Updated Dec. 22, 2015: Eager investors want to know if SpaceX stock is any closer to hitting the market – possible IPO in 2016? – especially after today's news from Florida…
Last night, the company accomplished a historic landing. Ten minutes after its Falcon 9 rocket launched to carry 11 satellites into space, the rocket's booster touched back down safely in a vertical, pinpoint landing in Cape Canaveral.
That means the booster can be reused – greatly diminishing the cost of space travel.
This third attempt at booster recovery came after two unsuccessful tries. The first time, the Falcon 9 booster crashed and exploded after running out of hydraulic fluid on return. The second time, it was slightly off kilter and tipped over.
"The Falcon has landed," SpaceX's launch commentator said in a webcast of the event. Applause, cheers, and "U.S.A." chants erupted at SpaceX's California headquarters. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter:
Musk's moonshot private space exploration company is situated like a key in the doorway to an entire new wave of tech.
The young entrepreneur is working hard to make SpaceX the preeminent commercial space flight firm in the world…
The company has booked nearly 50 launches through 2017, expected to bring in roughly $5 billion in sales. SpaceX was the first commercial company hired by NASA to ferry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). And it won another contract, along with Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), to fly astronauts to the station.
SpaceX aims to send humans to Mars' surface within 10 to 20 years. In a July 2013 interview with The Guardian, Elon Musk said he'd like to fund a colony of 80,000 people on the red planet – and become a colonist himself. "The key thing for me is to develop the technology to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars. That's the ultimate awesome thing." At a forum last year, Musk noted "there are no runways on Mars." In other words, rockets would have to land using the thrust of their engines – like the Falcon 9 booster did today.
On top of all that, SpaceX remains consistently cash-flow positive, and has venture backing.
Imagine the returns if you owned a chunk of SpaceX stock the day the news breaks that alien life exists…
Owning SpaceX stock would be like owning Google stock when the company unlocked a way to organize and search data on the web – shares went up 179% their first year on the market. Search rivals that sprung up later, like Yahoo and Bing, have never caught up (more than two-thirds of the world's Internet searches were made through Google in 2013, the most recent available data).
But there's a big obstacle preventing investors from snapping up SpaceX shares: it is still privately held and hasn't made any announcements to change…
When Can You Buy SpaceX Stock?
Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson, a 34-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech financial analysts today, thinks eventually we will be able to invest in SpaceX stock.
"[Musk] hasn't yet announced plans to take SpaceX public, but I believe that's what he'll do. I base that on what happened with Tesla," Robinson said on Oct. 14, 2014.