What do PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Tesla Energy have in common? They all go back to the same entrepreneur: Elon Musk! By now, most people are familiar with his name, because his spectacular developments for SpaceX, in particular, have often enough flickered across the screen or appeared in bold letters in the daily newspaper. Why this man is so incredibly fascinating, what he has created and how the versatile entrepreneur serves humanity, you will learn in our 43 facts about Elon Musk.
Elon Musk’s life in South Africa
1. Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa
Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, the first child of Errol and Maye. His father was a mechanical engineer, while his mother worked as a model, author, and nutritionist. Thus, the family was able to live a comfortable life with many amenities. An expression of this was that they occupied one of the largest houses in Pretoria. However, the parents divorced again in 1979, only nine years after the wedding.
After Elon, his younger brother Kimbal and his younger sister Tosca first lived with their mother, both brothers later moved in with their father Errol, one after the other. They were able to learn an incredible amount from him but also had to endure his strict manner. What happened during this time, the two do not report, but it must have been a difficult phase of life, as can be seen from Elon’s biography in several places. Even while married to Maye she describes her ex-husband in retrospect as physically, financially, and emotionally manipulative and abusive.”
2. Elon Musk’s middle name is Reeve.
The name Elon Reeve Musk was unusual in South Africa at the time, so he was often teased by other children during his childhood. Why his parents chose for him his middle name Reeve is not known. But his first name goes back to his maternal great-grandfather John Elon Haldeman. He grew up in Illinois and had Almeda Jane Norman Elon Musk’s grandfather Joshua Norman Haldeman with his wife in 1902.
Elon’s grandfather Josh Haldeman worked very successfully as a chiropractor and was married to Canadian dance instructor Winnifred Josephine Fletcher. Together they decided to embark on an adventure in 1950 and started a new life in South Africa, where they fathered five children together. The family of seven often traveled by plane and went on lengthy expeditions together, so Elon may have inherited his willingness to take risks from him.
3. As a child, Elon Musk often read up to ten hours a day.
His younger brother Kimbal recalls that Elon Musk constantly had a book in his during his childhood, speaking of compulsive reading. Days on which Elon Musk was immersed in a non-fiction book, a comic book, or a science fiction novel for up to ten hours was therefore not uncommon. On some weekends, he is even said to have read two books a day. Even entire encyclopedias could not escape him. Since he spent so much time reading, it was no wonder that Elon Musk had few friends during his childhood.
Read more: The 10 Smartest People in the World
4. At the age of twelve, Elon Musk wrote the code for a functioning computer game called “Blastar” that showed similarities to “Space Invaders.” He sold the code to a computer magazine for 500 dollars.
In 1984, the computer magazine PC and Office Technology published the program code to a Computer game called “Blastar” and it was programmed by none other than Elon Musk – at the age of just twelve. The little game was based on just 167 lines of commands, so it was certainly no marvel. But for a child, it was more than remarkable and so the report in the magazine earned him at least 500 dollars, which was a proud sum at that tender age.
The game’s content was similar to Space Invaders, developed in Japan in 1978. According to Elon Musk, the goal of the game was to “destroy an alien space shuttle that has deadly hydrogen bombs and state-changing machines on board.” True, what state-changing machines are supposed to be was not explained in the article. But you can tell Elon Musk had visions and was interested in space even back then.
Elon Musk’s Way To Success
5. At 17, Elon Musk migrated to Canada so he could escape military service in South Africa during apartheid.
When Elon Musk was just 17 years old, in June 1988, South Africa was still under Pieter Willem Botha strict racial segregation – also called apartheid. Since Elon Musk wanted to escape compulsory military service so as not to support the apartheid regime, fleeing the country was out of the question for him.
Because his mother was born in Canada, he fortunately already possessed Canadian citizenship and could thus seek his fortune on the North American continent. For him, it even meant a double chance. For he reckoned that his ambitious plans for the future had the greatest likelihood of success in the USA, so a fresh start in Canada was a great springboard for this.
