Elon Musk of SpaceX

SpaceX is aiming for a manned mission to Mars in 10 to 20 years, with citylike colonies to follow.

He's heard it before and he'll hear it again, so we might as well come out and say it: Elon Musk is real life's Tony Stark. With his high-end electric car company, Tesla, and its mainstream Model S sedan rolling out of its domestic manufacturing base in Fremont, Calif., Musk could take a long nap on his laurels. After all, Tesla could herald a new era for clean car manufacturing in the US.

But Musk's entrepreneurial zeal knows no bounds, driving him to found space-exploration company SpaceX, which sent its first operational flight of the Falcon 9 rocket into orbit this October. Musk predicts he'll send passengers into space for a mere $500,000 within 15 years and that life on Mars isn't out of reach. Suit up, Iron Man.

For more on this story, see Elon Musk's plan for life on Mars .

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About the author

Lindsey Turrentine is Editor-in-Chief of CNET Reviews, where she sets the direction for CNET.com, CNET TV, CNET How To, and all of CNET's compelling consumer tech advice. She has worked for 15 years in Internet journalism.

 

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