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A Company Named SpaceX

Imagine this.

You're 31 years old, you're reasonably successful at everything you do and you've just sold a company that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

What do you do next?

In the case of Elon Musk, co-founder of well known PayPal, the answer was not "retire and live off your wealth"

Instead he went out and started not one but two extremely cool businesses that show he has a sense of style that can not be matched.

The first is the growing electric car company Tesla (check out a picture of their actual yesyoucanbuyonenow product below) which has become all the rage among the financial elite

All electric, all the time.  (And a 244 mile range to boot)

But even Tesla is a sideshow compared to Elon's other company, the ever growing Space Exploration Technologies Company (known as SpaceX)

Dedicated to providing cheaper launch costs than anyone else on the planet, this company is the result of Elon Musk discovering that launch costs were too high for his individual goals.  So instead of going "oh well, better focus on something else" he decided to fix the launch cost problem by starting his own launch company.

And so far he seems to be succeeding.  Approximately two weeks ago (July 15th, 2009) SpaceX successfully launched their first paying customer RazakSAT into orbit at a fraction of the cost of their competitors.

I want one!

In fact, the price being offered by SpaceX for their launches is so low that they were actually taking in more money than they were spending before they successfully launched a single rocket.

SpaceX is one of the two companies currently participating in the COTS contract which combined with the Commercial Resupply Services contract means they have a job with NASA worth 1.6 billion dollars for resupplying the International Space Station once the shuttle retires in 2010.  Within the next year SpaceX plans to produce more rocket engines than every other manufacturer in the world combined.

And what's after that?  To quote Elon from six years ago in an interview with Forbes Magazine, "The most powerful thing we could do is establish a second, self-sustaining civilization outside of Earth, and the only place that's really feasible is Mars."

That's right, Elon's plan is to colonize Mars.

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