6. Elon Musk has two bachelor’s degrees, but dropped out of his doctoral studies after just two days because he believed the Internet offered incredible opportunities at the time and he could accomplish more for the world with it than by getting a Ph.D. in physics.
After spending his first year in Canada keeping his head above water through a series of different jobs, Elon Musk enrolled in Queens University in Kingston, Ontario to study business administration. After two years of study, however, in 1992, Musk transferred to the University of Pennsylvania in the United States on a scholarship. Here, he even set his sights on two bachelor’s degrees. He wanted to earn a degree in business administration from the Wharton business school, which is part of the university, and also a degree in physics.
In 1995, he then had both bachelor’s degrees in his pocket – at least the prerequisites for them. Because at first, he lacked two bills for his degrees. But since the requirements for them later changed, he received both certificates in 1997. After leaving the University of Pennsylvania, he was accepted for doctoral studies in physics at Stanford University. He planned to continue researching supercapacitors, having previously worked on them in an internship at Pinnacle in Silicon Valley. However, the Internet excited him too much because he could guess what potential it held and he also had a clever business idea ready. In addition, he had been flirting with entering this industry for quite some time anyway, as he felt he could make a difference with the possibilities of the Internet.
7. When Elon Musk co-founded Zip2 with his brother Kimbal, they didn’t rent an apartment, but slept on the couch in the office and showered at the YMCA.
In 1995, Kimbal and Elon Musk had founded Global Link Information Network in Palo Alto, California, which they later renamed Zip2. With it, they provided online maps to media companies like newspapers that listed local businesses. So the brothers and associates actually had to pitch their product in order to attract clients to their map and industry service to earn money.
The two received 28,000 dollars from their father to start the company, but that was quickly spent on office rent, software licenses, and technical equipment. Money for renting an apartment was therefore not leftover. So the brothers decided to make the office their home for the first three months. They slept on a couch or beanbag and showered at a YMCA youth hostel. With no kitchen and extreme work hours, they also ate at Jack in the Box, which was open around the clock, up to four times a day.
8. Elon Musk made the leap from backpacker in Canada to multimillionaire at 27 in less than eleven years.
After Zip2 was able to secure venture capital and kept growing, the company caught the attention of PC manufacturer Compaq. In 1999, they offered 307 million dollars for the acquisition and Zip2 accepted the deal. In February 1988, Zip2 merged into Compaq and Elon Musk received 22 million dollars from the proceeds, while his brother Kimbal got 15 million dollars. Thus, ten years and eight months had passed since he entered Canada in June 1988 – a remarkably short period of time to rise from immigrant to multimillionaire.
Elon Musk revolutionizes the financial sector
9. After selling his first company – the Zip2 company – in 1999, Elon Musk bought a McLaren F1 for a million dollars – and destroyed it in an accident a year later.
First, from the 22 million dollars Elon Musk made selling Zip2, he bought a 170-square-foot apartment and renovated it. But the icing on the cake, on the deal with Compaq, was the McLaren F1, which he let himself cost a million dollars. Full of pride, he drove the super sports car over the streets of California. One day, as a joke, he even called Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and suggested he race it since he also owned a McLaren F1. He accepted!
But his joy in the car was to come to an abrupt end. Like Icarus, Elon Musk came a little too close to the sun when he drove his McLaren along Sand Hill Road in 2000, trying to impress investor Peter Thiel in the passenger seat. Thiel, in fact, asked what the car could do, whereupon Musk hit the gas pedal full on. He lost control, drove into oncoming traffic, and landed on an embankment. The bodywork was badly damaged in the process, while the windows and wheels were completely destroyed. Elon commented on the crash, saying, “The funny thing is that he’s not even insured.”
10. While Elon Musk was still in the process of selling his first company in February 1999, he was planning the founding of X.com, which took place in March 1999.
