Great Discussion on Bloomberg TV About SpaceX, Commercial Space

Video Caption: Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) –- On today’s “Regnomix,” Former NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Space Adventures President Tom Shelley and Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson discuss Spacex’s successful launch of a satellite and the future of private space travel. They speak with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

EDITOR’S NOTE: An interesting little revelation here that SpaceX is not profitable, but it is cash flow positive. This is something I have long wondered about. The relatively small number of launches plus a large surge in the number of employees has left me puzzled about how the company funds its operations. NASA funding has helped with commercial crew and cargo. So has taking deposits on a large number of future satellite launches. There’s also probably been some additional private investment.

The other part is keeping costs low. SpaceX employees work brutal hours; 50 to 70+ hours per week seems to be normal there. The company also hires a number of long-term temporary workers who work the same type of hours but received none of the benefits of full-time employees. No health coverage, no vacation or sick days, no stock options. All this is pretty normal for Silicon Valley, whose culture Musk has imported into SpaceX. However, this type of work schedule also results in burn-out and higher turnover rates. One wonders how long they can sustain it.