Elon Musk, a Starman’s Odyssey

Elon Musk odysseyElon's future visionfalcon heavy

Interplanetary Success Story

Elon Musk was born on June 28th, 1971 in South Africa, at the age of 10 he developed interest in computers.

First he created a game called Blastar and at the age of 12 he sold it to a magazine for 500$. He studied Physics and Economics at the University of Pensylvania, USA, then he started and dropped out of Stanford University in two days to start his first company.

Elon Musk young

With $28,000 of his father’s money, Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal started Zip2, which is a Web Startup that provided city travel guides to newspapers.

Later, in 1999, they have sold Zip2 to Compaq Computers for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million.

He invested more than half of his earnings to cofound X.com, an online banking service. The company quickly merged with its rival and became Paypal with Musk as the majority shareholder.

Elon Musk PayPal

In 2002, eBay bought PayPal and Musk walked away with $180 million.

The beginning of SpaceX

The South African millionaire travel to Russia to buy refurbished Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles also know as ICBMs to send colony of mice to Mars.

Russians offered to sell one rocket at 8 million USD. Musk felt it was artificially overpriced and he replied “I think we can build a rocket ourselves” and then stormed out of the meeting. On the flight back from Moscow, he realized that he could start a company that permit him to build the affordable rockets he needed.

Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time. SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70 percent gross margin.

With $100 million USD, Elon Musk founded SpaceX, in May 2002 with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel.

In 2006 The first SpaceX rocket failed in just 33 seconds after lift-off.

In 2007 and in 2008 the 2nd and the 3rd chance to establish Company’s credibility also ended in failure. The 3rd failure almost killed the company. Musk had money that could only fund the 4th launch.

On 28th Sep, 2008. The 4th Falcon 1 Rocket was successfully launched and achieved Earth orbit. History was made. Flacon 1 became the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.

SpaceX achievement

On December 23, 2008, NASA awarded SpaceX $1.6 billion Dollar contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station with plans for astronaut transport in the future in a move to replace NASA’s own Space Shuttle missions.

In 2011 SpaceX publicly announced Reusable Launch System Development Program. After few failures attempts, SpaceX achieved a successful landing and recovery of a first stage in December 2015.

In march 2016, SpaceX relaunched the used rocket and brought it back by landing it in the Ocean. Experts said : “It was a perfect landing !“

All rockets are designed to burn up on reentry, it can also successfully land back on Earth and refly again. Elon Musk believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is needed to reduce the cost of Space Travel.

In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People. Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multi planetary by establishing a human colony on Mars.

In addition to his primary business pursuits, he has envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a vertical take-off and landing supersonic jet aircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet. The South African billionaire also founded The Boring Company in 2016.

In October 2017, Tesla the company which Musk is CEO, set a solar powered system to a hospital in Puerto Rico after it was left without power as a result of the devastation caused by the hurricane Maria.

In November 2017, the second Tesla roadster generation was launched and can reach 400km/h that make it the fastest road car in history.

Few days ago, SpaceX launched with success the most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy with an “unusual” payload. This event was Youtube’s second biggest live stream and reach over 2.3 million concurrent views.

The Falcon Heavy, which will provide the United States a heavy-lift capability in space not seen since the Saturn V rockets of the Apollo era, made a flawless ascent through clear blue skies, with at least two of its three reusable boosters returning safely to earth.

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