2022 is starting strong for SpaceX. The private aerospace giant built the foundation for future deals last year and is looking to grow.
SpaceX has confirmed a new capital raise to help execute missions, injecting additional cash into reserves.
Bringing In the Big Bucks
According to recent SEC filings, SpaceX confirmed it has raised $337 million in new funding. The company hasn't commented on the new funding or what it plans to do with it.
The capital raise brings SpaceX's total haul to $1.85 billion. The company has been able to count on its high-profile investors - including Fidelity Asset Management and Google's parent company, Alphabet - to inject capital into operations.
The capital raise came a few months after SpaceX raised $850 million. In February 2021, the company sold shares at $419.99 apiece, bringing its valuation to an impressive $74 billion. But investors are still hungry, and it's safe to say the company could easily be valued at over $100 billion if it went public today.
Starship: SpaceX's Top Priority Right Now
SpaceX already has a lot on its plate. The company's primary focus in 2022 is to prep the Starship vehicle for flights.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently confirmed that they plan to add three more Raptor engines to the Starship and expand the capacity of its upper stage propellant tanks. He added that SpaceX is looking to relocate one of two secondary header tanks used to store Starship landing propellants.
Development of the Starship hasn't been as seamless as SpaceX hoped. In November 2021, reports confirmed that Musk was displeased with Starship's progress, specifically the vehicle's rockets, which he claimed now appear to be affecting the company's bottom line.
"As we have dug into the issues following exiting prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this. We need all hands on deck to recover from what is, quite frankly, a disaster," Musk reportedly wrote to some top company stakeholders.
Starship is currently one of SpaceX's most ambitious endeavors. The vehicle is expected to be significantly larger than the Falcon 9 rocket and will be used to handle some of SpaceX's most complex missions.
SpaceX already signed a deal with NASA's Artemis program. While the program won't launch for a few more years, the space company wants to ensure all systems are go. Delays in the Starship's Raptor engine development could cause SpaceX to fall behind schedule on deliverables.
Despite these challenges, Musk remains optimistic that SpaceX will launch the Starship for orbital test flights soon.
Starlink Set for a Huge Year
Besides Starship, SpaceX is also entering an important year for its Starlink internet project. Starlink aims to envelop the world in a constellation of satellites that offer low-cost, high-speed broadband internet to everyone. It has already built a pre-order system, and impressive numbers are coming in.
This year, Starlink is looking to expand. The project already has over a thousand satellites in orbit, but Starlink wants more. Still, the project isn't without its problems.
This month, the head of Starlink India, Sanjay Bhargava, announced that he had stepped down from his role just three months after starting. The former PayPal executive's resignation came after the Indian Ministry of Communications called on Starlink to close pre-orders because it wasn't registered in the country.
Indian regulators made it clear that no Starlink operations will proceed until the company gets approval.