At a time when the Internet was far from reaching everyone, AOL was eagerly offering free CDs everywhere, and people were just getting used to buying books online, Elon Musk was musing about opening an online bank. While the sale of Zip2 was being processed, he was already trying to get the most capable programmers interested in his new project, so that they might follow him there.
In addition, he contacted acquaintances in the banking business to gain even more knowledge about the industry and eventually founded X.com. He invested a whopping 12 million dollars in his financial startup, which speaks to his incredible courage and willingness to take risks. Silicon Valley was shocked at the time by so much recklessness – especially with a seemingly absurd idea like an online bank. Only an online hairdresser would have seemed sillier to them.
11. Elon Musk is a co-founder of Paypal.
After Elon Musk founded X.Com in 1999, the revolutionization of banking went poorly. Regulatory rules seemed to make an online bank almost impossible, so his co-founder and banking expert Harris Fricker took leave and persuaded key employees to follow him. His approach was less visionary than Musk’s but more realistic, so he started his own company. But Musk persevered and launched a promotional tour of Silicon Valley that brought him new investors as well as capable developers. With the fresh blood, the website was able to grow and eventually received a banking license as well as an investment fund license.
But a fast-growing competitor had emerged in the market. Confinity – founded by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin – was vying with X.com for new users. Elon Musk and his team worked up to 20 hours a day, always coming up with new promotions to maximize the pace of growth. In March 2000, after both companies realized that this mode of operation would only end up ruining both payment service providers, they merged. Since Confinity had a great product with its PayPal service, which was already being used on eBay, but had to pay 100,000 dollars a day for new customer rewards, their finances were in bad shape. Elon Musk and X.com, on the other hand, had ample reserves, so Musk emerged as the largest shareholder in the merger. This also meant that the company name X.com was retained, while Confinity disappeared into oblivion. The service PayPal – today’s primus among online payment systems – remained, however, and was chosen as the company name in June 2001, at the same time becoming the leading brand.
12. Elon Musk lost his CEO title at X.com when he honeymooned with his wife Justine.
When Elon Musk took his girlfriend Justine Wilson as his wife in January 2000, you were left with no room for a honeymoon due to the turbulent times at X.com. But since Musk had to travel to Sydney on business anyway nine months later to raise fresh capital from investors, the recently married couple combined the pleasant with the useful. But in the end, Musk’s honeymoon proved to be his undoing. Because Max Levchin and Peter Thiel were apparently unhappy with Musk’s leadership and still met in the office evening to dismiss Musk. By the time Elon Musk’s feet touched Australian soil, he had already been replaced by Peter Thiel as CEO. Without detour, he boarded the next plane, but it was too late. They could not be changed, so he could only accept the decision.
Years later, he summed up that what was most important to him was that urgent tasks were addressed. After Thiel assured him of this, he no longer took the loss of power so seriously. He even continued to put money into the company in the next months and thus further expanded his position as a shareholder. When PayPal was sold to eBay for 1.5 billion dollars in July 2002, Musk received an impressive 250 million dollars for his shares.
13. It wasn’t until he was 31, in 2002, that Elon Musk became an American citizen.
Elon Musk had no birthright to U.S. citizenship, as neither his father nor his mother was born in the land of opportunity. But at least the journey to the far north was open to him through his Canadian-born mother. He took the next step toward a green card by enrolling in and graduating from a U.S. university. In this way, he hoped to get an employer and thus an H1-B visa through his studies. However, students on visas are not allowed to be employed and workers are not allowed to study. However, they are allowed to start a business, which Elon Musk did with Zip2 in 1995. Due to the growing success, the brothers received venture capital from investors who subsequently learned of Musk’s residency status. So in 1997, they helped him get at least an investor green card (EB-5 immigrant investors).
So Elon Musk lived in the U.S. for five years on this visa, fulfilling the requirements for the naturalization process (Naturalization Process). Anyone who lives permanently in the U.S. for at least five years and fulfills a number of other formalities can become a U.S. citizen. This was exactly the case with Elon Musk so that he finally became a full U.S. citizen in 2002.
Space X: Elon Musk revolutionizes the space sector
14. Elon Musk is convinced that humanity can only survive if it can set up colonies on other planets. Among other things, this thought drove him to found SpaceX.
After revolutionizing the Internet with Zip2 and PayPal in particular, Elon Musk decided to conquer space when he founded his next company. Founded in 2002, the space company SpaceX has the official goal to reduce the cost of space travel and make life on other planets possible. That’s because he’s been excited about rockets and space since he was a kid. It started with science fiction literature, but the young Musk developed what he read in his head into complex fantasies, from which he drew the conclusion that humanity needed to become a multi-planetary species to ensure its existence. Since comic books are always about saving the world, Musk later told his biographer Ashlee Vance,
“I got the feeling that you should try to make the world a better place because the opposite wouldn’t make sense.”Elon Musk to his biographer Ashlee Vance. (Source: “Elon Musk: How Elon Musk Changed the World – The Biography.”)
15. Elon Musk’s plan to build his own missiles was born when the Russians would only let him have intercontinental ballistic missiles at a price that exceeded his budget.
Elon Musk, after selling his PayPal shares, joined the Mars Society in Los Angeles, dedicated to exploring and colonizing the Red Planet. He immediately donated 100,000 dollars to fund a research station in the desert and got himself elected to the society’s board. In the following discussions, the group’s ideas initially revolved around bringing mice all the way to Mars, where they would even reproduce and come back. But they discarded the idea and instead devoted themselves to the Mars Oasis project, which was to realize the cultivation of plants on Mars. So Elon Musk had some thinkers who believed in his plan to construct a plant chamber for Mars that could be transported there by rocket. For this, he enlisted the help of Jim Cantrell, who used to do some secret missions for different governments.
Together with Musk’s best friend Adeo Ressi, the two traveled to Russia to buy a refurbished intercontinental ballistic missile. Shortly thereafter, Michael Griffin, the later head of NASA also joined the team. But subsequent discussions with several Russian companies proved difficult. For one thing, Musk and his crew weren’t taken seriously by the Russians, and for another, Musk felt the eight million dollar price tag that was raised was too high – he wanted two rockets at that price. So the four withdrew at the end of February 2002 and headed for home. While Griffin and Cantrell had a few drinks on the flight home, Elon Musk was already poring over his laptop in the row in front of them. He turned around and said:
“Hey guys, I think we can build the rocket ourselves.”
He showed his fellows a detailed table listing all the parts needed to build a small rocket, including costs. In doing so, he concluded that he could offer rockets much more cheaply than the market did at the time. By making space travel more affordable, he hoped to get more people interested in exploring space again. Musk’s initial interest focused on building a small rocket that would later be used to transport satellites or research projects into orbit. For help, he enlisted Tom Mueller, an engineer and amateur rocket builder, who independently built an 80-pound engine that delivered a whopping 13,000 pounds of thrust. In June 2002, Elon Musk eventually founded Space Exploration Technologies and brought some of his previous companions on board.
16. With the successful entry of the “Falcon 1” rocket into the Earth’s atmosphere in September 2008, SpaceX became the first private space company to achieve this.
Construction of the “Falcon 1” began in an old warehouse in El Segundo, a suburb of Los Angeles. Elon Musk had – as would later become his trademark – the floor concreted and covered with glossy epoxy, while the walls were painted entirely in white to give the factory a clean and modern feel. At the same time, he hired a number of employees who were inculcated with the idea that SpaceX had to operate like a mass-market airline. To do this, he initially wanted to manufacture only the engines himself and buy in the other parts of a rocket to assemble. In this way, the team hoped to stay ahead of the competition on price by leveraging advances in materials research and other areas, as well as cost pressures and lean management.
