In this success story, we will share the biography of Elon Musk, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX CEO, chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and co-founder of PayPal. Musk is also involved in developing a high-speed transportation system known as Hyperloop. Elon Musk invests in projects that can change our world. He is not only an entrepreneur but also an inventor, innovator, and engineer. Musk personally participates in designing electric cars and spaceships.
Elon Musk was the second entrepreneur in Silicon Valley (the first was James H. Clark) who created three companies with a market cap of more than $1 billion – PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors. Elon Musk dedicates himself to space and alternative energy technologies.
|Net Worth:||$225.5 billion (November, 2023)|
|Birth Date:||June 28, 1971|
|Place of Birth:||Pretoria, South Africa|
|Education:||University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Queen's University, Ontario|
He plays by some different rules and does that quite successfully. The distinctive personality traits of Elon Musk are perseverance, critical thinking, accurate self-analysis, and hard work (he works 80-100 hours per week).
Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. He was the oldest of three children. His father is a South African-born British engineer, Errol Musk, and his mother is a Canadian-English and dietetics expert, Maye Musk. Musk spent his childhood in South Africa, and at the age of 9, he got his first personal computer, the Commodore VIC-20. Elon immediately got interested in programming and started to learn it by himself. At 12, he earned $500 by selling the computer game Blastar (a shooter similar to Space Invaders) he had created.
Biographies of famous people usually contain key episodes leading them to an overwhelming success. In Elon Musk’s biography, there were at least two such episodes. The first one was Musk’s decision when he was only 17. After graduating from a secondary school in Pretoria, he decided to leave his home and, without the support of his parents, to immigrate to the United States. However, he did not get into the United States right away.
Elon Musk is the co-founder of PayPal and the founder of SpaceX, two companies that manufacture payment systems and spacecraft, respectively. He was an early investor in Tesla, which manufactures electric vehicles and batteries. He became Tesla CEO in 2008. In 2022, he acquired Twitter for $44 billion.
In 1989, Elon Musk moved to Canada to his mother’s relatives. Having obtained Canadian citizenship, Elon went to Montreal. At first, he worked in low-paid jobs and, for almost a year, was teetering on the brink of poverty. At 19, he entered Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2000, he met his future wife, Justine Musk, who gave birth to his five sons: Damian, Griffin, Xavier, Saxon, and Kai. However, he broke up with Justine after eight years and, in 2010, got married a second time to a British actress named Talulah Riley, with whom he has lived for four years. He got divorced in 2014.
Elon Musk had been studying in Ontario for two years, and then, finally, his dream came true – in 1992, he relocated to the United States. He moved to the U.S. after receiving a scholarship from The University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics Bachelor the following year. Still, he continued his studies at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for one more year. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics as well.
Elon Musk graduates from The University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in physics and from The Wharton School with a B.S. in economics.
When Elon Musk struggled with adolescent depression, he began actively absorbing philosophical and religious literature. Yet the most valuable lessons he eventually learned from Douglas Adams’ book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Elon Musk learned that the most challenging thing was to come up with the right questions, and when he began to do that, the rest was obtained very simply. An episode that guided him to this conclusion was when a giant supercomputer, after several million years of thinking about the primary purpose of life, responded with the meaningless number 42.When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world. – Elon Musk Click To Tweet
Musk figured out that humanity had to expand the limits of its consciousness to learn to ask the right questions, and he had found his question: what things would have a significant impact on the future of humanity’s destiny? Elon Musk decided those would be the Internet, the transition to renewable energy sources, and space colonization. He wanted to try to contribute to all three of them. To do that, he needed funds.
Zip2 and PayPal
In the summer of 1995, Elon Musk made the second and the most crucial decision. Having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, he enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University to pursue studies in applied physics and materials science. However, after two days, he left graduate school, and with his brother, Kimbal Musk, he created his first I.T. company, Zip2. He worked from early morning until late evening. He lived in the same warehouse where he rented the office, and when he needed to shower, he had to go to the locker rooms of a local stadium. In return, he accumulated savings and kept the company afloat during the most difficult first two years.
