Scroll down to read this post.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind The Black by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.
 

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


SpaceX raises another $337 million in investment capital

Capitalism in space: In an SEC filing yesterday SpaceX revealed that it has raised another $337 million in investment capital.

The company raised in 2021 a total of $1.85 billion, and over the last six years has raised close to $7 billion total. While some of that capital is being used to finance its Starlink internet constellation of satellites, most is being funneled into the development of its totally reusable heavy lift Starship/Superheavy rocket.

The eagerness of investors to put money behind SpaceX is a strong vote of confidence in the company, coming from totally independent sources.

Adding in the $2.9 billion dollar contract from NASA for building a lunar lander version of Starship, SpaceX has raised about $10 billion total for building this rocket.

Whether that will be enough of course is not yet known. Based on SpaceX’s past work it should be. That however assumes the federal government’s bureaucracy doesn’t throw a serious wrench in the process, something it right now appears to be doing by stalling the orbital test flight of Starship/Superheavy.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

29 comments

  • Jeff Wright

    Good news.

  • Captain Emeritus

    With the “upgraded” Raptor engines coming on line, could a fully fueled Starship ever be able to achieve, single stage to orbit, albeit with little or no cargo?
    i.e. to deliver spacemen to the I.S.S. and maybe a couple of tons of supplies like the cargo dragon?
    Happy New Year to all.

  • Questioner

    Common Sense Skeptic: “The Dream Palace of the Space Cadets – Dr Jeffrey F Bell”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ANTNKTJ0s

    “For as long as there have been fantastical claims about space colonization, there have been those who needed to keep people grounded in the realities of those fanatical claims. We were recently introduced to the works of one of our predecessors in this endeavour, and have decide to pay that favour forward.”

  • Questioner

    The death of Dr. Jeff Bell in March 2020 was truly a huge loss to the space realists community. This interview is almost 3 years old and the link below should remind of him.

    It really is that interesting to know what Dr. Bell would say about the current status of the Starship program!
    .
    https://www.thespaceshow.com/show/22-jan-2019/broadcast-3257-dr.-jeff-bell

  • Questioner

    Can someone explain to me how SpaceX raised this capital as equity (as SEC says) in detail? It does mean that SpaceX has sold shares in the company, but in what form and to whom? What is the current ownership structure at SpaceX? According to this SEC list, SpaceX has raised equity and debt capital over 20 times. Shouldn’t this company be heavily in debt? Does SpaceX pay back its debts with new debts or with the sale of the company shares. How can one find out information about it? Is there any useful business / financial information on SpaceX and its profitability? Many thanks for your help.

    https://www.sec.gov/edgar/browse/?CIK=0001181412

  • wayne

    Questioner–
    This won’t answer your question but should flesh it out a bit more.
    SpaceX is not a publicly traded company. (None of Musk’s companies are.) Musk owns something like 55% of the shares issued by SpaceX, and controls something like 75% of the Voting shares.
    [and there’s a difference between the number of shares SpaceX has authorized itself to issue vs. the number of shares they have actually issued to date, and what rights each share (or class of shares) has.}
    When a company sells “treasury shares,” shares which they own, they receive all the proceeds and can use those proceeds in any way they see fit.

    just looking at the Edgar site real quick– the 20 previous sales you noted were all conducted under Rule 506b, this is–>

    “In general, under this rule an issuer of securities has a “safe harbor” exemption from registration. That means the issuer doesn’t have to obtain SEC pre-approval of the offering or need a license to sell its own securities, as long as it follows the rules for the exemption.
    ->Rule 506(b) allows an issuer of its own securities to raise an unlimited amount of money from an unlimited number of Accredited Investors and up to 35 Sophisticated Investors. However, the issuer cannot make any offers or sales of the securities by any means of general advertising or solicitation. To prove they didn’t solicit investors, issuers must be able to demonstrate a pre-existing relationship with an investor. The relationship must pre-date any offer to sell securities. For issuers relying on Rule 506(b), the investors may self-certify that they are *Accredited or Sophisticated. * They do that by checking a box on a pre-qualification form provided by the issuer. A Sophisticated Investor is one who, alone or with a purchaser representative, has such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that he or she can evaluate the merits and risks of the prospective investment.”
    “An Accredited Investor is:
    • An individual (or couple) with a net worth of $1 million, excluding their primary residence, or
    • An individual whose annual income exceeds $200,000 for the two most recent years (or $300,000 if married) and a reasonable expectation of the same for the current year.”

