Experience level: 
Beginner
Intended Audience: 
All
Authors: 
Karla Cantu, Dr. Ryan B Lunsford.

Space Travel Privatization by SpaceX

ABSTRACT In 1970, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) started the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) project, a small-lift launch vehicle project (Muegge, 1970). Since its introduction in 1970, with a mission to launch satellites into space using a rocket-powered vehicle, the SLV market has grown exponentially and is currently valued at $2B (Clark, 2013). The Congressional Research Service classified SLV under the aircraft and spacecraft industries and exercises, focusing on space-related services for telecoms and satellite navigation. This case study summarizes Musk’s aspirations, conflicts and milestones to develop his company, SpaceX, into a leading private commercial spaceflight venture to visit Mars. The primary barriers the SpaceX project encountered were overcome by using vertical integration, with four launch locations across the United States (Mosher, 2019). The SpaceX project covers over 100 missions, representing over $12B in revenue to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (Maddox, 2021). Musk follows innovative principles and reusability to decrease the overall cost of an SLV. This case study discusses entrepreneurship, self-determination, and management, to give readers a deeper understanding of this industry. SpaceX provides employees freedom, inspiration, and maintenance of operational control. Musk demonstrates that success can be achieved by seeking autonomy for entrepreneurship, authoring, and creating change. Keywords: SpaceX, Elon Musk, Space launch vehicle, Rio Grande Valley, Mars