demand for BFR. If it's successful, it might make sense to spin it out as a separate company to make money for Mars.

I kind of suspect Elon Musk has something else in mind, though.

Yes, he could spin it out in order to raise VC money and eventual public stock $ to finance the launches with SpaceX being the launch contractor.  That means (1) little SpaceX cash flow needed (2) plus a source of cash income to SpaceX for the flights.  His founders stock if the business is successful could be cashed in to finance Mars flight ops without diluting SpaceX control. He has to do something like this, undoubtedly far more sophisticated than this design engineer with an MBA can think of in a few minutes..
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Offline jpo234

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #491 on: 01/23/2018 04:14 PM »
Nothing really new, but here we go:

Quote
“None of it is intended for dynastic wealth creation,” he said. “The reason that it’s important to me personally is that there’s some pretty big things that I want to do.”

“I want to contribute as much as possible to humanity becoming a multi-planet species,” he said, alluding to a goal he has talked about often, including having people live on Mars. “That obviously requires a certain amount of capital.”

from Tesla’s Elon Musk May Have Boldest Pay Plan in Corporate History
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online AncientU

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #492 on: 01/23/2018 06:25 PM »
Nothing really new, but here we go:

Quote
“None of it is intended for dynastic wealth creation,” he said. “The reason that it’s important to me personally is that there’s some pretty big things that I want to do.”

“I want to contribute as much as possible to humanity becoming a multi-planet species,” he said, alluding to a goal he has talked about often, including having people live on Mars. “That obviously requires a certain amount of capital.”

from Tesla’s Elon Musk May Have Boldest Pay Plan in Corporate History

This could basically double his holdings over next ten years... sufficient to fund a respectable Mars program by itself.  Starlink is cited as the revenue source for Mars, but I think this company is also part of the picture.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4139394-tesla-elon-musks-compensation-implies-massively-lower-profitability?auth_param=1epou2:1d6er2g:ee52b1cba97f2d3fb22c6440cdff0e32&dr=1
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #493 on: 01/23/2018 07:16 PM »
Nothing really new, but here we go:

Quote
“None of it is intended for dynastic wealth creation,” he said. “The reason that it’s important to me personally is that there’s some pretty big things that I want to do.”

“I want to contribute as much as possible to humanity becoming a multi-planet species,” he said, alluding to a goal he has talked about often, including having people live on Mars. “That obviously requires a certain amount of capital.”

from Tesla’s Elon Musk May Have Boldest Pay Plan in Corporate History

This could basically double his holdings over next ten years... sufficient to fund a respectable Mars program by itself.  Starlink is cited as the revenue source for Mars, but I think this company is also part of the picture.

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4139394-tesla-elon-musks-compensation-implies-massively-lower-profitability?auth_param=1epou2:1d6er2g:ee52b1cba97f2d3fb22c6440cdff0e32&dr=1

I'm not sure where the doubling comes in. By my calculation, this provides him with around $50bn in compensation if he hits the required targets over the next 10 years. But those targets include growing Tesla to a $650bn company. A company in which he already owns around 22% of the shares, the last time I checked.

So in addition to the $50bn in compensation, he would ALSO own 22% of $650bn, which is around $143bn. Add that to the $50bn compensation and his wealth just from Tesla would be around $200bn. That's quite aside from whatever his 50% stake in SpaceX is worth.

So doubling his wealth? Not quite. It's more like increasing it 10-fold. Unless I misread the proposal.
« Last Edit: 01/23/2018 07:17 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #494 on: 01/23/2018 07:51 PM »
...
Yet another SpaceX possibility would be a Raptor upper stage
...
Not going to happen. It has been said implicitly by both Elon and Gwynn within the last two weeks. It’s dead now, if it in fact ever was alive.

Edit:typo
That's interesting, given the number of times I've seen "The DoD paid SX to help develop Raptor to use as an F9 US" or similar.

