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From electric cars, solar batteries or space rockets, Elon Musk seems to be a Tony Stark of real life. As general manager of Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and co-founder of OpenAI and Neuralink, Musk always seems to be at the forefront when it comes to launching the most futuristic technologies possible.

But his path to the title of the richest man in the world was not a smooth one at all. From school problems to bankruptcy, countless lawsuits and government problems, Elon Musk's life has been full of ups and downs.

Born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa, problems arise since childhood. His parents divorce, and the two brothers, Elon and Kimbal, choose to live with their father. "It wasn't a good idea at all," Musk told Rolling Stone, as his relationship with his father was extremely difficult.

1.Naming his kids

2.Elon Karen Musk

3.Darth Vander?

4.You have 3 hours

In 1983, a 12-year-old Elon Musk sold a $ 500 video game to a tech magazine called "Blastar." His school years, however, were not pleasant at all, as he was often beaten or verbally assaulted by school children.

After graduating from high school, Musk and his mother, brother and sister moved to Canada where he began his graduate studies at Queen's University in Kingston Ontario. After two years of study, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a bachelor's degree in physics and economics.

After college, he left for California to pursue a doctorate at Stanford College, but dropped out a few weeks later to focus with his brother Kimbal on launching their first company, Zip2. With the help of investments from Silicon Valley, the company that provided information on transport and traffic for newspapers such as the New York Times and Chicago Tribune, ends up being bought for 341 million dollars, thus Musk obtaining 22 million dollars. He often slept in the office and washed in a nearby youth hostel.

5.Tesla Phone

6.Stock Market Traders

7.I’m here with you

8.One year apart

9.Die on Mars

Musk is about to launch his next company, namely the online banking site with 10 million of the 22 obtained from Zip2. A year later, his company merged with Confinity, Peter Thiel's company, thus forming PayPal. The South African is appointed general manager, but a misunderstanding in the company leads to his dismissal and replacement with Peter Thiel in 2000.

However, the company launched by him and Thiel ends up being bought by eBay in 2002 for $ 1.5 billion, and Musk, as the main financier, earns $ 165 million. With 100 million from PayPal sales, the engineer is setting up Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX. His goal is to make space travel 10 times cheaper, while his ultimate dream of making it possible to colonize the planet Mars.

In 2004, Musk made a $ 6.5 million investment in Tesla Motors, a company originally founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, which will produce exclusively electric cars. The South African takes an active role in the company and helps create and launch the first car in 2006. At the launch of the Roadster, Musk is also a financier and general manager of the company.

10.Normal people vs Elon Musk

11.Elon Musk being Elon Musk

12.Smiling for Elon

13.Wants proof

14.Private jets

In the same year, he provided his cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive, with the capital needed to launch the dollar-based energy company SolarCity. In 2007, he took full control of Tesla after the removal of Eberhard and the other directors. In 2008, in the midst of a financial crisis, with a financing and a subsequent loan amounting to 80 million dollars, Musk manages to personally save Tesla from bankruptcy.

Even with these millions of companies, Musk is on the verge of bankruptcy in 2008. He described 2008 as the worst year of his life. Tesla was constantly at a loss, and SpaceX was struggling to launch its first rocket, the Falcon 1. By 2009, Musk would be living solely on credit and loans.

But as Christmas approaches 2008, Musk receives the first good news, with SpaceX reaching an agreement with NASA to send $ 1.5 billion into space resources, and Tesla is finally finding outside investors. In June 2010, Tesla had a successful listing on Wall Street, raising $ 226 million, making it the second largest carmaker to do so since Ford's launch in 1956. To reorganize its finances, Musk sells $ 15 million worth of shares at launch.

15.Crypto stuff

16.Starting new university

17.The UN

18.Electric car

19.Elon Musk vibes

By the end of 2015, SpaceX will be transporting more than 24 supplements to the International Space Station, breaking countless records along the way. In February 2018, the most powerful rocket built by SpaceX, Falcon Heavy, has a successful launch watched by millions. On board the rocket launched to Mars was Musk's personal Tesla Roadster.

Musk continues to come up with ideas from science fiction, with the appearance of Hyperloop and The Boring Company. Hyperloop is based on the idea of ​​a super high-speed train that will travel in a tube that should transport passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in about 30 minutes. The Boring Company's mission is to build underground tunnels between America's major cities to create areas of fast congested traffic.

