Mr Musk’s other company, SpaceX, has become the world’s biggest satellite launch service, with its Falcon reusable rocket boosters regularly delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and its Crew Dragon spacecraft completing its first human trip to the station last May.
It has also caught the eye of investors, raising $850m at a valuation of $74bn in a private funding round. As well as flying missions for Nasa and the US military, Musk has been hunting funds to fuel demand for its Starlink satellite constellation, which is planning to blanket the whole world in broadband satellites.
The remarkable success of SpaceX has led to a surge in interest in space flight, with investment channelled into space startups.
Early next year, it is expected to carry the first all-private astronaut crew to the ISS for Axiom Space, a Texas-based company that hopes to build the world’s first commercial space station.