Elon Musk started Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in 2002 with the aim to revolutionize space technology and send humans to live on other planets.
SpaceX's first rocket, built by the company from scratch, was named Falcon 1 by Elon Musk after Star Wars' Millennium Falcon.
SpaceX made headlines again in 2010 when the company became the first private entity to launch spacecraft into orbit and return it to Earth.
In 2012, SpaceX sent spacecraft Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) which made uncrewed cargo runs as it was designed with crew compatibility in mind. The Dragon is built to seat up to seven people!
Approximately 80% of SpaceX rocket parts are manufactured by the company, keeping control of price and quality. A study by NASA and the Air Force found that the price of building Falcon 9 (USD 440 million) was one-third of the cost if NASA had built the same rocket.
SpaceX has USD 4.2 billion in contracts from NASA. It has also cracked a contract with the US Military. Additionally, its contracts for private satellite launches is worth about USD 7 billion.
SpaceX's key rival is Boeing which built CST-100 spacecraft to fly to ISS along with Dragon. Other's include Orbital Sciences, United Launch Alliance, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, Paul Allen's Vulcan Aerospace and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin.