SpaceX develops launch systems that are designed to be low-cost, reliable alternatives to government-developed vehicles. In 2008, SpaceX launched a payload into orbit using its Falcon 1 rocket, becoming the first private company to achieve orbit with a liquid fueled vehicle. In 2009, SpaceX lofted a commercial payload into orbit, the first company to do so using a privately developed and funded rocket.

SpaceX’s heavy-lift vehicles, the Falcon 9 series, have been selected by NASA to replace the Space Shuttle for ISS resupply missions and the company has been selected by private firms and the governments of Malaysia and Argentina to deliver orbital payloads. In 2010, SpaceX successfully launched its first Falcon 9 into orbit.