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Space Pioneer Elon Musk

April 13, 2012 by staff 

Space Pioneer Elon Musk, Commercial space pioneer Elon Musk has already accomplished something that previously only three nations had done before: launched and returned a spacecraft safely from orbit. But the rocket builder isn’t stopping there, and TV’s Jon Stewart wants to know why.

Musk, the chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), appeared Tuesday on Stewart’s The Daily Show to discuss the company’s upcoming test flight of an unmanned capsule to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is scheduled to launch its robotic Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting outpost on April 30. The mission is designed to test the capsule’s ability to haul cargo to the complex. If successful, Dragon will be the first privately built spacecraft to rendezvous and dock with the space station.

But Musk can already claim a long list of accomplishments. In December 2010, SpaceX became the first private company to launch and return a spacecraft from orbit.

“The four entities that have done that are the United States, China, the Soviet Union and Elon Musk,” Stewart said as he welcomed the entrepreneur onto Comedy Central’s popular talk show.

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