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Elon Musk

In addition to his primary business pursuits, Musk has envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a vertical take-off and landing supersonic jet electric aircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet.[20][21] Musk

His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the risk of human extinction by establishing a human colony on Mars.[23]

He taught himself computer programming at the age of 10, and by the age of 12 sold the code of a BASIC-based video game he created called Blastar, to a magazine called PC and Office Technology, for approximately $500.[38][39]

childhood reading included Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, from which he drew the lesson that 'you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.'[33]

He left in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor's degree in physics.

Musk was ousted in October 2000 from his role as CEO (although he remained on the board) due to disagreements with other company leadership, notably over his desire to move PayPal's Unix-based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows.[53]

In 2001, Musk conceptualized Mars Oasis, a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars, containing food crops growing on Martian regolith, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration.[57][58]

In October 2001, Musk travelled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supplies fixer), and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college), to buy refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could send the envisioned payloads into space.

It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin.[61]

In 2006, SpaceX was awarded a contract from NASA to continue the development and test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft in order to transport cargo to the International Space Station,[67][not in citation given]

followed by a US$1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services program contract on December 23, 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the Space Station, replacing the US Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011.[68]

Astronaut transport to the ISS is currently handled solely by the Soyuz, but SpaceX is one of two companies awarded a contract by NASA as part of the Commercial Crew Development program, which is intended to develop a US astronaut transport capability by 2018.[69]

Musk believed that the key to making space travel affordable is to make rockets reusable, Though most experts in the space industry did not believe that reusable rockets were possible or feasible.[70]

This was the first time in history such a feat had been achieved by an orbital rocket and is a significant step towards rocket reusability lowering the costs of access to space.[71]

and by the end of 2017, SpaceX had landed and recovered the first stage on 16 missions in a row where a landing and recovery were attempted, including all 14 attempts in 2017.

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy, the fourth-highest capacity rocket ever built (after Saturn V, Energia and N1) and the most powerful rocket in operation as of 2018[update].

An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.

Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned flight of the larger Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) spacecraft is aimed for departure to the red planet in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024.[84]

In late 2017, SpaceX unveiled the design for its next-generation launch vehicle and spacecraft system—BFR—that would support all SpaceX launch service provider capabilities with a single set of very large vehicles: Earth-orbit, Lunar-orbit, interplanetary missions, and even intercontinental passenger transport on Earth, and totally replace the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon vehicles in the 2020s.

Musk took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level, but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations.[92]

Musk has favored building a sub-US$30,000 compact Tesla model and building and selling electric vehicle powertrain components so that other automakers can produce electric vehicles at affordable prices without having to develop the products in-house;

In a May 2013 interview with All Things Digital, Musk said that to overcome the range limitations of electric cars, Tesla is expanding its network of supercharger stations, tripling the number on the East and West coasts of the U.S. that June, with plans for more expansion across North America, including Canada, throughout the year.[100]

In 2014, Musk announced that Tesla would allow its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith in a bid to entice automobile manufacturers to speed up development of electric cars.

'The unfortunate reality is electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn't burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales,' Musk said.[105]

The New York Post described the pending stock option grant as an 'astronomical deal' in pay when it reported that Tesla accepted $750 million in public funds from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as part of the Buffalo Billion project, a plan to invest money to help the economy of the Buffalo, New York area.

