Friday, August 12, 2022

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, Early Life to Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and more to 100% Success

Who Is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk is a South African-born American extremely successful businessman and entrepreneur who founded X.com in 1999 (which later became PayPal), SpaceX in 2002, and Tesla Motors in 2003. Elon Musk became a successful multimillionaire when he sold out his start-up company, Zip2, to a division of Compaq Computers.

In May 2012, Elon Musk made headlines, when his company SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. He strengthened his portfolio with the acquisition of Solar City in 2016 and strengthened his position as an industry leader by playing an advisory role in the early days of President Donald Trump’s administration.

In January 2021, Elon Musk reportedly the wealthiest man in the world.

Early Life

Elon Musk was born to an African father and a Canadian mother on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. When Elon Musk was a child, he was so lost in his daydreams about inventions for people that his parents and doctors ordered a test to check his hearing.

When he was 10 years old, at the time of his parent’s divorce, Elon Musk developed an interest in computers. Elon Musk learned programming by himself and about 12 years old he sold the first game he created called Blastar.

In school, Elon Musk was short, bookish, and introverted. Until at the age of 15, he was bullied and went through a growth spurt, and learned how to defend himself with karate and wrestling.

Education

When Elon Musk was 17 years old, in 1989, Elon Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid mandatory service in the South African military. Elon Musk obtained his Canadian citizenship that year, in part because he felt it would be easier to obtain American citizenship via that path.

Elon Musk left Canada in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Elon Musk becomes graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics.

Elon Musk went to Stanford University for a Ph.D. in energy physics. With the Internet boom, Elon Musk’s move was timed perfectly and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation in 1995. Elon Musk became a U.S. citizen in 2002.

Companies

Zip2 Corporation

In 1995 with his brother Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk launched his first company, called Zip2 Corporation. As an online city guide, Zip2 Corporation was soon providing very helpful content for The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. A division of Compaq Computer Corporation bought Elon Musk company called Zip2 Corporation in 1999 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.

In 1995 with his brother Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk used the money from their sale of Zip2 to found X.com, an online financial services/payments company.

PayPal

In 1999, Elon and Kimbal Musk used that money which they have made from their sale of Zip2 to found X.com, an online financial services/payments company. This company of Elon Musk which was called X.com acquisition the following year led to the creation of PayPal as it is known today.

Elon Musk earned his first billion in October 2002, when PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. Elon Musk owned 11 percent of PayPal stock before the sale.

SpaceX

In 2002, Elon Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation which is known as SpaceX, with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. SpaceX was well established in 2008, and NASA awarded the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station with plans for astronaut transport in the future to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions. This was a very great moment for Elon Musk.

Falcon 9 Rockets

Elon Musk and his company SpaceX made history when the company launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. To the International Space Station, a vehicle with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts stationed there, marking the first time a private company had sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station. At that moment, Elon Musk quoted as saying, “I feel very lucky”.

Falcon 9 successfully carried a satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit in December 2013 and a distance at which the satellite would lock into an orbital path that matched the Earth’s rotation. SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 fitted with the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite in February 2015 aiming to observe the extreme emissions from the sun that affect power grids and communications systems on Earth.

SpaceX saw the successful test flight and landing of a Falcon 9 rocket which is made from reusable parts in March 2017 and a development that opened the door for more affordable space travel.

In November 2017, when an explosion occurred in the company’s new Block 5 Merlin engine during a test. SpaceX reported that no one was hurt in that explosion and that the issue would not hamper its planned rollout of a future generation of Falcon 9 rockets.

The company Space X enjoyed another milestone moment in February 2018 with the successful test launch of the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket. This Falcon Heavy Rocket Armed with additional Falcon 9 boosters, the Falcon Heavy rocket was designed to carry immense payloads into the earth orbit and potentially serve as a vessel for deep space missions. For the test launch, the Falcon Heavy Rocket was given a payload of Elon Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster, equipped with cameras to “provide some epic views” for the vehicle’s planned orbit around the sun.

Space X enjoyed another successful landing of a new Block 5 Falcon Rocket in July 2018, which touched down on a drone ship less than 9 minutes after liftoff.

BFR Mission to Mars

Elon Musk presented an updated design plan for his BFR (“Big Falcon Rocket”) in September 2017, a 31-engine behemoth topped by a spaceship capable of carrying at least 100 people. Elon Musk revealed that SpaceX was aiming to launch the first cargo missions to Mars with the vehicle in 2022, as part of his overarching goal of colonizing the Red Planet.

