Space Exploration Mulls IPO

Space Exploration Technologies, the space transportation company founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, could pursue an initial public offering next year, he said Tuesday.

"I think there's a decent chance of an IPO toward the end of next year," Musk told a media briefing at the National Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "It's something that we are considering."

Musk said his his company, which is called SpaceX, did not need to do an IPO in order to complete Falcon Heavy, a rocket it is building with twice the lift capacity of NASA's space shuttle that promises to cut launch costs.

Falcon Heavy is based on the company's Falcon 9 rocket, which has made two successful flights and which NASA has purchased to fly cargo to the International Space Station after the shuttle program ends this summer.

Musk, co-founder of PayPal and chairman of electric car maker Tesla Motors , said Falcon Heavy had lower launch costs than heavy-lift rockets supplied by domestic carriers, which include Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Dave Zimmerman)