At that moment, the Internet was experiencing a period of rapid growth and development; however, nobody had ever earned a considerable fortune from it. Musk’s company was one of the first ones to do this: he created a platform where newspapers – including credible ones like the New York Times – could offer their customers additional commercial services.
In 1999, the biggest search engine of that time, AltaVista (later acquired by Compaq), bought Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in securities. This deal set a record for selling a company for cash. Musk spent $20 million on a 1,800-square-foot condominium and completely renovated it. Also, he bought the McLaren F1, which he would wreck in 2000, and a 12-seat Dassault 900 private jet.
In 1999, Musk started to work on electronic payment systems that were gaining popularity. The X.com startup became his new business. In March 2000, X.com merged with a rival company, Confinity; Peter Thiel and Max Levchin ran that. Confinity developed software to allow owners of PalmPilots and other PDAs to store encrypted information on their devices, creating the first digital wallet. In 2001, after the merger, X.com was renamed to PayPal, and Elon Musk became the chairman and chief executive of PayPal.
There were disagreements on strategy and management between new teams, but they have never affected the company’s dynamics and growth. Musk was involved in developing new business models and conducted a successful viral marketing campaign, which led to a rapid increase in customers. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. Elon Musk received $180 million for his share from PayPal and had enough funds to pursue his other interests: space engineering and alternative energy sources. That was when Elon stopped investing in the Internet business.
In 2003, engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors. From the beginning, the company positioned itself as the first serial manufacturer of electric vehicles, and its founders dreamed of freeing the customers from the oil burden. Musk significantly supported such aspirations.
Elon Musk came into the project in 2004, leading an investment round in the startup with a personal contribution of $70 million. He became the chairman of the board of directors and, at first, did not take over the company’s operational management. Musk participated in designing their first electric car, a Tesla Roadster sports car based on the British Lotus Elise. He insisted on using carbon fiber composite materials in the hull to minimize weight, developed the battery module, and even some design elements, like the headlights. By 2006, the project had gotten into newspapers, and Musk received the Global Green 2006 product design award for the Tesla Roadster design. Tesla Motors continued to grow, and now the pool of investors, including the creators of Google, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, and the total amount of the investments reached over $100 million.Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution. – Elon Musk Click To Tweet
However, when the Tesla Roadster was about to enter production in 2007, a run of bad luck started for Musk. Some management failures led to the fact that the actual selling price of the electric vehicle was almost twice as high as the initially implicit price of $92,000. In addition, Martin Eberhard made a strategic miscalculation: his concept of transmission for Tesla Roadster proved ineffective, and the car’s release had to be postponed for more than a year.
During this crisis, Elon showed incredible critical management skills: he fired everyone who stalled the project’s development, including Eberhard and a few other key players. After the cleanup, he headed the company by himself. Eberhard appealed to the court after being replaced by an interim CEO, Michael Marks. Still, the problem has been solved peacefully and so effectively that no details of the conflict were leaked to the public. In December 2007, Ze’ev Drori was appointed CEO and president of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk was a much better CEO and succeeded Ze’ev Drori. Drori became Vice Chairman and left the company in December 2008.
On the verge of crisis, Elon Musk continued vigorously cutting costs effectively: he reduced staff, demanded lower prices from suppliers, closed some offices, etc. As a result, the Tesla Roadster saw the world in 2008 with a minor – less than $20,000 – price increase.
In his most challenging moment in the late spring of 2008, Elon filed for divorce from his spouse, Justine, for reasons he did not want to make public. To save Tesla Motors, Musk received additional funds for the takeover of a software development company, Everdream, for $120 million by Dell; Elon Musk was the principal shareholder of it. He invested his last $20 million in Tesla Motors, saving the company from bankruptcy. Musk even gave personal guarantees to customers to make a refund in case of a business failure.
Soon, things went smoothly, which was especially impressive against the stagnating traditional auto industry. A German multinational automotive corporation, Daimler, made critical investments of $50 million in Tesla Motors, which helped save the company. Soon, the U.S. Department of Energy authorized the inclusion of Tesla Motors in a pool of innovative transport companies and authorized it to receive a preferential interest-bearing loan. Later, some skeptics criticized the Government for supporting Tesla Motors, whose product was focused exclusively on wealthy buyers.
