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March 19, 2012

Elon Musk Blasts Off On 60 Minutes


We recommended that our readers check out 60 Minutes last week to watch the feature on SpaceX and founder and CEO, Elon Musk.

For the first time in three decades, the United States has no way to launch astronauts into space. It is 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.  Founder Musk has poured in $100 million of his own money (initially made from the sale of PayPal, along with Peter Thiel) into SpaceX.

When present employee and former NASA astronaught Garrett Reisman was asked by Pelley why he chose to work for SpaceX, he replied, "If you had a chance to go back in time and work with Howard Hughes when he was creating TWA, if you had a chance to be there at that moment when it was the dawn of a brand new era, would-- wouldn't you want to do that? I mean, that's why I'm here."

In case you missed it, we have the video below.  Especially touching is Musk's reaction to interviewer Scott Pelley recounting how space pioneers Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan have spoken publicly against the privatization of the space industry.

Musk replied, choking back tears, "What I'm trying to do is to make a significant difference in space flight, and help make space flight accessible to almost anyone. And I would hope for as much support in that direction as we, as we can receive."

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