In March 2018, Elon Musk told an audience at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that he hoped to have the BFR (“Big Falcon Rocket”) ready for short flights in early coming years while delivering a knowing nod at his previous problems with meeting deadlines.

Elon Musk was announced that SpaceX would construct a facility at the Port of Los Angeles to build and house the BFR (“Big Falcon Rocket”). This port property presented an ideal location for SpaceX company, as its mammoth rocket will only be movable by barge or ship when completed.

Starlink Internet Satellites

In March 2018, SpaceX received permission from the U.S. government to launch a fleet of satellites into the low orbit of the earth for the purpose of providing high-speed Internet service. This satellite network named Starlink would ideally make broadband service more accessible in rural areas with very high speed, while also boosting competition in heavily populated markets that are typically dominated by one or two providers.

In May 2019, SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 satellites and followed with another payload of 60 satellites that November. For the Starlink venture, these numbers represented significant progress, the appearance of these bright orbiters in the night sky, with the potential of thousands more to come in the coming years, worried astronomers who felt that a proliferation of satellites would increase the difficulty of studying distant objects in space.

Tesla Motors

Elon Musk is the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors founded in 2003 that is dedicated to producing affordable, mass-market electric cars as well as battery products and solar roofs. Elon Musk oversees all product developments, design, and engineering of the company’s products.

Roadster

In March 2008, after 5 years of its formation, Tesla unveiled the Roadster which is a sports car capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and traveling at least 250 miles between charges of its lithium-ion battery.

In June 2010, a stake in the company taken by Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering raising $226 million.

Model S

In August 2008, the company Tesla Motors announced plans for its Model S, the Tesla Motors’ first electric sedan that was reportedly meant to take on the BMW 5 series. The Tesla Motors Model S finally entered production at a starting price of $58,570 in 2012, Capable of covering 265 miles between charges, it was honored as the 2013 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine.

In April 2017, Tesla Motors was announced that it surpassed General Motors to become the most valuable United States car maker. This news was an obvious boon to Tesla Motors, which was looking to ramp up production and release its Model 3 sedan later that year.

Elon Musk described as a “Plaid Powertrain,” a Model S set a speed record for a four-door sedan at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey County, California in September 2019.

Model 3

In early 2019, the Model 3 was officially launched. The Model 3 priced at $35,000 which is a much more accessible price point than the $69,500 and up for its Model S and X electric sedans.

In December 2017, Elon Musk, initially aiming to produce 5,000 new Model 3 cars per week, Elon Musk pushed that goal back to March 2018 and then to June with the start of the new year. Elon Musk announced a delay in production didn’t surprise industry experts, who were well aware of the company’s production problems, though some questioned how long investors would remain patient with the process.  These problems didn’t prevent Elon Musk from garnering a radical new compensation package as CEO, in which Elon Musk would be paid after reaching milestones of growing valuation based on $50 billion increments.

In April 2018, Tesla Motors expected to fall short of first-quarter production forecasts, news surfaced that Elon Musk had pushed aside the head of engineering to personally oversee efforts in that division. With a reporter in a Twitter exchange, Elon Musk said it was important to “divide and conquer” to meet production goals and was “back to sleeping at factory.”

After signaling that Tesla Motors would reorganize its management structure, Elon Musk in June announced that Tesla was laying off 9% percent of its workforce, though Tesla Motors’ production department would remain intact. Elon Musk was sent an important email to employees, in which he explained his decision about eliminating some “duplication of roles” to cut costs, admitting it was time to take serious steps toward turning a profit.

By the end of June 2018, as it was announced that Tesla had met its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week, restructuring appeared to pay dividends. While churning out another 2,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs and Elon Musk wrote in a celebratory email to the company employees, “We did it!” “What an incredible job by an amazing team.”

In February, Elon Musk announced that the company Tesla Motors was finally rolling out its standard Model 3. Also, Elon Musk said that Tesla Motors was shifting to all-online sales, and initiative for customers to offering the chance to return their cars within seven days or 1,000 miles for a full refund.

Semi Truck

Elon Musk created another splash with the unveiling of the new Tesla Motors Semi and Roadster at the company’s design studio in November 2017. The semi-truck was expected to enter into production in 2019 before being delayed and boasts 500 miles of range as well as a battery and motors built to last 1 million miles.

Model Y and Roadster

Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s long-awaited Model Y in March 2019. In March 2020, the compact crossover which began arriving for customers has a driving range of at least 300 miles and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.

