Elon Musk

Elon Reeve Musk is an engineer, industrial designer and business magnate. He works on some crucial problems concerning humanity and its future on Earth like energy related issues, private and public transportation and multi-planetary existence. Both SpaceX and Tesla, his major businesses, are two of the most innovative companies in the latest times.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Image source:https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/2ac8376e-834e-41ce-9886-598ead1ea3e9. by jdlasica

Something about his life:

Elon Reeve Musk was born in Pretoria (South Africa) on June 28th, 1971. He spent his childhood there and then moved to the American continent at the age of 17, first in Canada then in the United States later. From a young age he displayed great interest and capability for entrepreneurship and computers. He left his home country as he was not willing to support the South African Apartheid by conscripting. After he settled down in the United States, he graduated in Pennsylvania where he received a dual bachelor’s degree in economics and physics; he dropped out his next course in Stanford in order to pursue a business career. He currently lives and works in the US.

Musk founded and/or worked on many start-ups and companies in his life, starting with Zip2 in 1995 (used to provide online city guide software to newspapers), up to SpaceX (aerospace manufacture and rocket company) or Tesla (electric automotive and energy company).

He is now considered by many the man who is pushing forwards the limits of humanity. He’s working on an all electric future, renewable and affordable energies, space exploration and life outside Earth.

Info source (1): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk

Info source (2): https://www.forbes.com/profile/elon-musk/?sh=161e6ef97999

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the Golden Steering Wheel Awards 2019 in Berlin.

Image source: https://industryeurope.com/sectors/transportation/elon-musk-teslas-european-gigafactory-will-be-in-berlin/

SpaceX, the rocket company:

“SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not.”

– Elon Musk

Founded in 2002 with the objective of making rockets more affordable, SpaceX has given proof of being able to build way more cost-effective space-reaching machines than the competition. The company also works on other projects like Starlink (internet providing satellites constellation) and the Dragon 1 and 2 (re-usable cargo spacecrafts).

The epitome of the lineup of rockets designed by SpaceX is without any doubt the Falcon Heavy: 70m of height, 1.42 million kg of weight, 16.8 thousand kg of payload for an Earth-to-Mars distance and a whopping 2.27 million kg of thrust at liftoff (equals approximately eighteen 747 airliners put together). The three boosters of the Falcon Heavy, once detached from the central air frame, are capable of returning back to Earth and land on dedicated areas (also marine platforms): it means they can be reused multiple times making space-reaching operations less expensive like never before. This is a revolutionary feature in rocket science.

Honorable cargo mention: a Tesla Roadster that has been sent in outer space with a dummy astronaut (named Starman, probably in honor of late David Bowie) sitting in the driver’s seat. Interestingly (or funnily, for someone), the distance of the car from Earth can be tracked in real time from this website with a whole set of data about the travel of it: https://www.whereisroadster.com

Info source (1): https://www.spacex.com

Info source (2): https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elon-Musk

Falcon Heavy's lift off
Smart boosters of the SpaceX’s “Falcon Heavy” rocket that have auto-landing capabilities.

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/38fb4427-fcdb-4567-beab-fa7026c0b390

Tesla, the electric cars and solar panels company:

Co-founded by Elon Musk and other great personalities back in 2003 with the name “Tesla Motors” (later renamed “Tesla”), it is nowadays the most influential company in terms of electric cars development. It was ranked as the most innovative company by Forbes in 2015 as well. Musk is the current CEO (and a chairman) and owns 21% of it.

The first model to ever come out of Tesla has been the Roadster (2008), a beautiful open body two seater sports car based on the Lotus Elise. For what we can expect from an electric vehicle, this one has some very respectable specs like a 393 km range, a super quick 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 201 kph.

Tesla has come a long way since the Roadster days and it managed to pull out amazing specs out the technology it has. The Roadster 2.0 (available since 2020) has reached unparalleled range (almost 1000 km on a full charge, at highway speed) and from 2016 all available models come (as a paid optional) with a fully autonomous driving AI and traffic detecting 3D scanners.

Needless to say, all Tesla models have a staggering futuristic design, all sorts of comforts, enviable security and smartphone controlled features (like the autonomous reverse in case of close parking situations). Having an electric motor not only makes the vehicle nicer to the environment and more cost-efficient, but it also frees a lot of room on the front of the car. This means there now is an extra trunk where there would be an ordinary heat engine: doubling the luggage volume can indeed only happen in a non-ordinary car.

Since Tesla has a lot to do with electric power and efficiency, it is also involved in solar panels installations on rooftops. just like with SpaceX, the aim is to make this kind of technology affordable and more efficient.

Info source (1):https://www.tesla.com

Info source (2): https://www.forbes.com/profile/elon-musk/?sh=161e6ef97999

Info source (3):https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster_(first_generation)

Tesla models S, 3, X, Y.
From left to right, all currently available Teslas: Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y.
This is rumored to be an Easter egg-like naming scheme; the the car names put together in the Tesla website show order end up in “S 3 X Y”, supposedly like their design.

Image source: https://www.carscoops.com/2020/10/s3xy-tesla-range-which-is-the-most-electrifying-of-them-all/. BY Brad Anderson

Other projects and Elon’s vision:

What probably drives Elon forward is the strive for a better future. By many he is considered the new Da Vinci, or the inventor of good upcoming times where humans take advantage of renewable energies, live by sustainable standards and start to explore the universe. All this without making compromises with the quality of life on our now saturated planet. Efficiency is the only viable option for our future days.

Among all the side projects, the most inspired one is probably Hyperloop. It is a transporting system consisting in levitating bullet trains that travel in a vacuumed tunnel; this is not yet a reality but, economically speaking, it is a way more viable initiative compared to the Californian high-speed rails upgrade plan costing 68 billion dollars. Hyperloop would cost about a tenth of that, but unfortunately Musk can’t devote the right amount of time for its development. It is definitely not an easy piece of engineering, but surely an exciting one to look forward to.

Info source (1): https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elon-Musk

Info source (2): https://virginhyperloop.com

Virgin Hyperloop One XP

An image that shows the hypothetical structure of a Hyperloop train and its insane top speed.Virgin Hyperloop One XP.

Image source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Virgin_Hyperloop_One_XP-1_pod_-_side_view.jpg

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