Nine years ago, SpaceX almost went bankrupt.
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk recalled the event as he unveiled his updated Mars-voyage plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) conference in Adelaide, Australia, on Thursday. He opened up about when and how his now adored and very valuable (it was recently valued at around $21 billion) company SpaceX nearly failed itself out of existence.
"A lot of people really only heard of SpaceX relatively recently, they may think Falcon 9 and Dragon just instantly appeared and that's how it always was. But it wasn't," says Musk, referring to the current SpaceX rockets.
"We started off with just a few people who really didn't know how to make rockets," the CEO of SpaceX says. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based aeronautics company was founded in 2002 to "revolutionize space technology" and enable multiplanitary human existance.
"And the reason I ended up being the chief engineer or chief designer was not because I wanted to, it was because I couldn't hire anyone. Nobody good would join. So I ended up being that by default."