25 Fascinating Facts About Elon Musk
Elon Musk was raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He now has citizenship in South Africa, Canada and the United States of America.
Musk was an avid reader at a young age, sometimes spending 10 hours a day reading. Musk once said he finished the entire Encyclopedia Britannica at age 9. Musk also taught himself basic computer programming when he was 10 years old. At age 12 he created the computer game Blastar, which he sold for 500 dollars. You can play Blastar today on the internet.
While he was growing up, Musk loved to make his own rockets and explosives.
When Musk was 16, he and his brother almost opened up an arcade. They signed a lease, drew up contracts and filled out forms for the city planning department. Unfortunately, at the last moment they were denied because the city thought they were too young.
At age 17, Musk moved to Canada. There he was determined to live on only $1 per day. He would buy his food in bulk from the supermarket. He ate a lot of hotdogs and oranges.
Musk then moved to the U.S. where he went to the University of Pennsylvania. He received two degrees from the college and he reportedly ran a nightclub out of his off-campus house to pay the rent.
Musk then moved out to California to study Physics at Stanford. He dropped out after two days to try his luck in the Internet boom.
After leaving Stanford, Musk created his first company called Zip2, which provided online newspapers with maps and business directories. He sold the company for $340 million in 1999.
In 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, an online payment company that would later become PayPal. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion.
In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, a rocket technology company that builds space launch vehicles. Musk funded the company himself when he wasn’t able to get investors.
SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to resupply the International Space Station. Eventually, SpaceX will ferry people up there.
SpaceX was able to reduce the cost of reaching the International Space Station by 90%. It use to cost $1 billion per mission but now it only costs $60 million.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft was the first commercial vehicle ever to attach itself to the International Space Station. SpaceX was also the first commercial company to recover a spacecraft from Earth’s orbit.
SpaceX created the Falcon rocket, which got its name from the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Musk thinks it’s a realistic goal for humans to have space tourism and one day colonize Mars.
In 2003, Musk co-founded Tesla Motors. The automotive manufacturer that brought fully electric-run cars to the public, when the much larger car companies couldn’t. Musk acts as CEO and chief product architect at Tesla. The Tesla Model S received 5.4 out of 5 safety rating from the National Highway Safety Administration. It is the highest rating ever given to an automobile.
As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, Musk is the largest shareholder of the company SolarCity, which was started by his cousins.
Musk has stated that he is working toward creating more sustainable energy use to fight global warming.
In 2010, Musk received the FAI Gold Space Metal for his achievements in rocket technology. This is the same metal that was given to Neil Armstrong.
In 2013, Musk was named Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year” for his companies Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity.
Musk was also named by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century.
Musk is in the middle of building and testing one of his latest projects called the “Hyperloop”. Basically, it’s a pressurized tube that transports people underground. It could theoretically send people from LA to San Francisco is as little as half an hour. For this he established another company called the Boring Company, which is an infrastructure and tunnel-construction company. They have already built really advanced tunneling machines that Musk hinted at will help us colonize Mars one day.
Musk has been married 3 times. Twice to the same woman. He has 5 sons, a set of twins and a set of triplets. One of his son’s names is Xavier because Musk is a big fan of X-men.
Musk’s intellect and achievements were very influential to Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Ironman character. They even shot some of the film at SpaceX’s facilities. Musk even makes a cameo in the movie Ironman 2.
In 2015, Musk co-founded OpenAI, a non-profit research company who’s goal is to promote friendly artificial intelligence. In 2016, Musk co-founded Neuralink, a neuro-technology company aimed at developing brain-computer interfaces.
Musk’s net worth is estimated at $22.3 billion and he is listed by Forbes as the 40th richest person in the world.