It always sounded doubtful.
2021 is an ambitious timeline, but this RFP seems like the best way for SpaceX to get money upfront for BFR.
I think you'll find that's the timeline they need if a cargo BFS is going to land in time on Mars for 2022.
Quote from: sanman
Based on BFR's known specs, it sounds like it could clobber the USAF's performance requirements, if it can be made to work as desired.
Indeed. That's a bigger if than people realize given it's composed of

 Make BFR/BFS meet spec X By 2021.

Either is possible. Both together?

But Musk has previously stated that he didn't want to take SpaceX public because that would put the company in the hands of interests who would only have a myopic view of quarterly earnings, causing the agenda for a multiplanetary humanity to be derailed.
Indeed.

If SX goes even partly public and a single outside stockholder controls a big enough block (Accuntancy rules say anyone over 21% is a significant shareholder), or (worse yet) Musks holdiings drop below 51% then SX basically turns into another large joint stock corporation, with managers up the food chain looking at the next quarterlies profits and their growth trend.

I'll let people decides what effect this will have on SX's Mars plans.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Lumina

Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #495 on: 01/23/2018 09:10 PM »
The general idea for funding the BFR seems to be out of profits and cash flow of SpaceX itself.

Profits and cash flow of SpaceX can increase dramatically if the demand and supply for launch services increases by orders of magnitude and if SpaceX continues to be the market-leading provider for said services thanks to low prices, good reliability and high launch cadence.

This large growth in demand and supply for launch services will in turn emerge as a result of two trends, which are themselves correlated and interacting with each other:

1. Increasing & new commercial activities in space (comm sat constellations, space tourism, in-space manufacturing, point-to-point Earth travel via space, etc.)

2. Falling cost of access to space thanks to reusability and refueling

The bottom line is, Elon doesn't need any outside money to build BFR / BFS. It will all be funded organically, as long as SpaceX continues on its current trajectory.

Having said that, very large sums of outside money (or capital gains from his other businesses) can come in handy to invest in Mars infrastructure, so as to kickstart a second civilization there and so that there is somewhere for his BFR / BFS to travel to and earn their keep :)
« Last Edit: 01/23/2018 09:11 PM by Lumina »

Offline speedevil

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #496 on: 01/24/2018 02:12 AM »
The general idea for funding the BFR seems to be out of profits and cash flow of SpaceX itself.
<snip>
The bottom line is, Elon doesn't need any outside money to build BFR / BFS. It will all be funded organically, as long as SpaceX continues on its current trajectory.

I really don't understand where this comes from given the rather vague statements about funding, or the implication that it's a one-one trade vs spending stuff on Mars.

Quote
if we can do that, then all the resources that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon can be applied to this system.
(Elon, IAC) doesn't say outside funding won't exist.

It might be only funded organically, if that is the absolute only way to do it.
I note for example the 2019(?) development milestone for the air force that they may get money from for BFR if they can also launch large satellites.

Adding in funding can make development faster, reduce significantly costs of launching stuff to Mars as well as make 2022 plausible.

The thinking that Starlink funding of BFR/S is somehow 'non-organic' - when their CEO is a Trinity and his aim is to get to Mars with lots of stuff is odd.

Any and all revenue that can be safely used to boost the prospects of all three companies and get to that ultimate goal most efficiently and fastest seems logical - indeed almost mandated by that goal.

From Starlink paying upfront for blocks of launches to give immediate development money, to Tesla offering Starlink receivers as part of their USP, ...

'Tired of slow internet when you travel? Take your internet with you!' for example.

If you can decrease cost of BFS by mass production, either enabled by 'excess' funding allowing you to build ten, not five vehicles, or P2P investments, or ... - you directly reduce the cost of stuff on Mars inherent in having to deliver it with a $400M vehicle every 2 years or so.

Yes, you can get moderately low costs if you assume the vehicle is reused indefinitely, but even going out to 20 reuses it's still going to be a dominant cost unless you can change the paradigm and make BFR cheap (aged out P2P, for example).