According to ABC News, 'As recently as Oct. 4, Musk issued a sarcastic tweet, describing the agency [SEC] as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission,” despite having agreed to settlement terms a week earlier that his company, Tesla, would monitor his tweets and other communications.'[114]

In 2012, Musk announced that SolarCity and Tesla are collaborating to use electric vehicle batteries to smooth the impact of rooftop solar on the power grid, with the program going live in 2013.[125]

Musk stated the plant will be 'one of the single largest solar panel production plants in the world,' and it will be followed by one or more even bigger facilities in subsequent years.[126]

On August 12, 2013, Musk unveiled a concept for a high-speed transportation system incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.[128]

The mechanism for releasing the concept was an alpha-design document that, in addition to scoping out the technology, outlined a notional route where such a transport system might be built: between the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area.[129]

After earlier envisioning Hyperloop, Musk assigned a dozen engineers from Tesla and SpaceX who worked for nine months, establishing the conceptual foundations and creating the designs for the transportation system.[130][131]

The alpha design was proposed to use a partial vacuum to reduce aerodynamic drag, which it is theorized would allow for high-speed travel with relatively low power, with certain other features like air-bearing skis and an inlet compressor to reduce freestream flow.

In June 2015, Musk announced a design competition for students and others to build Hyperloop pods to operate on a SpaceX-sponsored mile-long track in a 2015–2017 Hyperloop pod competition.

By making AI available to everyone, OpenAI wants to 'counteract large corporations who may gain too much power by owning super-intelligence systems devoted to profits, as well as governments which may use AI to gain power and even oppress their citizenry.'[141]

The company is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence.

sees Neuralink and OpenAI as related: 'OpenAI is a nonprofit dedicated to minimizing the dangers of artificial intelligence, while Neuralink is working on ways to implant technology into our brains to create mind-computer interfaces.'[33]

In February 2017, the company began digging a 30-foot-wide, 50-foot-long, and 15-foot-deep 'test trench' on the premises of Space X's offices in Los Angeles, since the construction requires no permits.[148][149]

Musk had said in early 2017 that a 10-fold decrease in tunnel boring cost per mile is necessary for economic feasibility of the proposed tunnel network.[150] By

TBC provided an update on the state of their technology and product line when they opened to the public their first mile-long test tunnel in Hawthorne, California, on 18 December 2018, stating that it has been a proof-of-concept for the technology.[153][154] Design

is complete for the third-generation Boring TBM, Prufrock, slated to support a 15x improvement in tunneling speed over the existing state of the art, and the machine will be assembled and begin engineering testing in 2019.[153]:15:18–15:45

its design, a five-foot (1.5 m)-long, twelve-inch (300 mm)-inch wide sealed tube weighing about 90 pounds (41 kg) propelled manually by divers in the front and back,[167]

was intended to solve the problem of safely transporting the children, who might have had difficulty learning the scuba skills required to exit the cave on their own without panicking.[168]

A rescue caver who had been exploring the cave for the past six years and who had originally located the trapped football team, said that Musk's idea 'had absolutely no chance of working ...

Although the device could safely hold an occupant, there were concerns that its rigid body was only slightly smaller than the narrowest passages in the cave, making it risky to get it through the tighter turns.[166]

As media coverage of the event grew, some were skeptical of Musk's intentions, claiming the submarine was mainly built for publicity for Tesla and Musk, citing the apparent uselessness of the device.[177][178][179]

One of the divers said to have played a major role in the rescue criticized the submarine as amounting to nothing more than a public relations effort with no chance of success, and that Musk 'had no conception of what the cave passage was like';[180]

On August 28, 2018, in response to criticism from a writer on Twitter regarding how Musk had handled the diver's criticism, Musk circled back to the pedophilia accusation tweeting 'You don't think it's strange he hasn't sued me?

On 5 September 2018, a reporter from Buzzfeed News published an email written by Musk on August 30 marked 'off the record', saying 'I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what's actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole.

The lawsuit contends that 'Musk embarked on a PR campaign to destroy [the diver]'s reputation by publishing false and heinous accusations of criminality against him to the public', and seeks upwards of US$75,000 in damages.[195][196][needs update]

Mexico's Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) has publicly denounced the proposed product, arguing, 'If it wants to make Teslaquila viable as a tequila it would have to associate itself with an authorized tequila producer, comply with certain standards and request authorization from Mexico's Industrial Property Institute'.[200]

He has described himself as a socialist, but 'not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm' - arguing instead, 'true socialism seeks greatest good for all.'[204]

He supports targeting an inclusive tax rate of 40%, prefers consumption taxes to income taxes, and supports the estate tax, as the 'probability of progeny being equally excellent at capital allocation is not high.'[205]

The same report said that 'SpaceX's campaign to win political support has been systematic and sophisticated,' and that 'unlike most tech-startups, SpaceX has maintained a significant lobbying presence in Washington almost since day 1.'