    This basically means the people / entities who are buying these shares are classed as “Sophisticated” and/or “Accredited,” which implies they know the RISKS involved and can financially handle any loss, and most likely have a pre-existing relationship with SpaceX.

    Debt is debt, Equity is equity. Given the current interest-rate climate (essentially zero), smart-money wants equity-participation rather than straight debt. But having said that, I am not familiar with how much Debt SpaceX has and at what rate & maturity.

    (The banking industry IS a giant Ponzi scheme, SpaceX in contrast, actually makes Stuff, and Profit.)

  • wayne

    Elon Musk & Akira The Don – (June 2020)
    “If You Don’t Make Stuff, There Is NO Stuff” ?
    https://youtu.be/nA4Ya-yKJ0A
    3:23

  • Xopher

    “Common Sense Skeptic: “The Dream Palace of the Space Cadets – Dr Jeffrey F Bell”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ANTNKTJ0s

    “For as long as there have been fantastical claims about space colonization, there have been those who needed to keep people grounded in the realities of those fanatical claims. We were recently introduced to the works of one of our predecessors in this endeavour, and have decide to pay that favour forward.””

    Common Sense Skeptic was praising SLS.

  • Questioner

    Xopher: you said: “Common Sense Skeptic was praising SLS”

    Can you link the source for me? Thanks.

  • Questioner

    Wayne:

    Thank you for all the helpful information. I just read that Musk is planning an Starlink IPO. That’ll create a nice bubble again, like Tesla did, and it’ll flush a lot of money into SpaceX. Only with an even higher risk for investors. Certainly not a dividend forever. Are you going to get in and invest?

  • Max

    Good news?

    In the era of public private partnership, SpaceX doesn’t have the connections with bribed (insider trading) government officials that Jeff Bezos, Boeing and others who have government contracts hold.
    Criminals do not like competitors outside of their organizations control.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they accuse Elon Musk of unfair technological advantage and confiscate his Company to break it up like a monopoly for fairness and equality in the space market to benefit the under privileged masses that will benefit with a more equal distribution throughout UN countries.
    Agenda 21 signed by Bush in 92 has come to pass spectacularly in every way but gun collection… soon to occur in the United States.

    I know we’re saving the planet… But first you must destroy it before you can build back better. I’ve been listening to the propaganda this morning talking about the new normal, forcing medical treatment, against your will, for the good of humanity… How fires in the summer are caused by climate change, fires in the winter are caused by climate change, hot/cold summers and hot/or cold winters and tornadoes and hurricanes will not stop until fossil fuel’s cease to be burned. Then, and only then will politicians declare the war on weather achieved… The victory over the climate will be declared and the world be saved by the absolute abolition of all carbon on the planet.

  • Questioner

    My last comment on manned space travel on this blog (in memory of Dr. Jeffrey Bell):

    “No place in space where man could go.”

    Manned space travel suffered its first severe blow in 1962 and its fatal hit in 1965.

    Hit A.: In 1962, Mariner 2 discovered that the surface of Venus was an extremely hot, dry and deadly hell and not the animated, water-rich planet one had hoped for.

    Hit B.: In 1965 Mariner 4 flew past Mars, an extreme disappointment followed: This planet was a dry, very cold desert, with practically no atmosphere. No plants.