 South Africa is facing problems in 2018, when it decides to be part of the personal business council of US President Donald Trump, a decision strongly criticized by public opinion. He leaves the council after Trump pulls America out of the Paris Agreement on global warming. In the same year, he wrote on Twitter that he would like to transfer Tesla to the private sector for $ 420 per share and that he would already have interested investors.

20.Elon Musk be like


22.About 2 billionaires

23.Pumping on the Plan

24.Rich man

25.Take notice

His plan, however, does not take shape because it receives a lot of summonses and lawsuits from the SEC, the body that governs these passes. After a lengthy trial, Musk is found guilty of making false statements and having to pay fines of $ 20 million. He must also step down as the company's boss, and Tesla must set up a committee that will focus on communicating South Africans in public.

The year 2020 proved to be one of the most successful for his two companies. SpaceX completes an agreement with NASA to send astronauts into space aboard the company's rockets for the first time in November. Tesla entered the S&P 500 index in December among the top 500 companies, which increased its shareholding value considerably. Now, the company's capitalization is approaching $ 500 billion.

Due to these successes, but especially to the growth in value of Tesla, Elon Musk was declared on January 7, 2021 the richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of 187 billion dollars. It outperformed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who had held the title since July 2015.

26.Not doing it now

27.What do you think?

28.My wife just left me

29.Tesla’s administration

30.End world hunger


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On Wednesday evening, the first tourists who will explore the space boarded the SpaceX ship. Four people will be in Earth orbit for three days.

This will be the first manned flight consisting only of unqualified astronauts, according to the American technology platform The Verge.

The success of the mission could usher in a new era in commercial space tourism, with several companies already competing to attract wealthy customers willing to pay a small fortune to experience the euphoria of a supersonic journey, a few minutes of weightlessness and the visual spectacle of outer space.

The four crew members spent five months of rigorous training, which included high-altitude fitness exercises, centrifugal training and testing, pool exercises that simulate microgravity conditions, emergency procedures, special courses and medical checks.

Once in orbit, the crew will perform medical experiments with "health applications both on Earth and during spaceflight," according to Space X.

The shuttle will fly in an orbit about 120 kilometers above the International Space Station. The mission aims to reach an altitude of 575 kilometers, which would place the SpaceX capsule just above the orbit in which the Hubble telescope is currently placed.

The Crew Dragon capsule was modified by Space X by mounting, at the top, where the docking door is, a large and transparent porthole, which will give the four crew members the opportunity to admire outer space and planet Earth.

The crew of the Inspiration 4 mission will re-enter the atmosphere after three days and is scheduled to land in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. After landing, the capsule will be intercepted by a SpaceX recovery ship, and the crew will then be transported safely ashore.

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Today, Elon Musk is one of the most influential people on Earth. But he's not going to stop there, ahead of the colonization of Mars and other equally ambitious projects. The article will tell us how our lover of space, cryptocurrencies, and memes started.


A lot can be said about the primary inventor of modernity and the wealthiest man in the world. Elon Musk owns Tesla and SpaceX, the largest private companies in the electric car and space equipment industries.


With their help, the billionaire plans to implement ambitious projects for the colonization of Mars, the development of his satellite network, the creation of a full-fledged artificial intelligence, and much more.


Everything you need to know about Elon Musk



His fortune was estimated at $ 256 billion last year; he overtook the previous leader in the rating - the head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. After the victory, Musk sent him a massive statue with the number 2.


Elon Musk sold off most of his property to confirm the seriousness of his intentions to colonize Mars, and now almost all of his fortune is shares of SpaceX and Tesla Motors.


To understand how much money he has, imagines: Musk can spend 10 million dollars a day, and it would still take about 70 years for the funds to run out.


Suppose we ignore the ambitious plans and all his special activities. In that case, the bottom line is just a fun guy who, despite an insanely busy schedule, will not miss the opportunity to joke on Twitter once or twice after work.


But first things first, let's go back a little.


Africa, first game, and early career


Elon Musk was born in Pretoria (South Africa). His parents are an electrical engineers and a model who divorced when he was ten. He and his brother and sister stayed in Africa with his father.


According to Elon's stories, his father was a rigorous person but instilled a love for programming in his child. At age 12, Musk created his own video game, Blastar, which he sold for $500. By the way, you can play this game here. Management leaves much to be desired, but it can deliver some pleasure.


Musk used the proceeds from the sale of the game to buy shares in a pharmaceutical company. Having made some money selling them, he could go to Canada, where he studied for some time before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. There he completed his undergraduate studies in two areas at once: physics and economics.