Elon Musk was able to show the public just how well the homebuilt rocket worked on September 28, 2008. With the successful launch of the first Falcon rocket, SpaceX became the first private company to succeed in reaching orbit.
17. The name “Falcon 1” for the first rocket from Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX is reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon from “Star Wars”
To highlight the technological ambition of the endeavor, he named the rocket after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars and gave it the name Falcon 1. Moreover, this naming again shows Musk’s fascination with science fiction.
18. The “Dragon” space capsule, developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is the first commercial space capsule to dock with the International Space Station (ISS)
The reusable Dragon space capsule is another milestone in the history of SpaceX and, by extension, private spaceflight. It was designed to carry cargo to the International Space Station. After four years of development, it was successfully launched into orbit by a “Falcon 9” rocket in December 2010, with the capsule’s manufacturing cost less than 10 percent of what other companies would need to produce such a space capsule. Less than two years later, SpaceX again achieved the seemingly impossible. On May 22, 2012, the Dragon space capsule actually docked with the ISS and stayed there for six days. This made SpaceX the first privately-owned spaceflight company to receive this honor.
After the glorious docking attempt and further successful test and resupply missions, the capsule was further developed into the Dragon II. While the first version could only dock with the ISS with the help of a robotic arm, the Dragon II succeeds in this maneuver completely autonomously. But the update also brings a further record. Since the Dragon II is produced not only as a cargo Dragon but also as a crew Dragon, SpaceX is thus able to transport astronauts to the ISS as well. The company first celebrated this achievement on May 31, 2020, which was also a first in private spaceflight.
The space capsule fits into Elon Musk’s master plan just as well as any of his other ventures. That’s because his goal is still to colonize Mars, and to do so will require transporting countless tons of materials and equipment to the red planet as well as the people who will operate a colony there.
19. With the “Falcon Heavy,” Elon Musk built a rocket at his SpaceX company that can carry 70 short tons of payload into space – twice as much as its most powerful competitor, but at a third of the cost.
After the successful launch of the Falcon 1 in 2002 and the successful maiden flight of its successor Falcon 9 in June 2009, a media spectacle of a special kind followed on February 6, 2018. For not only did SpaceX successfully launch its “Falcon Heavy” rocket into orbit, but it even carried a bright red Tesla Roadster in it. Once again, however, the private aerospace company pulled ahead of the competition, as Falcon Heavy generates 5.5 million pounds (2.5 million kilograms) of thrust and can carry a payload of 142,000 pounds (64,000 kilograms). So the gem is more than twice as powerful as the competition’s best rocket, the Delta IV Heavy Rocket from the United Launch Alliance. However, Falcon Heavy also scores on the cost side. While the Delta IV Heavy Rocket costs 350 million dollars, the Falcon Heavy costs between 150 million dollars and 100 million dollars. By reusing the boosters, the cost goes down even further! That’s the only way to explain the fabulous retail price of 99 million dollars that the U.S. Space Force is paying for the planned launch in early 2022.
20. Thanks to Elon Musk, parts of “Iron Man 2” were allowed to be shot for free at SpaceX. When Justin Hammer shows Russian Ivan Vanko his weapons manufacturing facility, they actually walk through a SpaceX factory.
Whoever is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has surely seen Iron Man 2. If you’re also familiar with Elon Musk, you’ll have been pleased to see his cameo at the beginning of the film in Monaco. However, another detail has most likely escaped most MCU followers. When Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) walks through his factory with Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), they actually find themselves in a SpaceX production hall. Elon Musk let the team shoot on his premises free of charge, and if you look closely, you’ll even spot a prone “Falcon 9” rocket in the background.
21. Robert Downey Jr. drew inspiration for his portrayal of Tony Stark in “Iron Man” from Elon Musk, among others. He even had a prototype Tesla roadster placed in the fictional character’s garage.
