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Tesla Motors and SpaceX Host a Night of American Innovation

published: 2011-02-16 14:56

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (known as SpaceX) are hosting a celebration of American Innovation. The event marks the opening of Tesla’s first showroom in the nation’s capital and honors the historic flight of SpaceX’s Dragon, the first commercial spacecraft to successfully return from orbit.

This is the first time both companies’ technologies have been displayed together, including the iconic Tesla Roadster, the forthcoming Model S sedan, and the Dragon spacecraft. Members of Congress and D.C. stakeholders are invited to the new showroom to view and learn about these advancements.

Putting more electric vehicles on the road and developing commercial spaceflight are urgent, national, bipartisan priorities. Tesla and SpaceX are giving life to these two American growth industries and creating thousands of jobs in the process.

“The technology of space travel has arguably declined since the Apollo moon landings, as rocket flight has become significantly more expensive to the point of being almost unaffordable even for the federal government. SpaceX is revolutionizing the industry with launch costs that are the most competitive in the world, despite our vehicles having higher design safety margins and greater systems redundancy. Ultimately, our goal is to reduce costs by over a factor of ten, saving billions of tax dollars and helping to launch a new age of discovery,” said SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. “Tesla is expediting the move toward energy independence, promoting clean transportation, and helping restore America to a position of global automotive leadership.”

Tesla Motors is a shining example of American innovation, combining Silicon Valley ingenuity with world-class automotive talent. Tesla is best known for the Tesla Roadster, the world’s first and only electric supercar. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds without using a drop of gasoline, it can be plugged into any conventional electrical outlet and travels 245 miles on a single battery charge. Tesla’s second vehicle, the Model S premium sedan, will be the first vehicle built from the ground up as an electric car. Designed and manufactured in California, the Model S is expected to create at least 1,000 domestic jobs by the time it launches in mid-2012. Tesla also supplies its U.S.-manufactured battery packs and electric powertrains to Toyota and Daimler/Mercedes, providing valuable export revenue and trade deficit reduction.

Tesla’s new Washington, D.C. showroom, located just blocks from the White House, is its 16th retail location in the world. The company has now sold more than 1,500 Roadsters in over 30 countries. Collectively, they have driven more than 9 million miles, saving close to 25,000 barrels of oil.

SpaceX is the first commercial company to recover a spacecraft returning from orbit, a feat achieved by only a few nations in the history of space travel. The Dragon’s December flight was SpaceX’s first demonstration mission under NASA’s commercial orbital transportation services program to the International Space Station. SpaceX will fly at least 12 cargo missions for NASA, the company's biggest customer. The Dragon was also in D.C. this week for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Conference.

Both the Dragon and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket were designed from the beginning to carry astronauts, and are well positioned to fly the first ever commercial, manned space missions.

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