He then went to graduate school at Stanford, studied there for less than a week, and left to start a business with his brother Kimbal. The company was called Zip2 and sold programs that can be called the progenitors of modern Google. Maps, 2GIS, Yandex.Maps, etc. During the two years of its existence, the company grew significantly and was sold for $307 million. Musk, at that time, owned about 7% of the shares and received $ 22 million due to the transaction.




Almost immediately, Musk invested in, getting the opportunity to become its CEO. A year later, the firm merged with Confinity, which owned the PayPal money transfer system.


Sometime after the merger, Musk began to insist that all the company's software be transferred to the much more promising Windows OS (at that time, everything worked on UNIX), for which he was removed from the post of CEO.


Despite the removal, he remained on the board of directors and actively promoted the company on various online auctions, including eBay. Shortly after that, PayPal began to grow at a tremendous rate and entered the stock market. A year later, the company was sold for $1.5 billion, and Musk received a share of $180 million.




With more than half of the money received from the sale of the previous company, Musk invested in a new business, which he had long dreamed of. This is how SpaceX was born. Today it is the largest company in space equipment and technology production. Its main goal is to make space travel more accessible. In addition, with the help of SpaceX, Musk plans to fly to Mars before 2025 and contribute to its colonization in the future.


As Musk has repeatedly said in many interviews, his passion for space was strongly influenced by the works and views of Isaac Asimov, an American writer and popularizer of science. Asimov believed that it was important to explore space in order to save the human race. For example, if another meteorite falls on Earth, the entire population will be destroyed. In the case of colonization of other planets, the threat of extinction will be greatly reduced.


Over the 20 years of its existence, SpaceX has managed to create several Falcon launch vehicles, a full-fledged Crew Dragon space shuttle, and many other equipment for space flights. The first flight of the Dragon spacecraft with astronauts on board took place in May 2020.


Another important task of SpaceX is to create an entire satellite network that would provide the entire population of the planet with cheap high-speed Internet. Just imagine - you are a Bedouin, traveling through the desert and at any time you can sit down to relax and watch the Friends series from your phone.


Electric car in space and David Bowie


In 2018, Musk launched an electric Tesla Roadster into space as a test flight for the Falcon Heavy rocket. The flight was a demonstration that the rocket could launch a payload to orbit Mars. According to the billionaire, he wanted to send into space "the most stupid thing imaginable."


Behind the wheel of the car sat a mannequin named Starman, which is the title of one of the songs of the British rock musician David Bowie. True, when the car was started, his much more popular song “Space Oddity” played in it.


In the glove compartment of the electric car was a copy of the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and a towel with the words Don't Panic (Russian - "without panic"). This small element is a tribute to the writer, who repeatedly joked in his works that a towel is an essential attribute of any traveler.




Tesla Motors is Musk's only public company on the market, and its name refers to the famous physicist Nikola Tesla.


One of the most common misconceptions is that Musk is the founder of the company. Actually it is not. It was created by engineers Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning in 2003. Elon Musk joined the company a year later and invested in it some of the money received from the sale of PayPal.


But the company is not just associated with his name - for almost 18 years of managing the company, he managed to bring it to the stock market and achieve a capitalization of $ 1 trillion. Prior to this, only Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet (Google) took such a bar.


An important goal of Tesla Motors is to make the planet cleaner. That is why the company not only creates electric cars, but also invests in projects to develop alternative energy sources. One such project is Tesla's subsidiary SolarCity, an energy company that sells and installs solar panels.


Another achievement of the company is the creation of a full-fledged autopilot. At the moment, the autopilot is almost not regulated by law, and it is recommended to use it in a limited way - keep your hands on the steering wheel and still follow the road.


In the coming years, the billionaire plans to create entire taxi fleets consisting exclusively of cars with an autopilot, and they can be controlled using a mobile application.


More projects


Musk has repeatedly expressed concerns about the creation of artificial intelligence, since it can potentially pose a much greater threat than, for example, nuclear weapons.


But still, the billionaire is one of the founders of OpenAI, an American company that develops technologies based on machine learning. Its main goal is to create a full-fledged artificial intelligence that would work for the benefit of all mankind.


Another interesting project is the neurotech company Neuralink, which developed a small N1 brain chip in the summer of 2019. After several years of testing, the company held a spectacular presentation - during it, the monkey was able to play a video game using only a chip implanted in the brain.


In the short term, the company's developments should contribute to the treatment of serious brain diseases, and in the long term - to improve people.


The last project in this chapter that deserves attention is the construction company The Boring Company. Its main task is to create a system of underground superhighways and solve the problem of traffic jams.


