The Falcon 9 rocket was destroyed about two minutes after liftoff from Florida, claiming a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station. (Photo: AFP)
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) designs, manufactures and launches the world's most advanced rockets and spacecraft. Based in California, it was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk with the aim of revolutionising space transportation. Its prototype rocket, Falcon 1, and the more powerful Falcon 9, were designed to be reusable, eventually taking humans into space and back again. SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners.