30. SpaceX

Mission to Mars

Founder: Elon Musk
Launched: 2002
Funding: $1.2 billion
Valuation: $10 billion
Disrupting: Aerospace
Rival: Boeing

SpaceX, the company started by Elon Musk (founder of electric-car company Tesla) designs, manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It is working hard at making its rockets reusable to drastically reduce the costs of sending things or people to space.


So far this year, the company is responsible for five launches, including a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as placing communications satellites into orbit on behalf of customers. The 4,000-employee company based in Hawthorne, California, has been flying cargo resupply missions to the ISS under contract with NASA since 2012.

Now, under a $440 million contract with NASA, SpaceX is in the midst of making refinements to its Dragon spacecraft so that in the next two to three years, it can fly manned missions as well.

The company has nearly 70 satellite launches booked for commercial customers as well as additional NASA missions, representing close to $10 billion in contracts. But Musk's real vision for the rocket is to eventually take humans to Mars.

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX

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