In 2017, the firm began construction of one of the underground tunnels in California.


According to Musk, perhaps in the future The Boring Company will be used for a colony on Mars.


In addition, with the help of this company, Musk sells a huge amount of comic merchandise. For example, high-tech whistles, flamethrowers and children's (!) ATVs.


Iron Man and fantasy


The director of the Marvel film series about Iron Man, Jon Favreau, has repeatedly stated that when creating the image of the main character, he was largely inspired by the personality of Elon Musk. The billionaire even got a small cameo in which he played himself, and many scenes of the franchise were filmed in the main building of the Musk space company.


In addition to Iron Man, Musk has appeared as a cameo in many other projects. Among them: The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, The Big Bang Theory, etc.


As mentioned above, Musk is a big fan of science fiction and does not hesitate to openly declare it. For example, the Falcon booster was named after one of the ships in Star Wars.


Another billionaire bought the Wet Nellie submarine, which was filmed for one of the films about special agent James Bond, for $ 1 million. In the future, he plans to rebuild it with the latest technology from his car company.


Interesting fact:


Elon Musk and Canadian singer Grimes have a child together with a rather unusual name - "X Æ A-12". Hidden in the name is the mathematical variable X, the designation for artificial intelligence "AI" and their favorite model of the A-12 reconnaissance aircraft, which has no weapons on board, and its main advantage is its high speed.


Twitter, cryptos and memes


Musk gained great popularity on the Internet thanks to his love for Twitter. In it, he advertises the company's products, expresses thoughts, or simply communicates with fans and jokes.


Separately, it is worth noting that a large percentage of his tweets are dedicated to cryptocurrencies. Often, such messages greatly affect the value of coins, especially small ones.


For example, Musk has repeatedly spoken out about the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, which is why its quotes have grown by more than 100%. True, before that, he also dropped them by almost 40%.


In the Russian-speaking part of the Internet, the meme “How do you like it, Elon Musk?” is associated with the billionaire, in which the characters create ridiculous situations, for which they then come up with no less ridiculous engineering solutions. For example, attaching a broom instead of a windshield wiper to a car, trying to drive a bicycle wheel with a homemade cola and mentos motor, etc.


For some time, the meme lived its own life, until it went beyond the Internet - straight to the NTV channel. In one of the stories, a teenager from Nevinnomyssk managed to turn the seat and steering wheel, as well as swap the trunk and hood in one of the old Zhiguli. All this created the impression that the car was going backwards.


Then NTV employees tweeted an excerpt from the plot and added the inscription: “How do you like it, Elon Musk?” To which the billionaire replied in Russian - "ha ha, awesome."


Summarizing the article, we can only add that Elon Musk is not only a successful businessman, a talented engineer and a big dreamer, but also just a fun guy who will not miss the opportunity to chat with fans on Twitter after work.


And while his plans to conquer space may (and should) cause some skepticism, it's nice to see that such an influential person spends his colossal resources on developing technology and moving humanity forward.


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In recent years, the two wealthiest people on the planet have been competing not only on Earth but also beyond. The article explains how much it costs to fly into space, why some flights can hardly be called space flights, and what private space programs are criticized for.


Elon Musk and SpaceX


Elon Musk is the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $ 220 billion at the time of writing, one of the founders of the PayPal payment system, a space enthusiast, and CEO of two of the most prominent American companies in the fields of electric cars and space equipment - Tesla and SpaceX.


SpaceX was established in 2002 and, during its existence, has managed to develop a whole series of Falcon launch vehicles of various payloads, as well as the Dragon space shuttle, designed to replenish supplies to the ISS. This ship is launched into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the latest in the series.


The main feature of these launch vehicles is that they are reusable. They are equipped with special equipment for return and vertical landing.


The second version of the Falcon 9 flew for the first time last September with space tourists on board.


The company has two ambitious goals - to contribute to the colonization of Mars and to reduce the cost of manufacturing space equipment as much as possible.


Over the 20 years of its existence, SpaceX has managed to conduct many successful launches. Among them are dockings with the ISS, the launch of shuttles into low Earth orbit, and even the launch of one of Tesla Motors' electric cars into space.



But there were also significant failures. For example, the first Falcon 1 rocket exploded at launch, and the attempt to correct the situation for many years did not yield any results. The second and third versions of the missile also exploded in subsequent years.


And only by 2008, on the fourth attempt, did they finally manage to launch a rocket into space.


