What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Elon Musk, created by Newslines contributors. Help it grow by finding and summarising news. Learn more
Elon Musk is a South-African born Canadian-American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur, born in 1971. He was a co-founder of PayPal, which was sold to Ebay for $1.5 billion. He then founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors. He is chief executive and chief designer at SpaceX and CEO and head of product design at Tesla and chairman of Solar City.
Trading in Twitter shares is halted as the stock spiked following reports that Musk is planning to buy the company for his original offer price of $54.20 per share. The shares had been up by 13% at $47.95 before trading was paused following the news. Twitter and Musk were due to be in court later this month as the company attempted to hold Musk to his original $44bn offer, made in April.
Musk had wanted to back out of the deal over the number of bot accounts on the platform, which he said was above Twitter’s estimate of 5% of users. The takeover deal has already received approval from Twitter shareholders.
Lithuanian’s president responds to Musk’s second poll, asking if the people who live in Donbas & Crimea should decide whether they live in Russia or Ukraine:
Dear @elonmusk, when someone tries to steal the wheels of your Tesla, it doesn’t make them legal owner of the car or of the wheels. Even though they claim both voted in favor of it. Just saying.
Dear @elonmusk, when someone tries to steal the wheels of your Tesla, it doesn't make them legal owner of the car or of the wheels. Even though they claim both voted in favor of it. Just saying. https://t.co/0eEjCydqu1
After Musk posts that three likely outcomes of the Ukraine War would be: Crimea be given permanently to Russia; that the four areas annexed by Russia after sham referendums in September 2020, be given new UN-monitored referendums; and that Ukraine should remain neutral and not join NATO, Melnyk, Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, says:
F— off is my very diplomatic reply to you. The only outcome is that now no Ukrainian will EVER buy your f…ing tesla crap. So good luck to you.
Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk
At Tesla’s AI Day, Musk is asked what advice he would give to his younger self. In addition to saying he would join Tesla; Musk says he would try to expose himself to as many smart people as possible and read a lot of books.
I think there is some merit to just also just not being necessarily too intense, like enjoying the moment a bit more. I would say to 20 something me to stop and smell the roses occasionally probably would be a good idea.
Recalling an incident when SpaceX was developing the Falcon 1 rocket on a beautiful island, he said that during the entire time he didn’t have a drink on the beach,
I should have had a drink on the beach. That would have been fine.
Florida Governor DeSantis says Musk has agreed to provide Starlink to help in response to Hurricane Ian in areas of Southwest Florida still without power and internet after the superstorm. SpaceX plans to send 120 “large Starlink units” to Florida, which will serve as satellite dishes to distribute internet connections to devices within a 13-mile radius. Use by search and rescue crews will be prioritized. Starlink is covering all costs. DeSantis:
We are working with Elon Musk and Starlink satellite. They are positioning those Starlink satellites to provide good coverage in Southwest Florida and other affected areas.
Musk unveils the humanoid Telsa Optimus Robot at Tesla AI Day. He shows a walking production prototype, plus one that uses Tesla actuators. Musk says the robot will be produced at scale and will cost less than a family car.
We’ve designed it using the same discipline that we use when designing the car, which is to design it for manufacturing, so it’s possible to make the robot at high volume at low cost, with high reliability. That’s incredibly important. We’ve all seen very impressive humanoid robot demonstrations. But what are they missing? They’re missing a brain. They don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves. They’re also very expensive and made in low volume, whereas Optimus is an extremely capable robot, but it’s made in very high volume, ultimately millions of units. It’s expected to cost much less than a car, probably less than $20,000.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says its request for 371 photos of monkeys that were subjected to Neuralink brain implant technology experiments, which took place at US Davis’s veterinary lab facilities, has been refused by the university, which says they are proprietary. Earlier this year, Neuralink said that a fifth of the 23 rhesus macaques monkeys it used to test its brain-hacking implants had been euthanized after developing infections and malfunctions. Neuralink paid UC Davis $1.4 million to use its facilities between 2017 and 2020. PCRM:
UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at. But it’s clear the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died.
According to texts revealed in discovery, Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, tried to get Elon Musk on Twitter’s board, but could not do so because he claimed the company’s directors were too risk averse. In a text message to Musk on March 26, Dorsey wrote:
The board is just super risk averse and saw adding you as more risk.
Dorsey said he thought the board’s approach “was completely stupid and backwards.” But said his power was limited because he only had one vote, and 3% of company, and no dual class shares. A little over a week later, Musk announced plans to join the board, before he decided to make an offer to buy the company.
And, after a Twitter user suggests Cybertruck would put the San Francisco Bay Ferry out of business, they responded:
Announcement: to prepare for the inevitability of the Nintendo 64 floatie truck flotilla rendering us obsolete, we’re adding little wheels to our ferries. Landboat will be able to serve brief as a bus, so it can cross bridges, parking lots and highways that are not too congested
Announcement: to prepare for the inevitability of the Nintendo 64 floatie truck flotilla rendering us obsolete, we're adding little wheels to our ferries. Landboat will be able to serve brief as a bus, so it can cross bridges, parking lots and highways that are not too congested.
Musk says the Cybertruck will be able to cross rivers, lakes, and seas, because it will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat. The Cybertruck would need to be able to scale the 6.5-mile float from Starbase to South Padre Island for SpaceX-related logistics activities. Musk did not disclose any indication of how the Cybertruck would be propelled, nor did he give any estimates as to what speed he would expect it to travel, although the Cybertruck as a boat would likely travel between 5 and 10 knots.
Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren’t too choppy.
Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel
Musk teases Tesla’s second AI Day, which will showcase the company’s artificial intelligence programs. The event runs from 5 to 11pm PST on September 30, 2022.
There will be lots of technical detail & cool hardware demos.
Expected technology reverals include the Hardware 4 computer and The Tesla Bot. He also responds to a Twitter user that, despite the expectation of a luckwarm response by the media:
AI/robotics engineers who understand what problems need to be solved will like what they see. As well as advanced chip & supercomputer engineers for next-gen training & inference. Note, this event is meant for recruiting AI & robotics engineers, so will be highly technical.
Pretty much. AI/robotics engineers who understand what problems need to be solved will like what they see.
A Tesla job listing for a mechatronic technician says the company wants thousands of humanoid robots in its factories:
Tesla is on a path to build humanoid bi-pedal robots at scale to automate repetitive and boring tasks. Most importantly, you will see your work repeatedly shipped to and utilized by thousands of Humanoid Robots within our factories.
The company’s Autopilot Division aims to hire 20 software and firmware engineers, deep learning scientists, actuator technicians, and internships, to work on its Optimus humanoid robot. Musk wants the robot to work beyond car production and do household chores and care work in millions of households.
Musk asks for the term in his his 2018 consent decree with the SEC, that requires a company lawyer to pre-approve his Twitter communication, to be thrown out, arguing that it is “contrary to the American principles of free speech and open debate”.
The consent decree required Musk to step down as Tesla’s chairman; elect two new members to the company’s board; pay a $20 million penalty, plus a further $20 million form Tesla; establish a new committee of independent directors; and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications.
In April, after requesting the agreement be abolished, U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman refused to throw out the decree because Musk entered the terms of the decree “knowingly and willingly.” This time, Musk’s attorneys argue that the SEC’s review has become more invasive:
Under the shadow of the consent decree, the SEC has increasingly surveilled, policed, and attempted to curb Mr. Musk’s protected speech that does not touch upon the federal securities laws. Any objective served by the pre-approval provision has been served.
During discovery for the upcoming trial, lawyers for Twitter say Musk’s review of Twitter’s accounts by his advisers do not back up his allegation that the number of fake users was “wildly higher” than 5% as he claimed when he said he was ending the Twitter takeover deal in July. Musk claimed Twitter had misled him, allowing him to walk away without penalty from the deal. The lawyer says that two documents created by the two data scientists employed by Musk estimated that the number of fake accounts on the platform at 5.3% and 11%.
None of these analyses so far as we can tell remotely supported what Mr. Musk told Twitter and told the world in the termination letter.
Musk posts a meme, superimposing NASA’s logo on Will Smith striking Chris Rock’s face covered with an image of the asteroid Dimorphos, mirroring the impact of the DART asteroid redirection test, which hit the space rock at 14,000 mph.
Twitter’s lawyers have accused Musk of destruction of evidence, citing a screenshot of a conversation between Musk and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen on Signal, a messaging app that includes a feature that deletes messages after some time.
Musk deleted these messages because he anticipated litigation and he knew that they would undermine his counterclaims and defenses.
The same court filing also showed that Musk exchanged multiple text messages with Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison, starting May 12 through 12:20 a.m. on May 13, which was just hours before he announced that he was pausing his attempt to acquire the social media company.
Twitter’s legal team has complained that despite a subpeona, the Tesla CEO has not really provided the relevant text messages between Musk and Ellison.
Both Ellison and Andreessen have backed Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter. Andreessen’s VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, backed Musk with $400 million, while Ellison was one of 19 investors who committed a whopping $7.14 billion for the potential acquisition.
In an email to staff, the car company says it is expecting a high volume of deliveries in Q3 and asks all employees, even those who don’t work in the sales and delivery department, to help with delivery tasks, include moving vehicles around, washing and preparing vehicles, delivering vehicles directly to customers, and answering customer questions on delivery day.
We will be delivering a very high volume of vehicles to eagerly waiting customers during the final days of Q3. To help ensure we can delight as many customers as possible, the delivery team is requesting additional support with key delivery-execution tasks.
The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority says Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has offered an additional $15 million to finance the San Antonio Loop, increasing its initial offer of $27 million to $45 million to support the first phase of the project. Alamo RMA:
That’s a lot of money that’s not coming from taxpayers to improve community transportation. I don’t see anybody else coming and giving us $50 million that’s not funding by taxpayers in some way, shape or form..
The 7.6 mile tunnel is expected to generate a net revenue of $25 million per year from 112,000 commuters daily, with fares between $10 to $13 per passenger.
A report from China says Tesla is targeting deliveries of about 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles domestically this month, despite insurance data from previous weeks suggesting that Tesla seemed to be having delivery challenges in the country. The report says that shorter waiting times mean scalpers who had bought the cars in hope of a large profit will now be undercut as Tesla customers wait for a possible October price cut. Estimates in China reportedly suggest that Tesla will reduce its Model 3 prices by RMB 20,000 ($2,700) and the Model Y by RMB 28,000 ($3,900). Report:
There is a tradition of price reduction: Historically, Tesla has been ahead of the market regardless of whether the price has been raised or lowered. There is room for price reduction: Tesla’s 22Q2 single-vehicle profit is 8,000+ US dollars, and its 22Q3 single-vehicle net profit hits 13,000 US dollars, equivalent to 80,000 yuan, which is extremely profitable.
$TSLA Giga Shanghai Q3 expecting 80-90k. And the main reason why wait time is now 1-4 weeks or 1-8 weeks because there are lots of scalper who booked earlier and resell it a the large profits. Now these scalper delayed delivery is quite serious. pic.twitter.com/9C2EhKBFgl
After its recent launch of 52 Starlink satellites, Musk announces that SpaceX has manufactured one million Starlink terminals. The one-million milestone has been achieved less than two years after Starlink began taking pre-orders for the satellite broadband service in February 2021.
Musk posts a picture of himself with former girlfriend Grimes, in costumes they donned for a Saturday Night Live episode in May 2021. Musk contrasts the picture with one of animated Mario and Princess Peach sitting at the edge of a castle roof, with the caption:
Of course, there’s no way to prove we’re living in a simulation
Musk has talked about the possibility of humans living inside a simulation previously, on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast in 2018, and in November 2021. The simulation hypothesis is promoted by scientists. including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Sandrine Rousseau, a Greens party MP, who has been called ‘the fiercest feminist in France’, says Musk is the model of white alpha males responsible for human suffering and climate disaster.
Elon Musk is the archetype of the conquering male entrepreneur who should be considered one of the greatest environmental killers of all time.
Rousseau, 50, has made international headlines this year with calls for an end to barbecues as a symbol of world-destroying “virility” and for the creation of a criminal offence of failing to share housework.
