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    Let us stipulate that discovery is a public good—that exploring new worlds is akin to changing the one we live in. After NASA put an end to its space-shuttle program in 2011, many thought it marked the end of the exploration of our galaxy. SpaceX seeks to make that fear unwarranted. Led by Tesla founder Elon Musk—whose batteries and electric vehicles are also world changers—SpaceX has become the first private company to send a spacecraft into orbit and has earned contracts worth $4.2 billion for hauling supplies to the International Space Station. Its cost-saving vertical integration and reusable rockets could facilitate sending astronauts to space affordably and frequently. The final frontier? To colonize Mars.

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    Company Info

    Sector
    Industrials
    Industry
    Aerospace & Defense
    Country
    U.S.
    Revenues ($ millions)-
    Company type
    Private
    CEO
    Elon R. Musk
    Websitehttp://www.spacex.com
    Impact Segment
    Education/Discovery

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    World's Greatest Leaders Rank23
    World's Greatest Leaders Profilehttp://fortune.com/worlds-greatest-leaders/elon-musk-23/