SpaceX Launches Dragon Spacecraft For Mission To International Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - OCTOBER 07: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket attached to the cargo-only capsule called Dragon lifts off from the launch pad on October 7, 2012 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket is bringing cargo to the International Space Station that consists of clothing, equipment and science experiments. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Photograph by Joe Raedle — Getty Images

    SpaceX has helped reconceive the notion of a space program, showing that what was long viewed as a government function can be capably handled by a company. It dispatched the first privately funded liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit. It’s the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. And it’s the first organization of any type to land a first-stage orbital-capable rocket. Founder Elon Musk, who has said he wants to retire and die on Mars (presumably a long time from now), has said he keeps SpaceX private to prevent public investors from steering it in the wrong direction in pursuit of short-term profit. Perhaps its most improbable achievement so far: SpaceX is already profitable.

    Company Info

    CEOElon Musk
    HQ locationHawthorne, Calif.