Problems also arose during the landing of launch vehicles on water. It was not immediately possible to establish a working landing system - from 2013 to 2016, the landing systems of the missiles regularly failed.


SpaceX is not limited to flights alone. The company is also building a global Starlink satellite network to provide the entire population of the Earth with a fast internet connection.


Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin


Bezos is the founder of the world's largest online retailer Amazon, the private aerospace company Blue Origin, and the owner of The Washington Post. He is also known for his charitable work and the fact that for many years he has been competing with Musk for the title of the wealthiest man on the planet, but at the moment, he is slightly inferior to him, with a fortune of $ 173 billion.


He founded his space company two years earlier, but its goal is almost identical - significantly reducing the cost of producing rockets and equipment.


Blue Origin has working shuttles and launch vehicles in its arsenal, prototypes that have yet to be built and tested, and rocket engines. Among them:


New Shepard is one of the first projects of the company. This is a reusable spacecraft, a human-crewed capsule with a capacity of up to 6 people. It flies only in suborbital space. The first launch took place last summer. On board, in addition to Bezos himself, were his brother, an 82-year-old woman who was a former pilot, and an 18-year-old graduate of the school.

The New Glenn is an even heavier reusable launch vehicle that uses one of the company's specially designed engines. There are plans to use the shuttle to deliver satellites and people into orbit, but launches have been delayed for several years.

Blue Moon is a moon rocket that the company has developed for one of NASA's latest space programs.


Not exactly spaceflight


It would seem that both companies are doing about the same thing, but what is the difference? The answer is range.


Bezos's company is currently mainly engaged in suborbital flights, that is, flights with low speed to enter the orbit of an artificial Earth satellite. To overcome this barrier, the ship must reach the first space velocity - almost 8 km / s.


For example, the relatively recently launched New Shepard flew 100 kilometers, although the altitude of low Earth orbit is almost one and a half times higher.


Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic are also engaged in similar flights. Last summer, he and other space tourists made a suborbital flight on the Unity rocket.


SpaceX The mask plays big and launches rockets into space. The two-stage Falcon 9 boosters push the spacecraft through the atmosphere, breaking first space velocity, while the shuttle's engines are already starting to work in orbit.


The last flight took place last year. During it, the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with ordinary people on board, rose to a height of 585 km and entered the Earth's orbit. It was the company's first "tourist" launch.


Space tourism


In the United States, flights, including those near space, are the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration - FAA. According to his criteria, anything below 80 km from Earth is not yet considered space.


Branson's and Bezos' shuttles are quickly up to the mark, earning the billionaires their official astronaut title late last year. The FAA gave them the Astronaut Wings badge of honor, a significant award in commercial space missions.


Musk is generally happy that his competitors are funding space projects but emphasizes that suborbital flights are the first step in the right direction.




Unfortunately, such flights' importance for science development is often downplayed and perceived only as entertainment for the rich. And there are reasons for that.


According to NASA, flying into space is not cheap.


To fly on Bezos' ship, you have to pay $28 million - this is the cheapest offer on the market.


A flight on the SpaceX shuttle will cost $60 million, and on a Virgin Galactic Unity rocket, as much as $250 million before the first successful launch, and after that, already $450 million per seat.


Space tourism is also present in Russia. Roskosmos is going to send two people to the ISS until 2023. Such a flight will cost 2.573 billion rubles per person, which is approximately comparable in cost to the Blue Origin travel program.


But it would help if you did not immediately end the dream of flying into space - such a trip can be won in the lottery. For example, Sian Proctor, a 52-year-old entrepreneur, and geologist grabbed such a prize. She won a charity competition funded by Jared Isaacman, a pilot, astronaut, and billionaire.


The high cost of travel is a thorn in the side of Musk and Bezos regularly.


For example, the head of Blue Origin spent almost $ 5 billion for 4 minutes in zero gravity during the flight. According to estimates by the international human rights organization Global Citizen, with this money, 2 billion people could be vaccinated, or 40 million could be helped with food.


But the wave of criticism does not end there. As it turned out, space flights are an excellent way to get rid of paying taxes since American taxation still poorly regulates private space flights.


In previous years, billionaires either paid no income tax at all or did so at a reduced rate of 16%, according to one investigative journalism report. For most Americans, a progressive taxation system works, where citizens pay from 10 to 37%, depending on their annual income. It is not difficult to guess what rate the two wealthiest people on the planet should have.


Even though attempts to make space more accessible have not yet been crowned with much success, it is good to see that every year this industry attracts more and more influential players who spend vast amounts of money on the development of science and technology.



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