SpaceX Successfully Launches (and Lands!) Reusable Rocket

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Jan 7th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured, Growth Stocks, Investing Strategies, Technology

Forget social media stocks and their IPO’s… which have proven to be predictable failures.

When it comes to private companies going public, invest in profit opportunities with no discernible growth limit. I’m talking about companies so formidable, that they can compete with — and trump — the efforts of national super-powers.

Today’s Sleuth covers such companies, and one of them is set to IPO sometime this year.

You’ll want to be prepared for it.

It’s all courtesy of CEO superstar Elon Musk…

Musk’s grand vision is threefold: transform the internet, sustainable energy, and space exploration. While these ambitions sound lofty, Musk has already scored an “unbelievable” track record in these spaces. He has become, in effect, a self-actualized version of his childhood comic book heroes. To drive the point home, the billionaire-genius Tony Stark in the blockbuster movie series “Iron Man” is actually based on this real-life CEO.

He sold his first company, essentially a precursor to “Google Maps” or a digitized “Yellow Pages”, at age 28 for over $350 million. He went on to cofound PayPal, a success that speaks for itself if you’ve ever used an online marketplace.

After the internet successes, he focused on growing three companies: Solar City, Tesla Motors… and perhaps most importantly, SpaceX.

SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) had its IPO on December 13th, 2012… climbing the most after announcing plans to take advantage of the growing stability of the US residential solar market.

The company is installing 60% more capacity in 2013 than it did last year. That’s a good position, since the US has roughly 10% share of the global market, compared to half that figure in 2010.

Their business offers installation for no money down — a fascinating long-term strategy when you think about it. This could help transform your means of energy consumption, and maybe even earn you some money from government subsidies for putting electricity back into the grid. But the electric car start-up Tesla Motors makes that even more interesting…

With enough home-installed solar panels and a Tesla automobile, you wouldn’t need to go out of your way for fuel.

Tesla Motors first offered high price cars at low volume, but will move to medium priced cars at medium volume, and finally low priced cars at high volume… this happened with the first computers.

You’ll remember that Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, he just figured out how to make it commercially viable. That’s when it became disruptive.

Point being: when everybody wants one, they’ll be affordable. Our technical traders, Greg and Jonas have covered Tesla extensively… going so far as to visit their California headquarters.

Finally, there’s the main object of today’s issue: SpaceX.

The company is set to IPO in 2013… making the prospects of interplanetary travel a public venture. You won’t want to miss it.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how SpaceX has progressed financially in the past decade (you’ll note how they’ve left governments around the globe in the dust):

Rockets hadn’t really evolved since the 1960s. But according to a Bloomberg Business interview, SpaceX has had a roughly 3-4 fold improvement in cost efficiency compared to similar efforts in the United States. As in the case with Henry Ford and the Model T, and Tesla Motors with its electric vehicles, this increasing cost efficiency brings the industry closer and closer to mainstream consumers.

As Ray Blanco said as far back as Nov 11th, 2011 in the issue “How Space Technology Will Trump Social Media IPOs”:

“I strongly suspect that if space launch costs fall enough, we will be seeing space access put to commercial use in unexpected ways. How many people saw the eventual existence of Google, Facebook or even Musk’s own PayPal back when the Internet was a small government defense network?”

Now, over a year later, Ray gives you the latest update on SpaceX’s activities…

SpaceX Successfully Launches (and Lands!) Reusable Rocket
“Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah”— “Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller (1969)

A few months back, I told you how SpaceX was working on a prototype reusable rocket. The prototype, called Grasshopper, is a test bed for vertical launch and landing technology.

This month, the company successfully launched and landed Grasshopper from SpaceX’s McGregor, Texas development facility. The 100-foot rocket launched off the pad, attained a height of over 100 feet, hovered and gently descended back to ground. It’s a small leap for a rocket, but a giant leap for inexpensive space access.

The rocket also carried a mannequin dressed as a cowboy to add perspective on the size of the vehicle, which is, I think, a nice touch.

The rocket is over 10 stories tall and is powered by the same basic rocket engine currently used to transport cargo to the International Space Station.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder hopes this technology can be used to return rocket stages safely back to a landing pad.

Current space flight technology is akin to building a brand new jet liner for every transatlantic flight. If that were the state of aeronautical technology today, we’d still be traveling on ocean liners. Needless to say, the ability to reuse spacecraft would be a huge step toward lowering the cost of space launches, which are currently as astro¬nomically high as their destinations.

You can watch the launch video here.

The company plans to eventually launch Grasshopper thousands of feet into the atmosphere and safely return it to Earth.

Ad lucrum per scientia (toward wealth through science),

Ray Blanco

Author Image for Ray Blanco

Ray Blanco

Growing up, I'll bet you knew a kid like Ray. When Ray was 10, he was the eccentric kid that spent hours in his room every night, typing programming code into his Timex Sinclair 1000. By eighth grade, while most other kids were outside knocking a baseball around, Ray was in his basement figuring out how to build what's called a "Wilson Cloud Chamber" -- a supercooled device for detecting particles of ionizing radiation. From there to advanced robotics and avionics... genomics and biotechnology... getting smarter was his idea of fun. And now he's combined his passion for technology with financial and stock market expertise. Ray is the co-editor of Technology Profits Confidential.

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