The expression “electric vehicle” often evokes associations with something slow and clumsy, but in the case of Tesla Motors, it is not so. Tesla’s electric vehicles are fast and similar in appearance to luxury sports cars. However, there are plans to create more straightforward and affordable models. Tesla Motors’ engineers cooperate with Daimler and Toyota.
These companies’ so-called “hybrid” cars, equipped with an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, use Tesla Motors’ technology. In 2007, the Vice Chairman of General Motors, Bob Lutz, called Tesla the main reason for the decision to begin developing the electric car Chevy Volt. “If some Silicon Valley startup can solve this equation, no one is going to tell me anymore that it’s unfeasible,” Lutz said.
On June 29, 2010, Tesla Motors started its initial public offering (IPO). It was the second (after Ford) car-manufacturing company in U.S. history to enter the IPO market. Despite being unprofitable for ten years, Tesla Motors got listed on NASDAQ at $17 per stock and attracted more than $225 million of investments. It was indeed the best time to enter the IPO market. The oil slick due to the fault of British Petroleum covered a significant part of the Gulf of Mexico and was continuing to grow, and raising the issue of the transition to new fuels seemed more than logical at that time. As of February 05, 2015, one share of Tesla Motors, Inc. stock cost $220.99, and its total market cap reached $27.44 billion. Elon Musk owns 30% of Tesla Motots, Inc. (TSLA).
The main reason for Tesla’s financial success became a premium sedan, the Tesla Model S, with a battery that supplies 265 miles (426 km) of range in the EPA 5-cycle test. The production of Model S started in June 2012 with a price tag starting at $69,900. It was ranked 99 out of 100 points by Consumer Reports and the highest safety rating from the National Highway Safety Administration, a 5.4 out of 5 points.
At the presentation of Model S, Musk categorically stated that in twenty years, more than half of the produced vehicles would be electric ones. He was even ready to bet on that, as were many others. Yet even the most optimistic analysts’ estimates state that Musk’s forecast cannot be realized. However, that does not scare Tesla’s CEO: He changes reality by embellishing it.
Elon Musk believes that the world has become dependent on oil. This dependence leads to climate change and permanent geopolitical tensions. Refusing internal combustion engines in favor of electric motors can make a difference. Therefore, Tesla Motors is not a small business for Musk.
Musk continued to keep publicity interested in the company by starting a media argument with The New York Times columnist John M. Broder about one of the test drives of the Model S. It is worth mentioning that these publicity stunts gave their results. During the first half of 2013, 10,500 Model S were sold.
On October 09, 2014, The Tesla Motors team unveiled Model S 85D and P85D. That is the first electric car with a dual motor. Model S P85D has 691 hp motor power and an ‘insane mode’ acceleration: a 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) run of 3.2 seconds. Additionally, the car can be equipped with a revolutionary autopilot system: a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360-degree ultrasonic sensors that actively monitor the surrounding roadway. With an enabled autopilot system, Model S can automatically change lanes, indicate and avoid pedestrians and collisions, and even read speed limit signs, adjusting the car’s speed accordingly. In addition, the new Model S has increased battery capacity. The cost starts at $79,900. Visually, however, the vehicle will be very similar to its counterpart, the Model S 60. In February 2014, the Tesla Model S was rated by Consumer Reports as the best car in the world for the second year.
A released crossover, the Tesla Model X, was delivered for new reservations in the latter half of 2016. On September 29, 2015, the first six deliveries of the Tesla X model started at a market launch event in the Fremont factory. The Tesla Motors team has designed the Model X P90D and 90D. Model X P90D has 259 hp front, 503 hp rear motor power, and a 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) run of 3.2 seconds with Ludicrous Speed Upgrade. Additionally, Tesla X has a panoramic windshield with ample seating for seven adults and all their gear. The car is equipped with the first true HEPA filter with a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” button in a vehicle. Musk stated that when the HEPA filter operates at maximum performance, no pollen, bacteria, or viruses could be detected in the cabin—model X equipped with Falcon Wing doors automatically adjusted to the optimal opening arc.
