Elon Musk is an American businessman who founded PayPal and SpaceX, two organizations that launch rockets and spacecraft. He was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. Additionally, he was the CEO of Tesla and one of the company’s earliest substantial investors.
Musk was born to a Canadian mother and a South African father. Early on, he had a talent for computers and business. He made a video game at the age of 12 and sold it to a computer magazine. Musk left South Africa in 1988 after getting Canadian citizenship. Due to his opposition to apartheid, he had no interest in being forced into military service and instead looked to the United States for its better economic potential.
Musk studied at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1992, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics in 1997. Musk is also the founder of PayPal and SpaceX. He temporarily enrolled at Stanford University for a physics master’s program but left after just two days because he thought working on the internet would allow him to make a bigger contribution to society. He established Zip2, a service that offered newspapers internet business directories and maps, in 1995.
Zip2 was purchased by Compaq for $307 million in 1999. Musk subsequently established X.com, a provider of online financial services that ultimately changed its name to PayPal and became noted for its proficiency in electronic funds transactions. PayPal was purchased by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
Musk had long held the opinion that in order for life to continue, humans had to spread out across several planets. He wasn’t pleased, though, with how much money rocket launches cost. He established SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies) in 2002 to create more reasonably priced rockets. Prior to then, SpaceX created two rockets: the smaller Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), both of which were built for a lot less money than their rivals’ models. The Falcon Heavy rocket, which made its debut in 2018, was created to deliver 117,000 pounds (53,000 kilograms) into orbit, roughly double the payload capacity of Boeing’s Delta IV Heavy, while also costing approximately a third as much.
The Super Heavy-Starship system, which will replace the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, has been unveiled by SpaceX. To get to low Earth orbit, Super Heavy is designed to lift 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds). Starship, a spacecraft built to offer quick intercity travel on Earth and create bases on the Moon and Mars, will be the payload.The International Space Station (ISS) supply ship, the Dragon, was also created by SpaceX and can accommodate up to seven astronauts. In 2020, the Super Heavy-Starship system underwent its initial test flight. Musk served as the company’s CEO in addition to serving as the Dragon, Starship, and Falcon rockets’ principal designer. As part of the Artemis space program, SpaceX has a contract with NASA to create a lunar lander allowing astronauts to return to the Moon by 2025.
Entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning formed the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors in 2004, and Musk served as one of the company’s principal founders. Musk had a long-standing interest in electric vehicles. Tesla unveiled their first vehicle, the Roadster, in 2006. It has a range of 245 miles (394 kilometers) on a single charge. Musk considered most previous electric cars dull, but here was a sports car that could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in under four seconds.
When the company went public in 2010, it raised around $226 million. Two years later, Tesla launched the Model S car, which received high marks for both performance and design from automotive reviewers. With the launch of its Model X luxury SUV in 2015, the business received even more praise. In 2017, the more economical Model 3 went into production and quickly rose to the top of the electric car sales charts.
The Hyperloop is a system of low-pressure tubes in which passenger pods could travel at speeds of up to 760 miles (1,220 kilometers) per hour, or nearly the speed of sound, carrying 28 passengers on a 350-mile (560-kilometer) journey between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 35 minutes. Musk proposed the Hyperloop after becoming frustrated with the estimated cost ($68 billion) of the California high-speed rail system.
Musk asserted that the Hyperloop would only cost $6 billion and could carry the six million passengers who use that route annually with pods leaving on average every two minutes. Musk, however, did not devote time to creating the Hyperloop because of his responsibilities to SpaceX and Tesla.