In December 2013, Sean Becker of the media/political website Mic called Musk a 'complete hypocrite,' stating that '[for] the 2014 election cycle, Musk has contributed to the Longhorn PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee – both of which have funded the campaigns of anti-science, anti-environment candidates such as Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.).'[217]

Musk has stated that he does not believe the U.S. government should provide subsidies to companies but should instead use a carbon tax to price in the negative externality of air pollution and discourage poor behavior.

Musk's statements have been widely criticized, with Stanford University Professor Fred Turner noting that 'if you're an entrepreneur like Elon Musk, you will take the money where you can get it, but at the same time believe as a matter of faith that it's entrepreneurship and technology that are the sources of social change, not the state.

While journalist and author Jim Motavalli, who interviewed Musk for High Voltage, his 2011 book about the electric vehicle industry, speculated that 'Elon is now looking at it from the point of view of a winner, and he doesn't want to see other people win because they get government money – I do think there is a tendency of people, once they have succeeded, to want to pull the ladder up after them.'[220]

In 2015, Musk's statements were subject to further scrutiny when an LA Times article claimed that SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity and buyers of their products had or were projected to receive together an estimated US$4.9 billion in government subsidies over twenty years.

Musk has stated that he does not pray, or worship any being, although he asked 'any entities that [were] listening' to 'bless [the] launch' before an important Falcon 1 launch.

During a 2014 interview at the MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium, Musk described AI as humanity's largest existential threat, further stating, 'I'm increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish.'

In 2014, Slate's Adam Elkus argued that current AIs were as intelligent as a toddlers, and only in certain fields, going on to say that Musk's 'summoning the demon' analogy may be harmful because it could result in significant cuts to AI research budgets.[232]

Nature sharply disagreed with the ITIF in an April 2016 editorial, siding instead with Musk, and concluding: 'It is crucial that progress in technology is matched by solid, well-funded research to anticipate the scenarios it could bring about ...

In a 2015 Washington Post editorial, researcher Murray Shanahan stated that human-level AI is unlikely to arrive in the near future, but that nevertheless 'the time to start thinking through the consequences is now.'[237]

Jarrett Walker, a known public transport expert and consultant from Portland, said that 'Musk's hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford,' referring to the theory that planning a city around the preferences of a minority yields an outcome that usually does not work for the majority.[243][244][245]

The exchange received a significant amount of media attention and prompted Nobel laureate Paul Krugman to comment on the controversy, saying that apparently, 'You're an idiot' is Musk's idea of a cogent argument.[243][249]

In October 2018, in an effort to help solve the Flint water crisis, Musk and the Musk Foundation donated over $480,000 to install new water fountains with filtration systems for access to clean water at all Flint, Michigan schools.[260]

Musk was featured in the 2015 environmental documentary Racing Extinction, in which a custom Tesla Model S was designed to help project images of critically endangered species onto public buildings, including the Empire State Building and the Vatican.[309]

According to an article in techcrunch.com published the day after the episode aired, this mention is 'also interesting because of its notable omission of Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos: This other space entrepreneur is such a big fan of Star Trek that he pitched and succeeded in landing a cameo in Star Trek Beyond as an alien being, but he doesn't rate a mention from Lorca among the spaceflight pantheon.'[314]

This is followed by a scene where Musk is shown alone in his office reading the notebook that young Sheldon mailed NASA in 1989 (a scene shown earlier in the episode) containing calculations detailing how this feat could be accomplished.[316]

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