“Elon Musk is a South African-born U.S. billionaire engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur” (Newton). He was born in 1971, with a bright future in front of him. Musk was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, when his parents got divorced. Elon’s father was an engineer, whereas his mother was a nutritionist. Growing up, he was mesmerized by economics, computers, and even science fiction. Elon Musk taught himself computer programming at just the age of 12 (Bix). Later on, at the age of 17, Musk moved to Canada, as his mother originated from this area.
He then attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School of Business. After that, in 1995, Musk attended Stanford University for a graduate program on applied physics. He dropped out 2 days later, due to the fact that he wanted to pursue his dream in business (Bix). Much of the research focuses on the development of the many companies and inventions of Elon Musk, such as Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and even Hyperloop.
The entire career of Elon Musk began with the development of Zip2, with his brother Kimbal Musk. The online companies of Elon Musk had a simple purpose and managed to help society. Founded in 1999, Zip2 was a certain software that gave companies the opportunity to post content such as maps and directory listings on the internet. Later on, Musk decided to sell Zip2 to a company called Compaq, leaving him with $22 million at just 28 years old. Although Elon Musk had more than enough money, he didn’t end his career there.
Musk went out to develop another internet business called X.com, which assisted people financially. Soon enough, X.com merged with another company, Confinity, to create PayPal in 1998. One year later, eBay bought PayPal, which left Musk with $165 million in profit. As stated in the article, “How Elon Musk Will Revolutionize the Modern World,” “While most came to know Elon Musk as the CEO of Tesla, Musk is also the co-founder of PayPal Holding Inc. (PYPL). It all started back in 1999 as a financial services company simply named X.com” (Bryant). These companies benefited the general public by assisting them with simple issues.
Tesla Motors, a car manufacturing company, is slowly revolutionizing the car industry. The company Tesla is 100% electric, with the main purpose of reducing emissions. This means that this company is contributing to environmental issues such as air pollution, and even global warming. Formed in 2003, Tesla Motors was not able to actually manufacture electric vehicles due to the lack of money until 2008, when Tesla released its first production vehicle. This sports car is known as the Tesla Roadster. Four years later, Tesla started building a new vehicle called the Model S. It was so famous, that it became the best-selling car in Norway (Newton). Although electric vehicles were built for many years, they were never as popular because they had many flaws such as, “like taking too long to charge, short-range on a single charge, slow speed, and slow acceleration” (Bryant).
Elon Musk and his company, Tesla, changed that. Every production vehicle manufactured by Tesla Motors has a long range per charge with a very fast acceleration and speed. On top of this, in 2020, Tesla is planning to release the Next Generation, Tesla Roadster 2.0, which can supposedly accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 1.9 seconds, potentially making this vehicle the fastest production car in the world. All Teslas, not including the 2008 Roadster, also have software known as autopilot if purchased. This can currently make the car autonomously drive on the highway, and change lanes. Musk says that the full self-driving feature is predicted to be available in the year, 2019. Elon Musk started this company to benefit both society and the environment and in a positive way.
SpaceX, which is also owned by Elon Musk, constructs, designs, and even launches reusable rockets. This company is transfiguring the rocket corporation, as well as the Earth and other planets. Elon Musk’s original plan was to colonize other planets, such as Mars, through his company and is still working towards that objective. With the help of 7,000 employees, Musk has revealed the future of space exploration. On February 6, 2018, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy, making history. “Look at that! That’s unreal!” Musk exclaimed as the rocket launched. According to Amy Sue Bix, “In early 2018, SpaceX launched Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster and a dummy named Starman into an orbit around the sun, in the Falcon Heavy’s inaugural flight”. The Falcon Heavy included reusable fins, used to steer, which can land back on Earth. Rockets like this, with reusable parts, make space exploration much easier, and more affordable. As it is both affordable and reusable, it is efficient as well. This particular rocket has the capability to lift up to 141,000 pounds, at full power, into low-Earth orbit. After the launch of this rocket, Elon Musk explained, “When I see a rocket lift off, I see a thousand things that could not work, and it’s amazing when they do.”
During the summer of 2017, Elon Musk revealed that he wanted to build a Hyperloop (Davies). A Hyperloop is a frictionless environment designed so electric cars can travel through them at high speeds, possibly 700-760 mph. Musk came up with the idea to build a Hyperloop due to the fact that in Southern California, traffic is unimaginable, with people stuck in their cars for hours each day. Elon Musk proposed the Hyperloop in 2012, starting with a 57-page plan that outlined how this product would work. According to Alex Davies, “Magnetic levitation and big vacuum pumps would do away with pesky friction and air resistance, letting those bus-sized vehicles zip along at speeds approaching Mach 1.”
Due to the fact that the Hyperloop is in a frictionless environment, it needs very little energy to maintain its speed, because there is nothing in the way. Surprisingly, Musk’s Hyperloop is not a monopoly, meaning he has competition. Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, is also developing a high-speed transportation system. As stated by Alex Davies, “Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd has said it would cost about $10 million to build one mile of two-way track.” On the other hand, it costs Elon Musk $6 billion to build a hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This means that it costs approximately $16 million per mile. As Southern California becomes more populated, commuters must rely on Musk’s Hyperloop to travel efficiently.
The many companies of Elon Musk are very important, and their significance cannot be underestimated. All of his various inventions have a purpose. For example, the aim of the company Tesla is to reduce emissions in order to prevent air pollution and global warming. On top of that, the motive of SpaceX is to remold the space exploration industry by making it much more efficient and affordable. Elon Musk once said, ‘I could either watch it happen or be a part of it.’ Elon Musk plays a large role in the advancement of humanity. Musk is the primary funder and president of the Musk Foundation as well, which contributes towards renewable energy research, human space exploration research, development of safe artificial intelligence, and much more. Although Elon Musk may have many unimaginable theories, he never fails to keep his promise.