On March 31, 2016, Elon Musk unveiled the five-seater Tesla Model 3. That is the most affordable Tesla car yet, with a price tag starting at $35,000. The base vehicle can run 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) under 6 seconds. The range is at least 215 miles (346 km), and supercharger support is capable. Model 3 includes all the autopilot safety features and will be equipped in rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions. Musk said that it would be one of the world’s safest cars. Deliveries of Model 3 began in late 2017.
Elon Musk plans to cover the U.S., Europe, and Asia with a network of Supercharger stations. As of April 04, 2016, there are 613 Supercharger stations with 3,628 Superchargers worldwide.
In November 2017, Musk unveiled the new Tesla Semi Truck and Roadster. Tesla Motors started producing semi-trucks in 2019. The truck can drive 500 miles (804km), and its battery capacity is designed to last 1 million miles (1,60 million km).
Roadster and Model Y
In March 2019, Musk revealed the long-awaited Tesla Model Y to the world. The compact crossover will be available in four powertrains: Standard Range, Long Range, or Long Range with Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and Performance. It is expected to be released in 2020. The Tesla Model Y’s range is approximately 300 miles (482 km), and it can do a 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) run for 3.5 seconds. The Roadster is planned to be available in 2020 with a 0-60 mph (0-97 kmh) time of 1.9 seconds.
On May 01, 2015, within the Tesla Energy project, Tesla Motors introduced a wall-mounted, rechargeable lithium-ion battery with liquid thermal control called Powerwall. There are two models: one goes with 10 kWh with a price tag of $3,500, applicable for backup applications, and another battery goes with 7 kWh – $3,000, which can be used for daily cycle applications. Powerwall batteries can be combined in arrays to increase the total storage capacity. Each battery is provided with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
For more demanding energy consumers, Tesla Motors provides a solution called Powerpack. It can be used in offices, industrial facilities, and utilities. In this case, it is possible to store much more energy. Moreover, 100 kWh batteries can be combined into 500 kWh to 10 MWh arrays. According to Elon Musk, 160 million Powerpack units would be enough to provide energy to all consumers in the United States, and 2 billion Powerpack units would be sufficient for the whole world.
SolarCity Corporation was an energy services provider headquartered in San Mateo, California, USA. The co-founders of SolarCity are two cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. Elon Musk is a shareholder of the company. In 2003, he invested $10 million after selling his 11 percent of PayPal stock.
SolarCity provided solar power systems for homes, businesses, and governments before Tesla acquired them. The company offered several programs for homeowners: the “MyPower” loan program, solar lease, and solar power purchase agreement (PPA).
In May 2008, the company built solar-powered electric systems for British Motors and eBay to power their headquarters and servers.
On January 15, 2015, SolarCity partnered with Credit Suisse Group AG to start a new solar financing facility worth $200 million. This credit facility is targeted at assisting customers in investing in solar energy systems through SolarCity’s “MyPower” loan program. This energy plan enabled customers to own their solar systems and pay less for electricity when compared to leasing them through power purchase agreements (PPAs). For example, it helped to decrease the price per kilowatt-hour, and customers must pay back the loan at 16 cents a kilowatt-hour for the first year.
SolarCity’s concepts were cost-efficient and environmentally friendly, coinciding with Elon Musk’s principles. The company, in particular, provided solar energy systems for Tesla Motors’ supercharger stations.
However, leadership in the industry did not save SolarCity from criticism. Some skeptics stated that solar electric power would never become an efficient business model, and because the competition was too high in this industry, keeping a company in the leading position would be challenging. However, on December 10, 2012, since SolarCity entered the IPO market, the value of its stock shares jumped from $8 to $11.79. As of February 13, 2015, the stock share price was $57.60, and the total market cap was $5.53 billion. Now, Elon Musk used to own 25% of SolarCity (SCTY).
