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SpaceX and Virgin Galactic: countdown to the era of commercial space flight

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SpaceX is a company founded by Elon Musk of PayPal and Tesla, which recently became the first privately-owned group to launch a mission to the International Space Station. Its Dragon capsule successfully docked with the ISS after detaching from a Falcon rocket, clearing SpaceX to proceed with a $1.6 billion contract covering at least six further missions to the station. Virgin Galactic, founded by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, is pursuing the stars as well, in addition to Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and John Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace.