What does it take to make $1 billion these days? Try launching a rocket into outer space.
At least, that's what financial analysis firm PrivCo says happened last week when SpaceX completed an unprecedented trip to the International Space Station.
Upon becoming the first-ever private space business to send a cargo ship to the station, the company's total value jumped from $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion, according to estimates PrivCo released Thursday.
Elon Musk, the storied Silicon Valley entrepreneur who created SpaceX in 2002 and reportedly owns 65 percent of the privately-held firm, saw his paper wealth jump $650 million.
SpaceX is now cash-flow positive and has entered into $4 billion worth of contracts for commercial and government launches through 2017, SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham told PrivCo. PrivCo expects SpaceX to generate $454.6 in revenue this year.
Orbital Sciences, a publicly-traded space company, saw its shares post large stock-gains in the wake of the news, Bloomberg reported.
President Obama reportedly called Elon Musk to personally congratulate him on SpaceX's successful mission. Hopefully Musk gave him a hearty thanks –- for the congrats, and for the money Obama has poured into the private space industry since he axed NASA’s 30-year shuttle program.