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SpaceX Named One of 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2011
Hawthorne, CA– Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (known as SpaceX) has been named one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by MIT’s Technology Review.
“Private companies will dominate near-Earth space travel. And SpaceX, with its manufacturing advances for making rocket engines and astronaut capsules, is leading the way,” said Jason Pontin, Technology Review Editor in Chief and Publisher.
“I believe that humanity is fundamentally inspired through understanding and exploring the universe around us and to do so we must push the technological boundaries of what’s possible,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Technology Officer. “SpaceX was founded with the goal of revolutionizing rocket and space technology in order to take space exploration to the next level. Making this list is one more sign that we are making that dream a reality.”
Musk explained, “Our Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying the same number of astronauts as the Space Shuttle at one tenth of the cost. It will also be much safer due to technological improvements such as a launch escape system, being automatically stable on reentry, and having a far more robust heat shield.”
To select the 50 most innovative companies in the world, the editors of Technology Review looked for those that have demonstrated superiority at inventing technology and using it both to grow as businesses and to transform how we live. They identified the companies that have the most promising technologies and examined their business models, their strategies for deploying and scaling up their technologies, and the likelihood that they will succeed.
SpaceX joined the list after becoming the first commercial company to recover a spacecraft returning from orbit, a feat achieved by only a few nations in the history of space travel. The Dragon’s December flight was SpaceX’s first demonstration flight under NASA’s COTS program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. SpaceX will fly at least 12 cargo missions for NASA, the company's biggest customer.
Both the Dragon and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket were designed from the beginning to carry astronauts and are well positioned to fly the first-ever commercial, manned space missions.
SpaceX matches its engineering strength with a solid business model. The company has grown to over 1,250 employees since it was founded in 2002. SpaceX has also been profitable four years running – from 2007 to 2010.
You can read SpaceX’s profile in the March/April issue of Technology Review available online at www.technologyreview.com/tr50.
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft that is increasing the reliability and performance of space transportation, while ultimately reducing costs by a factor of ten. With the Falcon rockets, SpaceX has a diverse manifest of launches to deliver commercial and government satellites to orbit. After the Space Shuttle retires, the Falcon 9 and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will start carrying cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the International Space Station for NASA. Falcon 9 and Dragon were developed to one day carry astronauts.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners. The company has over 1,250 employees in California, Texas and Florida. For more information, and to watch the video of the Falcon 9 and Dragon launches, visit the SpaceX website at SpaceX.com.
About Technology Review, Inc
Technology Review is an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More than two million people around the globe read the publications in five languages and on a variety of digital and print platforms. They publish Technology Review magazine, the world’s oldest technology magazine (established 1899); daily news, analysis, opinion, and video; and Business Impact, which explains how new technologies are transforming companies, disrupting markets, or creating entirely new industries.
For more information about Technology Review’s top 50 contact Amy Lammers at Technology Review at (617) 475-8077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On December 8th, SpaceX launched the Dragon spacecraft on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral.
Artist’s rendition of the Dragon spacecraft as it orbits the Earth.