Elon Musk can be described without exaggeration as a child prodigy and a first-class entrepreneur of genius character. He lives for his work, is a billionaire, and leads an exciting life. This description applies not only to the legendary SpaceX founder but also to Tony Stark from Iron Man – apart from the fact that he inherited his company from his father. But by building the “Iron Man” suit in a cave in Afghanistan, he too created technological progress out of thin air. Robert Downey Jr. brilliantly embodied Iron Man, stating that Elon Musk was the real-life model for his portrayal of the swashbuckling philanthropist in the process.
When Robert Downey Jr. first learned of Musk and his state-of-the-art factory complex near the filming location, he was eager to meet with him. Elon Musk willingly showed him his manufacturing facilities, which Robert Downey Jr. later commented thus:
“I’m not easily impressed, but this place and this guy were amazing.”Robert Downey Jr. in “The True Story of Elon Musk, Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark” by Ashlee Vance
Not least because of this, Robert Downey Jr. had his director Jon Favreau place a Tesla Roadster in Tony Stark’s garage.
Elon Musk revolutionizes transportation
22. Elon Musk was not the actual founder of Tesla, but is only allowed to call himself co-founder thanks to a court settlement.
Elon Musk was not the actual founder of Tesla, because originally Tesla, Inc. was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning under the name Tesla Motors. Of course, the name of the company is derived from the legendary and brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla.
Elon Musk himself joined in February 2004 after he became interested in electric vehicles. He took a 6.5 million dollars stake in the company, becoming its largest shareholder. It wasn’t until a later court settlement that Elon Musk was allowed to call himself a co-founder – as well as Tesla’s third employee Ian Wright and Chief Technical Officer Jeffrey Brian Straubing – because of his significant stake in the company’s success.
23. Elon Musk’s idea to build the high-speed technology “Hyperloop” is being researched and tested by several companies. However, he himself is not involved in any of the projects.
In August 2013, Elon Musk presented a concept for a groundbreaking means of transportation in a white paper. The Hyperloop is a mode of transportation in which special transport capsules travel on air cushions in a system of vacuum tubes at sonic speeds between major cities such as San Fransisco and Los Angeles. However, the tubes were still not intended to replace airplanes because of their high speed. Instead, Musk had high-traffic routes in mind that were less than 1,000 miles long. For destinations farther away, the cost of operating and laying the tubes increased too much.
He got the idea when the Bullet Train express train project planned for California did not meet his expectations and cost a lot of money to boot. However, he did not actually intend to build a working system himself. Rather, he could envision funding or consulting on a project, or even removing a prototype himself to prove that the technology could work. Because of the uproar created around the forward-thinking idea, Musk was even allowed to discuss his thinking with President Barack Obama – and managed to get him excited about the idea. But since SpaceX and Tesla demanded Musk’s full attention at the time, he kept a low profile, leaving only his confidants Shervin Pishevar, Kevin Brogan and David Sachs to found the company Hyperloop Technologies Inc. The goal was to build the first hyperloop link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, which would reduce travel time on that route to ten minutes thanks to speeds of 745 miles per hour (1,200 kilometers per hour).
In addition to Hyperloop Technologies, which now calls itself Virgin Hyperloop, there are several competitors, but few others have made it past the concept stage. One company that has overcome this hurdle, however, is Zeleros in Spain. Just like Virgin Hyperloop, they were able to build a successful test track, even though both companies are nowhere near the targeted speed of over 620 miles per hour (1,000 kilometers per hour).
24. With his tunneling company, The Boring Company, Elon Musk wants to cut tunneling costs to ten percent to make the Hyperloop and other infrastructure projects feasible.
On December 17, 2016, another company joined Elon Musk’s impressive founding story. The Boring Company is dedicated to tunneling, and much like SpaceX, Elon Musk wants to cut costs by a factor of ten in this area as well. He came up with the idea of a tunneling company as he spent countless hours in seemingly endless traffic jams in Los Angeles. He thought about how traffic in urban regions could be optimized, and so the idea of underground traffic routes matured in him. Moreover, tunnels are a cornerstone in the Hyperloop concept, even if Musk himself is not actively involved in the development of revolutionary transport technology.