Analysts consider his assurance in the company’s prospects to be the primary reason for the phenomenal success. If the creators of SpaceX and Tesla Motors bet on that technology, it means there is genuinely something to it. The Wall Street Society even devised a term for The Musk Effect.
Tesla reorganized its solar business into Tesla Energy after acquiring SolarCity in 2016 for approximately US$2.6 billion (equivalent to $3.2 billion in 2022).
Elon Musk started thinking of creating a space exploration technologies corporation (SpaceX) at the turn of the century. He was inspired by an ambitious idea of reducing space transportation costs to enable people to colonize Mars. SpaceX was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Hawthorne, California, USA.
Elon Musk was fascinated by the opportunity of colonizing Mars and created Mars Oasis. The goal of the project was to create automated greenhouses, which, in the future, could have become a basis for a self-sustaining ecosystem. The main problem was the enormous delivery cost of greenhouses to Mars. Musk even tried to order launch vehicles from the Russian Federation and discussed that with Russian officials, but he decided not to make a deal with them. Later, Musk came up with the idea of designing his reusable launch vehicles and spaceships.
In March 2006, Elon Musk invested more than $100 million in SpaceX. The prices per launch vehicle ranged from $15 million in the Russian Federation to $65 million in the U.S., which seemed too high to the entrepreneur. He calculated that the cost of all the parts required for constructing a launch vehicle was only 2% of the launch vehicle price in the United States. This fact outraged Musk. He saw the root of the problem in the space industry’s bureaucratization, the small competitiveness of large corporations, and their lobbying efforts to prevent the entry of new players.If anyone has a vested interest in space solar power, it would have to be me. – Elon Musk Click To Tweet
Musk was assured that the costs of creating and launching launch vehicles and spaceships could be reduced tenfold. First, he needed to redefine the goal of spaceflights. The primary mission of SpaceX is not the delivery of astronauts and cargo into orbit, but the colonization of other planets like Mars, and Musk wants to do that efficiently. In August 2008, one of the first investors who financially supported Elon Musk was Founders Fund, which belonged to his former PayPal partners, Peter Thiel and Dave McClure. In June 2009, on behalf of DFJ Venture, Steve Jurvetson led an undisclosed investment round, including Founders Fund, which executed at least $15 million of the proposed $60 million. On November 09, 2010, DFJ Venture and Founders Fund led another round of investments, and SpaceX raised $50.2 million. Yet, after all the investment rounds, Elon Musk owns 66% of SpaceX shares.
SpaceX started working on the Falcon 1 launch system in 2002. Designing it has taken four years and hundreds of millions of private investments. From 2006 through 2015, companies like DARPA, NASA, ORS, Celestis, ATSB, SpaceDev, Orbcomm, NSPO, and Astrium got interested in SpaceX and ran several test launches of the Falcon 1 rocket.
In 2006-2008, the first three flight attempts failed. On September 28, 2008, during the fourth flight attempt, Falcon 1 finally reached the orbit. If the fourth launch also failed, SpaceX would have never existed. NASA was impressed by these achievements and signed a $1.6 billion contract to fly American astronauts to and from Earth orbit. NASA plans to fly 12 delivery flights using SpaceX robotic Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket.
As of October 2012, SpaceX developed several types of rocket engines, Kestrel, Merlin 1, Draco, and Super Draco, without any support from the government. The last was designed for the Falcon family of launch vehicles, Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon spacecraft.
However, Elon Musk does not want to rush with IPO this time. According to Elon Musk, all the achievements of SpaceX are a background for his biggest dream – an expedition to Mars. SpaceX is in the design process of the Mars Colonial Transporter. Also, Musk’s engineers work on innovative rocket engines (Grasshopper and the Falcon 9 rockets) and the Red Dragon spacecraft that uses Falcon Heavy rockets (a modified version of the Dragon capsule) to transport people from Earth to Mars. He said, “I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”
Falcon Heavy rocket flight animation:
Grasshopper and Falcon 9 are experimental launch vehicles that can make vertical landings and vertical takeoffs. On January 10, 2015, the first attempt to land the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Earth after the launch failed – it landed too roughly. Nevertheless, the SpaceX team made a tricky maneuver and landed a rocket on a floating platform off the coast of Florida.
Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 10, 2015
On February 12, 2015, a Falcon 9 rocket successfully delivered the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite to deep space orbit from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. DSCOVR satellite was developed by a mutual partnership of NOAA, NASA, and the United States Air Force. The satellite was designed to detect and inform on extreme emissions from the sun, which can affect communications infrastructures, satellites close to the Earth, and power grids.
CEO Elon Musk reported through Twitter about the soft vertical landing of the rocket in the ocean within 10 meters. That gives hope for a successful landing next time at sea in non-stormy weather. According to the entrepreneur, 10-20 years from now, science fiction can become a reality.
Rocket soft landed in the ocean within 10m of target & nicely vertical! High probability of good droneship landing in non-stormy weather. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 11, 2015
On April 08, 2016, after four unsuccessful attempts, SpaceX made history by landing the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea.
Landing from the chase plane pic.twitter.com/2Q5qCaPq9P
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 8, 2016
Elon Musk demonstrated that SpaceX can reuse rockets in the future, which means cost savings for the company.
The incredible life of Elon Musk is an excellent example of a man who has accomplished his childhood dream: he conquers space. The colonization of Mars will soon become a reality thanks to SpaceX’s innovations in the space industry.
Interplanetary Transport System
On September 27, 2016, at the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico, Elon Musk gave a keynote speech called Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species. It announced that SpaceX was working on the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). ITS will be equipped with at least 42 Raptor rocket engines capable of 128 meganewtons of thrust. Raptor is the first type of cryogenic methane-fueled rocket engine developed by SpaceX that was successfully test-fired at a McGregor, Texas testing facility in September 2016.
The spaceship can carry around 100 passengers in the pressured cabin, cargo, luggage, and materials to construct foundries and factories.
Elon Musk plans to achieve a population of 1 million for a Mars colony; that means 100 people per trip is 10,000 trips. Musk thinks implementing this plan can take from 40 to 100 years.
The initial trip time from Earth to Mars can take 80 days. However, Musk is intended to reduce the journey time to as little as 30 days in the distant future.
The biggest challenge is reducing the cost per flight per passenger beyond $200,000 or even $100,000. Based on the traditional space flight model, the cost per passenger reaches $10 billion.
Elon Musk anticipates that the first crew flight may happen within the next ten years if things go well.
Elon Musk is a demanding perfectionist and innovator in the high-tech industry. His education in physics and economics helped him see the objective truth and separate it from emotional and speculative forecasts. He thinks big. A bright example would be his concept of the fifth mode of transport called Hyperloop.
On August 12, 2013, Musk published a blog post about Hyperloop and a 58-page Alpha Hyperloop presentation, which shed some light on its structure and function. Hyperloop is a solar-power high-speed transportation system driven by linear induction motors and air compressors that should deliver people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, covering a distance of 381.8 miles (614.44 km). Hyperloop is based on technology similar to magnetic levitation trains. An electromagnetic impulse is used to move the “pods” or “capsules,” and a low air pressure makes it possible to achieve higher speeds than any other ground transportation.
Hyperloop would be two times faster than a plane and would not be limited to any schedule. Elon Musk wanted to share the Hyperloop concept with the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, and U.S. President Barack Obama to build an efficient transportation system. Musk thinks that Hyperloop can be a great alternative to the Government’s plans to construct a high-speed railroad between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which will cost more than $70 billion. In his opinion, spending so much on such a slow type of transportation is wrong.
The transportation system would be composed of steel tubes. These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart (45.72 to 91.44 meters), and the capsules inside would speed up to 800 mph (1287 kmh).
Solar panels would power the Hyperloop transportation system mounted along the track. In addition, the heritage of other Musk companies comes in handy here: the motors and electronics of the capsules can be inherited from Tesla Motors, the engineers from SolarCity can help with the solar panels, and SpaceX can share the materials tested in space.
