Stellar week for SpaceX founder Elon Musk
SpaceX founder Elon Musk
May 22nd, 2012
05:46 PM ET

Stellar week for SpaceX founder Elon Musk

It’s officially a stellar week for Elon Musk, the billionaire engineer behind SpaceX, the company that made history Tuesday launching the first private spacecraft bound for the International Space Station.

The rocket, originally set to hit the stratosphere Saturday, might have taken to the sky a few days late, but the excitement Musk expressed on Twitter about the launch extends a victory streak that also includes more earthly passions.

On Monday, Musk tweeted that Tesla – the luxury electric car company he co-founded in Silicon Valley - had reached a “major milestone” by completing crash testing and gaining approval for sale to the public.

That is exactly the kind of advancement Musk seems to be all about – disrupting an existing sector of the economy, whether it's banking or cars or spaceflight. His ventures have been striking a chord with the public for years. As this 2007 article notes, Musk, a native of South Africa, was 28 when he sold his first company for $300 million.

Musk and the other entrepreneurs behind PayPal reshaped the landscape of online consumerism. The launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 promises to similarly change the economics of space travel for a post-space shuttle world.

“It’s just very exciting, I think. It’s almost like being at the dawn of the Apollo era, but I think we’ll go much farther than Apollo and really driving the technology to the point where almost anyone can go to space if they want to” Musk said in aYouTube interview with The Daily.

Musk said in a article on private companies and space travel that competition with other entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson, is part of his motivation.

"That's what competition does: It brings out the best in people."   More people will have a chance to see exactly what that means when the first Tesla Model S sedans hit the streets next month.

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Filed under: Science • Space • Technology
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. David Jones

    He is simply a visionary. PayPal was not his first success, it was his second. Then he set up a large solar electricity venture that installs collectors on people's homes with a program that lowers their costs but keeps ownership of the panels in the company–pretty brilliant. Then he sets up Tesla, which is doing pretty well in my judgement. His goal was to stimulate the electric car industry, and he did. And then SpaceX overcame so much to be successful. He put his personal wealth on the line in the name of trying to start us moving away from so much fossil fuel and also trying to expand our horizons and get us back into space. Pretty admirable in my book.

    May 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PokingBears

    There are billionaires that are thieves, there are billionaires that are corrupt politicians, there are billionaires that are dictators, there are billionaires that inherited daddy's money, but this man is one of those few cases that is an innovator and an actual creator. This man deserves his money.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robertelectric

    Elon Musk is a visionary. I commend him on his brilliant design with the Tesla Motors initiative. I would love to own a Tesla Model "S" myself, if not for the cost. I think his designs and ideas are far reaching. He is a briliiant young man with great ideas that he puts in motion. There are those that talk about getting things done that he HAS DONE. He has great ideas and follows them to the end. Sure he may be a billionaire but other's aswith his wealth have done little. At least this Man is performing and for that I am greatful. Thank you Elon!

    May 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ryandeadgold

    "A man after my own heart!"

    June 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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