To solve the traffic problem, The Boring Company wants to build complex tunnel systems designed to allow road users to drive onto a transport lift at the edge of normal roads. This transports the car into an underground tunnel system, where the platform and vehicle hurtle through the tubes at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour). A test system with a length of 1.6 miles (three kilometers) was already set up in Hawthorne at the end of 2017.
Another reason for founding the company was Elon Musk’s firm belief in one day colonizing Mars, which should be easier with good tunneling technology. That’s because, on Mars, dwellings and pathways or roads will likely have to be built underground, as the thin atmosphere allows meteorites to pass through easily. So buildings and transportation routes would be much better protected from impacts.
But the company not only offers complex solutions, but it also drills pedestrian tunnels as well as utility shafts and empty tubes for flexible use. This latest startup again shows that Musk always has the big picture in mind and that all companies must be understood as a network of solutions to the problems of our time. In the following video, it is easy to see that his concept works, as bold as it may sound at first.
More facts about Elon Musk
25. Just like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other super-rich people, Elon Musk has also pledged as part of “The Giving Pledge” to donate a large part of his fortune to philanthropic causes after his death.
26. Elon Musk’s father fathered a child with his stepdaughter in 2017.
27. Elon Musk married his former wife Talulah Riley twice and also divorced her twice.
28. Elon Musk’s foundation – the Musk Foundation – financed the construction of an observatory in the Utah desert. The Musk Observatory is used exclusively for observing the sun.
29. Elon Musk is launching Internet satellites into space with SpaceX at a cost of 50 million dollars, but only has a cost of five million dollars to do so.
30. Elon Musk is the founder or co-founder of seven companies to date: Zip2, X.com (later PayPal), SpaceX, Tesla, Tesla Energy, Neuralink, and The Boring Company.
31. When naming his son Xavier, Elon Musk was inspired by Professor Xavier from the X-Men.
32. For a million dollars, Elon Musk bought “Wet Nellie” – the white Amphibian vehicle based on the “Lotus Esprit” from “James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me.”
33. There is an episode in the 26th season of “The Simpsons” in which Elon Musk visits Springfield and uses Homer as inspiration for new inventions.
34. Elon Musk’s son Nevada Alexander Musk died of sudden infant death syndrome just ten weeks after his birth.
35. Elon Musk has six living children: twin brothers Xavier and Griffin, triplet brothers Kai, Saxon, and Damian, and his sixth son X Æ A-12.
36. During the early days at SpaceX, Elon Musk received crazy emails, for example with construction plans for a Perpetuum Mobile or the idea of a giant inflatable rabbit that can be used to plug oil leaks.
37. Multi-billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk was a regular at the Burning Man festival.
38. Elon Musk established after-hours first-person shooter sessions at his self-founded space company SpaceX. His game name was “Random9.
39. During SpaceX’s regular rocket tests in Texas, the cows grazing nearby reacted by running protective mechanisms in circles – the small animals inside. In addition to the many instruments to monitor the test, Elon Musk then had a “cow-cam” installed to track this event as well.
40. When he was on vacation in South Africa with his family, Elon Musk almost died of malaria. He lost 44 pounds (20 kilograms) and needed six months to recover. He concluded that “taking a vacation will kill you.
41. Elon Musk has built the first rocket engine made by 3D printing.
42. At SpaceX, Elon Musk regularly had numerous people and lots of material transported from the site in California to the test site in Texas in preparation for new rocket launches. This wagon train soon became known as the “Texas Cattle Haul”.
43. SpaceX, under Elon Musk, built the first rocket that can be partially reused. The Falcon 9 consists of two stages, the first of which can be landed back on Earth after use.
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