On Dec. 17, 2012, space-tech start-up SpaceX conducted a 29-second test flight in McGregor, Texas, sending its new Grasshopper experimental launch vehicle 131 feet into the air -- then landing it right back on the ground, safely.

From all appearances, folks, Elon Musk, the man who brought you Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY.DL) has done it again, and is on his way to developing a reusable rocket ship.

So does it look like all systems are "go" for a third Musk-sponsored IPO? And what does this mean for SpaceX's rivals? Listen in, as Fool contributor Rich Smith explains the implications...

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin and Tesla Motors. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.