One capsule would accommodate up to 28 people, and if the project budget were increased from $6 to $10 billion, the Hyperloop cargo capsules could carry up to three cars in one cargo capsule. The starting acceleration of the capsule would be similar to that of a plane. There would be 70 capsules on the preliminary route with a minimum delay interval of 30 seconds; the safe distance between the capsules would be 5 miles (8 km). The payback period of investments is 20 years if a one-way ticket price is $20 and the annual number of transported passengers each way reaches 7.4 million.
The first Hyperloop transportation system is planned to be built along the California highway Interstate 5. Musk promises passengers an unprecedented level of security. Project engineers considered the possibility of emergency braking at depressurization of the capsule. They even offered solutions for bridge building anti-seismic design of columns for leveling the risk of destruction by an earthquake.
Hyperloop will be a great way of transportation for large cities located at a distance of not more than 900 miles (1500 km) from each other. For longer distances, aircraft is more suitable, the inventor believes.
Even though Musk is not ready to devote sufficient time to the Hyperloop concept, he is still willing to finance the development of the prototype. He also made the Hyperloop design an open source, allowing everyone to improve the current version of it, guaranteeing all possible support. Elon Musk said he was not afraid of losing something on Hyperloop financially, but it would be great to make a new mode of transport.I think it matters whether someone has a good heart. – Elon Musk Click To Tweet
On January 15, 2015, Elon Musk, during his speech at the 10th Annual Texas Transportation Forum, announced the creation of a Hyperloop beta test track somewhere in Texas with a total length of 5 miles (8 km). In the future, this track will be used by different companies and a group of talented engineering students to test capsules of their designs. Musk also plans to organize an annual student Hyperloop capsule racer competition, like Formula SAE.
On February 26, 2015, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT or HyperloopTT) signed an agreement to begin construction of the first full-scale test track in 2016 of Hyperloop in the California model town of Quay Valley and complete the construction by 2017. In 2016, HyperloopTT received $100 million in investments to build a test track. On June 25, 2019, HyperloopTT presented its full-scale 1049ft (320m) passenger system to U.S. officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation in Toulouse, France. Also, they highlighted the first certification guidelines for Hyperloop systems to the USDOT in Washington, D.C.
The Boring Company
In January 2017, Musk unveiled The Boring Company, an enterprise dedicated to boring and building tunnels for vehicles to reduce city street traffic. Musk started with a test tunnel on the SpaceX facilities in Los Angeles. In October 2017, he uploaded the first photo of the tunnel on his Instagram account. The test tunnel was supposed to be 2 miles (3.31km), and Musk planned to reach such length in approximately four months.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company is reportedly working on a hyperloop project called “X-Tunnel.” The project is still in the early stages of development, but Musk has said he hopes to build a hyperloop tunnel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Twitter Acquisition for $44 Billion
Elon Musk took over the social media company Twitter, Inc. in April 2022. By April, he began purchasing shares in January 2022 and had become the company’s largest shareholder, with a 9.1 percent ownership stake. Twitter invited Musk to join its board of directors, but he declined before making an unsolicited offer to buy the company on April 14; Twitter’s board responded with a “poison pill” strategy designed to resist a hostile takeover by Elon Musk but unanimously accepted his $44 billion buyout offer on April 25, 2022. Musk stated that he intended to introduce new features to the platform, open-source its algorithms so that anyone interested in studying them can do so, combat spambot accounts that impersonate real people by using fake profiles, and promote free speech on Twitter by allowing any user to post whatever they want without censorship.
Twitter was renamed to X on July 23, 2023, following Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company in October 2022.
Elon Musk Book List
In one of his interviews, Elon Musk said that he liked to read fiction books and biographies of famous people, namely “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson, “Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age” by B. Carlson, “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon, etc.
In addition, he loves Dale Carnegie’s books and, of course, a lot of literature on engineering, design, business, and physics. Elon’s favorite book is “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.
Elon Musk is a 21st-century industrialist who brings the most fantastic ideas to life. Elon Musk’s life story shows that all his success was thanks to his perseverance, hard work, and absolute faith in his projects. We hope you have enjoyed exploring Elon Musk’s biography and success story of Tesla Motors SpaceX, and they have inspired you to make discoveries.
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