SpaceX launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit, on a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was SpaceX’s 43rd orbital mission this year. Viewers close by the launchpad witnessed Falcon 9’s first stage falling back to Earth for a soft landing atop the SpaceX droneship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The company has already sent nearly 3,400 Starlinks into space and has a plan to bring thousands more aloft.
Trump and Pence meet with tech industry leaders at Trump Tower. Trump:
This is a truly amazing group of people. I won’t tell you the hundreds of calls we’ve had asking to come to this meeting. I’m here to help you folks do well. And you’re doing well right now and I’m very honored by the bounce. They’re all talking about the bounce. So right now everybody in this room has to like me — at least a little bit — but we’re going to try and have that bounce continue.
SpaceX lands the first stage of its Falcon 9 booster on a pad at Cape Canaveral, eleven minutes after the rocket launched. The control room fills with cheers and chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A”. The space-bound section of the rocket successfully delivers 11 satellites. CEO Musk says he is optimistic that Falcon re-flights will become “pretty straightforward,” and will make sense because of the roughly $60 million cost to build a Falcon 9, only about $200,000 is propellant that can’t be recovered. The bulk of the cost is embedded in the first stage and its nine Merlin engines.
I imagine that we’re going to have a whole fleet of booster rockets accumulating quite rapidly. Then we’ll figure out how to make the reuse as easy as possible, so that really no work is required between reuses, apart from refilling the propellant tanks.
In an interview with GQ, Musk says a Mars mission is important to help ensure the long term survival of mankind. He says he will announce detailed plans of the Mars Colonisation Transport programme in 2016.
You back up your hard drive…. Maybe we should back up life, too? I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology. There’s also growth in religious extremism. Like, I mean, does ISIS grow…?
Tesla launches a beta version of Autopilot, which will be available on Thursday. All vehicles from September 2014 will be given the feature. Vehicles will rely on four major sensor systems. Ultrasonic sensors that tell the computer what’s around a 16-ft perimeter of the car; a forward-facing camera that helps determine where the lanes are and what cars are ahead of it, and which can also read speed signs; forward radar that’s used to detect fast-moving objects and which can see through rain, fog, and dust, as well as pulling from GPS and high-precision digital maps. Musk says it’s very important that people “exercise caution” and that they keep their hands on the wheel.
I don’t think that we have anything to worry about with cars driving themselves. They’re not going to take over the world…Each driver is a trainer in how the autopilot should work.
In New York City’s Times Square, Musk and Solar City introduce what they claim is the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving a peak efficiency of 22.04%, 30-40% more power than current panels. The rating is verified by the Renewable Energy Test Center. The panels are cheap enough that the company can make money off of them even if government tax break policies expire. CTO Rive:
That’s been the singular focus of the company… to continue to get the costs down. I’m really excited about this… it’s the best solar panel on the planet and it empowers us from 2017 and beyond to control our own destiny.
Musk says that third-party panel manufacturers were happy to make a standard efficiency 15% panel year-over-year.
So we thought we had to make our own panels. I like counter-intuitive moves. I thought people would think, at the time, ‘Wow, that’s stupid,’ [which made me think], ‘That’s probably a good idea.’
Musk launches the Model X SUV. The car can seat seven, has rear upward-opening “falcon” doors, and with the “ludicrous” option can reach 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds. The car also has a “bioweapon defense mode,” an advanced HEPA air filter that will clean any viruses out of the air. The car also has the best safety ratings of any SUV, a result of its low center of gravity and lack of a traditional engine. The Model X 90D costs $132,000, with a range of 257 miles and 0-60 of about 3.7 seconds; the P90D runs $142,000, 250 miles and 3.2-second acceleration.
If there’s ever a bioweapon attack, the safest place is your car. There’s actually a ‘bioweapon defense mode’ right there in the HVAC. We figure you shouldn’t have to think if you’re in an emergency.