In 2020, Roadster also set to be released and will become the fastest production car ever made in history, with a 0 to 60 time of 1.9 seconds.

SolarCity

In August 2016, Elon Musk’s continuing effort to promote advance sustainable and clean energy and products for a wider consumer base, a deal of $2.6 billion dollars was solidified to combine his electric car and solar energy companies. Elon Musk Tesla Motors Inc. announced an all-stock deal purchase of SolarCity Corporation, a company Elon Musk had helped his cousins to start in 2006. Elon Musk is a majority shareholder in each entity.

When they are combined, Solar and storage are at their best. Now as one company, SolarCity (solar) and Tesla (storage) can create fully integrated commercial, grid-scale and residential products that improve the way that energy is generated, consumed, and stored.

The Boring Company

In January 2017, Elon Musk launched another company called The Boring Company which is devoted to boring and building tunnels in order to reduce street traffic. Elon Musk began with a test dig on his own company the SpaceX property in Los Angeles.

In October 2017, Elon Musk posted the first photo of his company’s progress to social media and his Instagram page. Elon Musk said that the 500-feett tunnel which would generally run parallel to Interstate 405, would reach a length of two miles in approximately four months.

In May 2019, The Boring Company is known as TBC and landed a $48.7 million contract from the Visitors Authority and Las Vegas Convention to build an underground Loop system to shuttle people around the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Elon Musk’s Tweet and SEC Investigation

On August 7, 2018, Elon Musk said in his tweet: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” This tweet opened the door for legal action against the founder and his company, as the SEC began inquiring about whether Elon Musk had indeed secured the funding as claimed. Several investors filed lawsuits because Elon Musk was looking to manipulate stock market prices and ambush short sellers with his tweet announcement.

Initially, Elon Musk’s tweet sent Tesla Motors stock spiking before it closed the day up 11% percent. Elon Musk as a CEO followed up with a letter on the company blog and calling the move to go private “the best path forward.” Elon Musk promised that to retain his stake in the company, and to help all current investors to remain on board, he would create a special fund.

When rapper Azealia Banks wrote on Instagram that as a guest at Elon Musk’s home at the time the saga took a bizarre turn that day. Azealia Banks got it that Elon Musk was under the influence of LSD when he fired off his headline-grabbing tweet. Azealia Banks said that she overheard Elon Musk making phone calls to drum up the funding he promised was already in place.

When it was reported that Tesla’s outside directors had retained two law firms to deal with the SEC inquiry then this news quickly turned serious again and the CEO’s plans to take the company private.

One day after the meeting on August 24,  Elon Musk announced that he had reversed his decision and would not be taking the company private. Elon Musk cited the preference of most directors to keep Tesla Motors public and the difficulty of retaining some of the large shareholders who were prohibited from investing in a private company. Some suggested that Elon Musk was also influenced by the poor optics of an electric car company Tesla being funded by a country heavily involved in the oil industry which is Saudi Arabia.

On September 29, 2018, Elon Musk would pay at least a $20 million fine and step down as chairman of the Tesla Motors board for 3 years as part of an agreement with the SEC.

Inventions and Innovations

Hyperloop

In August 2013, Elon Musk give a new concept for a new form of transportation called the “Hyperloop,” an invention that would foster commuting between major cities while severely decreased travel time. Ideally powered by renewable energy and resistant to weather, according to the Hyperloop new concept it would propel riders in pods through a network of low-pressure tubes at speeds reaching more than 700 mph. Elon Musk predicted that the Hyperloop could take from seven to 10 years to be built and ready for use.

Although Elon Musk introduced the Hyperloop which is the new concept and he claims that it would be safer than a plane or train, with an estimated cost of $6 billion approximately which is one-tenth of the cost for the rail system planned by the state of California. Elon Musk’s concept has drawn everyone’s skepticism. Nevertheless, the entrepreneur has tried to encourage the development of this idea.

In January 2017, after the competition announcement of Elon Musk for teams to submit their designs for a Hyperloop pod prototype, in the SpaceX facility, the first Hyperloop Pod Competition was held. A German student engineering team has recorded the speed of 284 mph at competition No. 3 in 2018, and this team pushing the record to 287 mph the next year.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Neuralink

Elon Musk has an interest in artificial intelligence (AI), becoming co-chair of the nonprofit OpenAI. In 2015, the research company launched with the stated mission of advancing digital intelligence to benefit humanity.