    So in 1965 there were no more places where man outside the Earth could have lived and developed. In space there were only extremely hostile places where human dignified survival is only possible with enormous technical effort.

    With that the manned space flight, as a true space flight with a real destination for man was done forever. Apollo, a product of the Cold War, had shown us something wrong.

    The necessity of the use of man in the low earth orbit has been done away with by the technical progress. And where this is not quite the case today (see Hubble), it will certainly be the case in the future.

    What’s left? Space tourism as extreme adventure for super rich people?

  • Mitch S.

    Questioner,

    Of course nobody, no matter how expert, can predict the future so our educated hunches are as good as anything.
    Your comment about the futility of space travel reminds me of a quote someone posted in another thread here by Thomas Watson of IBM.
    In the early forties he said: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
    We laugh, but given the cost and capabilities of computers in the early 1940’s he was probably right.
    The advancement of tech changes the baselines.
    Speaking of early 1940’s, this Asimov short story also comes to mind:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Final!

  • Mitch S.

    “Musk is planning an Starlink IPO. That’ll create a nice bubble”

    Hmm, Tesla seemed like a “for sure” bursting bubble back when Model 3 production was faltering.
    Ask the expert short seller when he’s filling your order at McDonalds.
    I certainly thought Tesla was on the precipice back then and it still may go under but I’m not putting my money on it!

    Starlink? Satellites are up there, customer hardware is out there. Sure it isn’t complete and hasn’t reached it’s performance goals but at this point it just seems a matter of time.
    Then it becomes a cash machine.
    I read currently Starlink has about 100K subscribers at $99/mo.
    Say it reaches 1 million. That’s almost $1.2 billion/yr.
    Say competition causes them to drop the price to $50/mo and they reach 10 million subscribers – $6 billion/yr.
    And their costs? I’ve read $20-30 billion. If they hit 50 million subscribers it’s paid off in one year (and the cost to deploy new sats is going to keep going down).
    And while sats sound expensive compared to terrestrial services (cable companies etc) the maintenance costs are much cheaper – no fleets of trucks and techs to maintain and fix wires and hardware.
    As they say “Past results are not an indication of future returns” but the thing has potential.
    And SpaceX is way ahead of the competition.

  • wayne

    Mitch-
    good stuff.

  • Xopher p

    @Questioner
    “Xopher: you said: ‘Common Sense Skeptic was praising SLS’

    Can you link the source for me? Thanks.”

    A very midwit tell.. You’ve already watched Common Sense Skeptic’s videos, there would be no need for you to demand “source please” when you already have the source.

    For others here, here’s an example of one of Common Sense Skeptic’s videos claiming how the SLS is better than Starship,?:
    After 8:20 (just one of other examples) https://youtu.be/cDYt-phUAxY

  • Questioner

    Wayne:

    Here’s a nice guide on how to make money starting a space company (selling company shares) without actually having a product and a actual running company. Please don’t try this yourself. There is already enough fraud in this sector.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RahhEabfVuc

  • wayne

    Questioner-

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
    by Edwin Lefevre
    https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/60979

  • Questioner

    Wayne:

    The event underlying the video was a while ago, but the 2020 video is very funny and enlightening!

    Why didn’t I get the Dutchman’s idea back then? I would be world famous today. Haha, ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOVOEfszIbE

  • I’d buy Starlink stock. I’m a customer.

    I decided to try it when I moved, not knowing anything about ISPs in the new location. It’s a bit pokey when downloading large files (ISOs, docker images, etc…), but it works just fine for day-to-day things, including VOIP and multiple streams. There is an occasional VOIP blip, but the nice thing about LEO satellites: There will be another one coming into range, very soon.

    Yes, $99/month is steep (I’ve since found out I can get gigabit for less), but my internet bill is financing SpaceX, not subsidizing cable TV. I enjoy paying it.