« Last Edit: 01/24/2018 05:36 AM by speedevil »

Offline Ludus

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #497 on: 01/25/2018 10:32 PM »
The general idea for funding the BFR seems to be out of profits and cash flow of SpaceX itself.
<snip>
The bottom line is, Elon doesn't need any outside money to build BFR / BFS. It will all be funded organically, as long as SpaceX continues on its current trajectory.

I really don't understand where this comes from given the rather vague statements about funding, or the implication that it's a one-one trade vs spending stuff on Mars.

Quote
if we can do that, then all the resources that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon can be applied to this system.
(Elon, IAC) doesn't say outside funding won't exist.

It might be only funded organically, if that is the absolute only way to do it.
I note for example the 2019(?) development milestone for the air force that they may get money from for BFR if they can also launch large satellites.

Adding in funding can make development faster, reduce significantly costs of launching stuff to Mars as well as make 2022 plausible.

The thinking that Starlink funding of BFR/S is somehow 'non-organic' - when their CEO is a Trinity and his aim is to get to Mars with lots of stuff is odd.

Any and all revenue that can be safely used to boost the prospects of all three companies and get to that ultimate goal most efficiently and fastest seems logical - indeed almost mandated by that goal.

From Starlink paying upfront for blocks of launches to give immediate development money, to Tesla offering Starlink receivers as part of their USP, ...

'Tired of slow internet when you travel? Take your internet with you!' for example.

If you can decrease cost of BFS by mass production, either enabled by 'excess' funding allowing you to build ten, not five vehicles, or P2P investments, or ... - you directly reduce the cost of stuff on Mars inherent in having to deliver it with a $400M vehicle every 2 years or so.

Yes, you can get moderately low costs if you assume the vehicle is reused indefinitely, but even going out to 20 reuses it's still going to be a dominant cost unless you can change the paradigm and make BFR cheap (aged out P2P, for example).

The big change at IAC was putting BFR/BFS at the center of SpaceX real business plan rather than a vague future aspiration. In that sense Elon made it much more real than any of the usual space system pitches put out by other aerospace companies. SpaceX would unilaterally shift its engineering muscle to building BFR/BFS as a replacement for Falcon9/FH even while still flying F9 as long as customers still wanted it. F9 is declared a mature cash cow.

That doesn’t limit how SpaceX will raise capital or revenue in the future, it just says they’re not waiting for some new future source of capital. BFR/BFS will be a universal system intended to serve all customer needs as well as Mars plans.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #498 on: 01/25/2018 11:15 PM »
Well put, speedevil.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #499 on: 03/16/2018 07:44 PM »
I guess this is the appropriate thread for some SpaceX share sales news.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/16/spacex-is-making-big-money-moves/

Seems like they are selling another $500m worth of shares. Additionally, some employees who already own shares are cashing in on the increase in share value by selling their shares on the secondary market. This apparently will amount to an additional $500m. Now, these secondary sales will of course not raise any money for SpaceX, as it will simply be already issued shares changing hands in a private sale.

But interestingly, rumours are that Elon is buying $100m worth of shares in this round. It is not clear if he is buying some of the newly issued shares, or buying up some of the shares being sold on the secondary market. But either way, it is one way for him to keep his ownership share of the company as high as possible while still pumping more money into SpaceX.

Effectively he is injecting $100m of his own money into the firm, but is upping his ownership share of it as a result. Most likely, it is just enough to ensure that his ownership stake is not diluted too much by any new share issues.

Bottomline, it seems like about $500m of new cash is being raised for the company. And SpaceX's valuation is apparantly still $21.5bn.  I was hoping it would have shot up further since the last valuation a few months ago, given the success of the Falcon Heavy and the high launch cadence they are achieving lately.

Maybe this time next year they will be around $50bn. But that's just my idle speculation.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2018 07:49 PM by M.E.T. »

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