60 Minutes: SpaceX: Entrepreneurs race to space

In the history of space flight – only four entities have launched a space capsule into orbit and successfully brought it back to the Earth: the United States, Russia, China and Elon Musk.

Mr. Musk is a wealthy, Internet entrepreneur who has vowed to revolutionize space exploration by bringing down the astronomical costs. And that can’t happen fast enough for NASA which retired the shuttle last summer and now has to pay its old rival, Russia, to fly American astronauts into space. Musk is one of the contenders vying for a NASA contract to build America’s next manned spacecraft — a contest he believes he has the right stuff to win.

When the final shuttle mission ended last July, for the first time in three decades, the United States had no way to launch astronauts into space. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. Instead of NASA designing the next manned spacecraft, the White House decided that private industry should design, build and fly it — opening space to commercial development. One of the companies vying for that contract is SpaceX. Elon Musk is the founder and CEO.

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From PayPal to electric cars to rockets, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk wants his company, SpaceX, to build America’s next manned spacecraft. Scott Pelley reports.

Credit: 60 Minutes [ LINK ]



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