Elon Musk led SpaceX to launch 3 satellites made in the country of his birth
Elon Musk led SpaceX will launch three South Africa-produced nanosatellites into orbit as part of the upcoming Transporter-3 mission -- the first wholly made in the continent of his birth to be sent into space. The lift-off is scheduled to take place in the U.S. later on Thursday, and is part of a so-called rideshare where companies or governments book a slot for their craft aboard SpaceX’s rockets. More than 100 space vehicles are taking part in the program.
South Africa’s satellites will be deployed in low Earth orbit at an altitude of 525 kilometres, the government’s Department of Science and Innovation said in a statement. They will eventually be used to monitor the country’s coastline.
“This will further cement South Africa’s position as an African leader in small satellite development, and help the country to capture a valuable share of a niche market in the fast-growing global satellite value chain,” said Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande.
Elon Musk, 50, is the world’s richest person with a net worth of $282 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He was born in South Africa’s capital of Pretoria before moving to North America as a young adult.
Elon Musk's SpaceX raises over $337 million in fresh funding
(Reuters) - Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX has raised $337.4 million in equity financing, the rocket company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
SpaceX, which counts Alphabet Inc and Fidelity Investments among its investors, hit $100 billion in valuation following a secondary share sale in October, according to CNBC. It had raised about $1.16 billion in equity financing in April.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to Reuters request for more details on the latest funding round.
The company competes with former Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos's space venture Blue Origin and billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic in the burgeoning constellation of commercial rocket ventures.
All three rocket companies have successfully launched civilians into space.
According to Morgan Stanley, the space economy could be worth $1 trillion by 2040.
Musk, who also leads several futuristic companies including Tesla Inc, Neuralink and Boring Co, said earlier this year that SpaceX will be landing its Starship rockets on Mars well before 2030.
SpaceX has already launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).