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1 Jun, 2002

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a California-based orbital launch service company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.  The company builds its own rocket engines, rocket stages, spacecraft, principal avionics and software in their Hawthorne, California, facility.  It tests rockets in McGregor, Texas, and maintains launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.  It is the first privately funded company to send a liquid-fueled rocket (Falcon 1) into orbit; to successfully launch (via its Falcon 9 launch vehicle), orbit and retrieve a spacecraft (Dragon); to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the International Space Station; and to put a satellite into geosynchronous orbit.