Musk, JPL Honored With Innovation Awards

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Congratulations to SpaceX Founder Elon Musk and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, whom Popular Mechanics has honored with 2012 Breakthrough Awards.

Musk was honored with the Leadership Award for his work in space and on electric automobiles. The magazine wrote:

Elon Musk, the man, has every reason to be nervous. At 41, the South African-born billionaire has staked his fortune on businesses that could reshape the future—or implode spectacularly. After creating and selling the Internet payment system PayPal, Musk turned his attention to industries he felt could enhance humanity’s potential: electric cars and affordable spaceflight.

Read an account of Musk’s innovative approaches to business here. The magazine’s editors also sat down with Musk for an interview here.

JPL was honored with the Mechanical Lifetime Achievement Award for the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes, which were launched in 1977. The spacecraft explored the outer planets before heading for interstellar space. The magazine wrote:

Thirty-five years later, both probes are still sending back data, and within the next couple of years Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 will exit the farthest bounds of the solar system. Ed Stone, who has been JPL’s project scientist for the Voyager program for four decades, is awed by the prospect of the probes entering interstellar space. “We have an object made by the human race that’s traveling between the stars,” he says. “It’s not science fiction anymore. It’s real.”

Congratulations to Musk, JPL and all the other winners. Check out the magazines full coverage here.