  • wayne

    Capricorn One (1978)
    https://youtu.be/0Z9yNHIolnM
    2:03:09

  • wayne

    “It’s A Wonderful (Flat Earth) Life”
    Lowder with Crowder (2020)
    https://youtu.be/-_MAnHECpaA
    1:56

  • Questioner

    The truth counts: Attached is a video with a few corrections on Elon Musk’s career, especially in the early stages.

    Excerpt: “The original software code from Musk for the ZIP-2 project did not work and had to be completely rewritten by a team in a short period of time …. Nevertheless, he was able as a result of the sale of ZIP-2 (which he did not manage responsible) to earn 22 million dollars ….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC3pnJmYaxA

  • Questioner

    I influenced myself from the first 15 minutes of the video above and didn’t watch the rest until I had already recommended the video. After minute 15, the quality of the content and the presentation decreases sharply. Sorry. Unfortunately, there is no subsequent correction option here. There are better videos out there for criticizing the person of Elon Musk.

  • Edward

    Xopher p,
    Your common sense skeptic didn’t have much common sense. He said he would examine Starship as SpaceX designed it but then made his own design, which he then critiqued as inadequate. He ignorantly assumes that a six and a half month voyage takes nine months, resulting in an incorrect analysis and excessive quantity of needed supplies. Food that costs $10,000 per pound? He claims that the fuel tanks won’t work, but we saw them work a year ago. Oh, and by the way, how large are the ISS sleeping quarters?

    Finally, the video did not show how SLS is better than Starship.

  • Questioner

    Wayne and Cotour:

    Richard Branson is associated with the term con man in this forum, also by the owner of the blog. But what exactly is the difference between a Richard Branson and an Elon Musk? The last is worshiped and the first is damned, often by the same people.

    But both are entrepreneurial, often in the same field and with similar goals and promises? Is one man more believable than the other? Isn’t one of them a cheat because he has bigger goals than the other? Both have only the best of intentions and want to determine our future, whatever that means. A few questions …

  • Questioner asked, “But what exactly is the difference between a Richard Branson and an Elon Musk? The last is worshiped and the first is damned, often by the same people.”

    I laughed when I read this. If you do not see the difference, you are truly blind. If you do and wish to obscure it, you are intellectually dishonest.

    Under Musk’s leadership SpaceX has launched more satellites and humans into space than any rocket company that has ever existed, anywhere. It also achieved something engineers and space managers had been saying was impossible and impractical for half a century, vertically landing and reusing a rocket’s first stage.

    Under Branson’s leadership, Virgin Galactic achieved practically nothing and did what little it did fifteen years late.

    But you see no difference. As I say, you are either blind or dishonest. I suspect the latter.

  • Questioner

    No, Mr. Z.:

    You stepped on the wrong track. My question was about to the public presented motivations, about the business practice and methods, about the morality behind the business activities of the two men and not about the business success of the two, which can be quite different. Or with you, success always justifies all means? In addition, in the case of Mr. Branson, whom I am not at all defending here, we have to include also his previous endeavors and life’s work.

  • Edward

    Questioner,
    You wrote: “My question was about to the public presented motivations, about the business practice and methods, about the morality behind the business activities of the two men and not about the business success of the two, which can be quite different.

    You may have to explain why you think this is a difference. You have failed to explain what business practice or method you believe to be immoral for either man. Why isn’t the difference between them that one has had better technical success than the other? Why do you think that someone who succeeds is a cheat or a con man? Wouldn’t the definition of cheat or con man be someone who intentionally fails, such as Elizabeth Holmes?

    “Isn’t one of them a cheat because he has bigger goals than the other?”

    Do you really think that the size of the goal relates to whether something is a con?

    You have a very different way of viewing the world than most, and I think that you need to be clearer in your explanations of your accusations, mainly because your very next line shows that you don’t really think they are cheats or con men after all:

    Both have only the best of intentions and want to determine our future, whatever that means.

    If they have the best of intentions, then how are they con men? Where do you think they are cheating?

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *