Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX , the Hawthorne-based company which makes and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, has been selected to receive the Aero Club’s 2014 Howard Hughes Memorial Award.
Established in 1978 by the Hughes family, the Award is presented annually to an aerospace leader whose accomplishments have contributed significantly to the advancement of aviation or space technology. Musk will receive his Award at a banquet at the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, on February 12, 2015.
Previous recipients, in chronological order, are Jack Northrop, Jimmy Doolittle, Pat Hyland, Bob Six, Kelly Johnson, Chuck Yeager, Ed Heinemann, Barry Goldwater Sr., Pete Conrad, Allen Paulson, Si Ramo, Jack Real, Ben Rich, Clifton Moore, Lee Atwood, Harry Wetzel, Bobbi Trout, Tom Jones, Allen Puckett, Paul B. MacCready, John Brizendine, Willis Hawkins, Sam Iacobellis, Kent Kresa, Neil Armstrong, Frank Robinson, Burt Rutan, Eileen Collins, James Albaugh, Ron Sugar, Bob Hoover, Fred Smith, Clay Lacy, Steven Udvar-Hazy and Edward C. Stone.
After co-founding internet firms Zip2 and PayPal, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, in 2002 to develop and manufacture space launch vehicles. The company’s first rocket was the Falcon 1, which was followed by the Falcon 9 and, soon, the Falcon Heavy.
In 2008, SpaceX received a $1.6 billion contract from NASA to replace cargo flights of the Space Shuttles and astronaut transport by Russia’s Soyuz with 12 flights to the International Space Station. On May 25, 2012 SpaceX docked a Dragon with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and dock a vehicle to the ISS. In September 2014, SpaceX won a $2.6 billion contract from NASA to bring American astronauts to and from the ISS.
Musk is also CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors, a world leader in electric automobiles.
The Aero Club is a 501 (3) (c) tax-exempt charity. Proceeds go towards the Club’s scholarship programs.
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