In 2017, Elon Musk was backing a venture called Neuralink, which intends to create devices to be implanted in the human brain and help people merge with software. In July 2019 discussion, Elon Musk expanded on the company’s progress during a revealing that its devices will consist of a microscopic chip that connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone and easily controllable.

High-Speed Train

In November 2017, after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual asked for proposals to operate and build a high-speed rail line that would be able to transport passengers from O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago in 20 minutes or less, Elon Musk also tweeted that he was all-in on the competition with The Boring Company. Elon Musk said that the concept of his Hyperloop would be different from the Chicago loop and relatively short route not requiring the need for drawing a vacuum to eliminate air friction.

In 2018, Elon Musk announced that he would cover the estimated $1 billion needed to dig the 17-mile tunnel from the airport to downtown Chicago. However, in 2019 Elon Musk tweeted that TBC would focus on completing the commercial tunnel in Las Vegas before moving to other projects and suggesting that plans for Chicago would remain in limbo for the immediate future.

Flamethrower

Elon Musk also found a market for The Boring Company’s flamethrowers and after announcing they were going on sale for about $500 apiece in January 2018. Elon Musk claimed to have sold 10,000 of them within a day.

Nonprofit Work

The boundless potential of SpaceX or space exploration and the preservation of the future of the human race have become the cornerstones of Elon Musk’s abiding interests and toward these, Elon Musk has founded the Musk Foundation which is dedicated to SpaceX or space exploration and the discovery of clean energy and renewable energy sources.

In October 2019, Elon Musk pledged to donate $1 million dollars to the Team Trees campaign, in which he aims to plant 20 million trees around the world by 2020. Elon Musk even changed his Twitter profile name to Treelon for specifically this occasion.

Elon Musk and Donald Trump

In December 2016, Elon Musk was named to President Donald Trump’s Strategy and Policy Forum and in January, Elon Musk joined Donald Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. During Donald Trump’s election, Elon Musk found himself on common ground with the new president and his advisers as the president announced plans to continue massive infrastructure developments.

With the president’s controversial measures such as a proposed ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, at that time Elon Musk defended his involvement with the new administration. In 2017, Elon Musk tweeted that my goals are to accelerate the world’s transition from unsustainable energy to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization and a consequence of which will be the creating of hundreds of thousands of new opportunities and a more inspiring future for humanity.

On June 1, Donald Trump’s announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, Elon Musk stepped down from his advisory roles.

Personal Life

Family

Maye Musk is Elon Musk’s mother and a Canadian model and the oldest woman to star in a Covergirl campaign. She worked five jobs at a time to support her family.

Errol Musk is Elon Musk’s father and he is a wealthy South African engineer.

Elon Musk spent his early childhood with his brother Kimbal Musk and sister Tosca Musk in South Africa. When he was about 10 years old, his parents divorced.

Wives and Children

Elon Musk has been married twice to Justine Wilson and Talulah Riley. First, Elon Musk wed Justine Wilson in 2000 and the couple had six children together. Their first son died at 10 weeks old from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in 2002. Elon Musk and Justine Wilson had five additional sons together, twins Griffin and Xavier (born in 2004) and triplets Kai, Saxon, and Damian (born in 2006).

In 2010, Elon Musk wed Talulah Riley after the divorce from Justine Wilson. They also split in 2012 but married each other again in 2013. Again their relationship ultimately ended in Justine’s divorce in 2016.

Girlfriends

Elon Musk reportedly began dating actress Amber Heard in 2016 after finalizing his divorce with Talulah Riley and Amber Heard finalized her divorce from Johnny Depp. Their busy schedules caused the couple to break up in August 2017 and in January 2018, they got back together and split again one month later.

In May 2018, he began dating Claire Elise Boucher professionally as Grimes, is a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In May Grimes announced that she had changed her name to “c,” the symbol for the speed of light and reportedly on the encouragement of Elon Musk. Grimes criticized by her fans for dating a billionaire Elon Musk whose company has been described as a predator zone among accusations of sexual harassment.

In March 2019, the couple discussed their love for one another which was a feature in the Wall Street Journal Magazine, with Grimes saying Look, I love him, he’s great…I mean, he’s a super-interesting goddamn person, and Elon Musk said that I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyperintense ethic work. On May 4 2020, Grimes gave birth to their son.

Books

You can read more about Elon Musk from these top books,

  1. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
  2. Elon Musk: The Real-Life Iron Man
  3. Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX
  4. Elon Musk: A Biography of Billionaire Entrepreneur Elon Musk

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