SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company with its headquarters in Hawthorne, California, USA. SpaceX has regional offices in Houston, Texas; Chantilly, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. and opened an office in the Seattle region in 2014 from which it is heavily recruiting engineers and software developers.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of making life multiplanetary. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth. In May 2012, SpaceX again made history when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle to successfully attach to the International Space Station, something previously accomplished only by governments. In October 2012 and March 2013, Dragon again successfully delivered cargo to and from the space station in its first two official cargo resupply missions for NASA.
SpaceX is a privately funded space transportation company. It developed its first launch vehicle—Falcon 1—and three rocket engines—Merlin, Kestrel, and Draco—completely with private capital. SpaceX contracted with the US government for a portion of the development funding for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which uses a modified version of the Merlin rocket engine. SpaceX is developing the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, the Raptor methane-fueled rocket engine, and a set of reusable launch vehicle technologies with private capital.
SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station — a challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA.
In 2017, SpaceX successfully achieved the first reflight of an orbital class rocket – a historic milestone on the road to full and rapid rocket reusability.