In September 2021, SpaceX made headlines around the world, crowning success the first private orbital mission in history having no professional astronaut on board. This is the third time that SpaceX, which has become a giant in the sector in just a few years, has brought humans back to Earth. At the head of SpaceX: Elon Musk. In addition to this prestigious company, the leader of SpaceX owns other successful companies, including Tesla, Hyperloop, StarLink and Cybertruck.
Elon Musk is one of the most influential businessmen in the world today. new technologies in addition to now being one of the richest men.
On December 13, the American magazine Time named her personality of the year and richest man on the planet. Often compared to the fictional character of Tony Stark aka Iron ManElon Musk divides his audience: visionary for some, others refer to it as megalomaniac.
But who is Elon Musk ? Find in this article the portrait of this archetype of the self-made-man, true incarnation of the American dream.
Biography of Elon Musk
Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. Born to a South African father and a Canadian mother, he showed a talent for IT and entrepreneurship. At only 12 years old, he created a video game and sold it to a South African specialized computer magazine: PC And Office Technologyfor the equivalent of $500.
In 1988, at the end of his studies at Pretoria Boys High School, he obtained a Canadian passport and left South Africa. Indeed, he was unwilling to support apartheid through compulsory military service and sought out the best economic opportunities available in the United States.
In 1989, he joined Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. He obtained Canadian citizenship the same year. It is thanks to part-time jobs and summer jobs in computer science that he managed to finance his studies. It is then transferred to the university of pennsylvania, where he studies commerce and physicsfrom 1992. He obtained a degree in economics and another in physics.
He will integrate later stanford university to follow a doctoral course in energy physics. But he left university after only two days, because he believed that the Internet had much more potential to have a real impact on society than physical work.
Elon Musk and company
In 1995, Elon Musk, aware of the development of internet, embarked on its first entrepreneurial adventure. He co-founded Zip2 with his brother Kimbal and his friend Gré Kouri. Zip2 is online content publishing software for businesses. This is actually an early version of ” web-canvassing “. This will in particular help the media, faced with the arrival of the Internet. In 1999, the company was bought $341 million in cash and stock options by the division Alta Vista from Compaq.
After Zip2, Elon Musk founded an online financial services company in 1999, which he named X.com will become later PayPal, thanks to the merger with Confinity. It is thus at the origin of the reference of online money transfer applications. In 2002, the company was bought by eBayfor an amount of 1.5 billion of dollars.
SpaceX (Where Space Exploration Technologies), was founded in 2002. Elon Musk was then disillusioned by the lack of ambition of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), especially for the great expense of rocket launchers.
Elon Musk then plans to manufacture more affordable rockets, to design launchers capable of greatly reducing the cost of putting into orbit and thus allowing the development of civil space. Falcon 1 is the very first rocket designed by the company (which is no longer in service today).
the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy are the manufacturer’s flagship products. They have the advantage of being partially reusable, which greatly reduces orbiting costs. SpaceX also includes in its catalog the dragon shipand the latest version of the craft, the Dragon V2also called Crew Dragon.
Today, SpaceX is one of two private providers with which the NASA has signed a freight transport contract to the international space station (ISS).
We now come to what most characterizes Elon Musk: Tesla. Indeed, before the wonder of September 2021 carried out by SpaceX, it is in particular for his role within Tesla that Elon Musk is known to the public.
Entered the capital of in 2004 with a financing of 6.5 million dollars, he took over the management of the company in 2008 which then became Tesla. In 2010, the company’s IPO raised approximately $226 million and became the most highly rated automaker in history. Model S, Model X, Model3, Model Ythe Cybertruck pick-up… the firm, which specializes in electric and autonomous vehicles, is revolutionizing the automotive industry thanks to the bigdata and to artificial intelligence…
Read also: Elon Musk offers on Twitter to sell 10% of his shares in Tesla
Passionate about new technologies and by artificial intelligence, Elon Musk’s imagination knows no bounds. Ambitious and visionary, the billionaire is known to regularly present new projects, intended to improve the future of humanity. He also has to his credit hyperloopa project of Subsonic TGV twice as fast as airplanes and powered by solar energy, or The Boring Companya project that aims to remove traffic jams in major cities by installing a network of underground roads.
Read more: The Tesla Bot, Elon Musk’s humanoid robot
Elon Musk’s wealth
The question that arouses everyone’s curiosity: how much does elon musk earn ?
Forbes estimates Elon Musk’s fortune at more than $260 billion which earned him the place of the richest man on the planet for time magazine, recently released in December. In November, Bloomberg reported that his personal fortune jumped from $36.2 billionin one day: Monday 25 October.
Originally, an order by US car rental company Hertz for 100,000 Tesla cars sent Tesla stock soaring. This capital gain represents the largest gain ever recorded in one day, the Bloomberg Billionaires index broke a new record!
Elon Musk and Ukraine
At the request of the vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine via Twitter, Elon Musk recently sent Starlink connection kits in the direction of the country victim of bombardments for already more than ten days. Starlink, a constellation of satellites deployed by SpaceX, provides Internet access via satellite.
Read more: Elon Musk activates Starlink in support of Ukraine.
Now in place in Ukraine, Elon Musk invites Ukrainians using Starlink to be careful by posting a message on the social network Twitter:
” Important disclaimer: Starlink is the only non-Russian communication system still functioning in parts of Ukraine, so the likelihood of being targeted is high. Please use it with caution. “.
He advises them to only turn on Starlink when needed and place the antenna as far away from people as possible » and to install « light camouflage on the antenna to avoid visual detection. in order to keep its users safe from the air control Russia has over Ukraine.
The Russian army could indeed use the signals going up to the Starlink satellites in order to perpetuate its bombardments in a targeted manner.
Read more: Ukraine and Russia: a new diplomatic confrontation with military consequences?
Elon Musk thus has a real influence in the world, whether in terms of business and now even in terms of geopolitics. How far will his influence grow?