Copy of 2023-10-05T213712Z_869510008_RC2831A41UHF_RTRMADP_3_SPACEX-LAWSUIT-1696602526515
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Image Credit: REUTERS

Rome: Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA has made a surprise investment in Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies as the lender looks to the aerospace industry as a key driver of global growth.

Innovation will be a key pillar of the 2022-2025 business plan, Italy’s largest domestic bank said in a Friday statement, without disclosing the scale of the new investment.

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, and recently got its first contract from the US Space Force to provide customized satellite communications for the military under the company’s new Starshield program, extending billionaire Musk’s role as a defense contractor.

Read more

Along with its high-profile owner, the company has not been immune to controversy. Musk created an uproar in Ukraine by refusing a government request to extend Starlink coverage to Crimea to assist a naval drone attack on Russian targets in 2022.

“Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” Musk wrote on his X social media platform late last month.