Musk says a support strut holding one of the helium tanks likely fractured near a bolt attach point, and wanted to move to the top of the Falcon 9’s second stage. Several helium tanks, each pressurized to about 5,500 pounds per square inch, are mounted inside the rocket’s second stage liquid oxygen tank. The helium is routed through the second stage’s Merlin engine, where the helium warms up and injected into the rocket’s propellant tanks to pressurize the stage as the launcher burns fuel, keeping the tanks structurally sound. Musk:
It may seem sort of counterintuitive that, as the rocket’s accelerating, that something immersed in the tank would actually want to go up more, but that’s basically what happened. The buoyancy increases proportionate to the G-loading. At approximately 3.2 Gs, this strut holding down one of the helium bottles appears to have snapped, and as a result, releasing a lot of helium into the upper stage oxygen tank and causing an over-pressure event quite quickly…Within the course of a second, this caused enough helium to be released, we believe, to over-pressurize the liquid oxygen tank in the upper stage. You don’t really need to release a lot of helium because there’s only about 2 percent gaseous volume in the stage because the upper stage propellant is not being consumed.
Musk announces “Ludicrous Speed,” a $10,000 upgrade for the P85D Model S. The upgrade improves 0-60 time by 10 percent, to 2.8 seconds, with a quarter-mile sprint dropping to 10.9 seconds. The top speed increases to 155 miles per hour, 20 percent faster than on a standard P85D. The Model X will also have Ludicrous Speed as an option, but because that vehicle is 10 percent heavier than the S it will be slower.
A SpaceX rocket on a mission to resupply the International Space Station explodes two minutes and thirty seconds into its flight from Cape Canaveral Florida. The Falcon 9 is carrying about 5,000 pounds of cargo for the space station’s astronauts, including a docking port that would allow future crew missions to dock with the station more easily. The launch was planned to be been the third attempt to land the first-stage booster safely on a barge in the Atlantic ocean. Initial reports said the vehicle had an “anomaly on ascent”, with Musk reporting that the craft experienced a problem shortly before first-stage shutdown related to an “over-pressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank”. NASA:
SpaceX has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in its first six cargo resupply missions to the station, and we know they can replicate that success. We will work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure and correct it to move forward. This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback.
in an earnings call Musk reveals a tentative schedule for the Model 3, which is expected to cost $35,000 before government subsidies, saying the company plans to unveil the model in March 2016, and a sale date of mid 2017, but probably later.
I mean, we are hoping to show off the Model 3 in approximately March of next year. Again, like, don’t hold me to that month, but that’s, like — that’s our aspiration.
SolarCity incorporates the Tesla battery into its DemandLogic energy storage system to increase the utility cost savings customers can realize from using stored solar electricity. DemandLogic, which is being adopted by several of the largest retail, biotech and Internet companies in the U.S., allows businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, and can also provide backup power during grid outages. DemandLogic’s management software automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize savings on utility demand charges for customers.
SpaceX successfully launches a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to theISS International Space Station. The attempted landing of the spent first stage on a barge in the Atlantic ocean is unsuccessful. The Falcon lands on the barge, but it tips over after the landing. Musk:
Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.
Musk tells the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium that AI is our biggest existential threat:
I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think 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. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.
Musk responds to an ad taken out in the Palo Alto Daily by two Tesla Model S owners who say they are ‘very satisfied’ but suggest some changes to the model such as blind spot monitors, voice activated dialing and a larger touchscreen, as well as minor cosmetic and ergonomic improvements including moving the position of cupholders:
Ad taken out in Palo Alto Daily by two Model S owners is right. Many of the suggestions will be implemented soon. pic.twitter.com/cF43PvJDgQ
At the annual Tesla general shareholders meeting Musk announces that he plans to stay on as CEO for four or five years, or at least through volume production of Gen 3, the mass market, $35,000-a-year car.
No one is a CEO forever. Eventually they carry you out.
At SpaceX headquarters, Musk unveils Dragon V2, a cone-shaped reusable capsule designed to carry cargo and up to seven astronauts at a time to and from the International Space Station. The first manned test flight for Dragon V2 is expected before the end of 2016. According to a SpaceX, Dragon V2 will touch down on land with the accuracy of a helicopter.
Webcomic The Oatmealasks Musk to donate $8 million to open a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the ‘mustache-donning, lightning-conjuring, electrical wonder-Jesus’ inventor. Creator Matt Inman has previously crowdfunded $1.37 million, enough to save the Tesla Science Center at Wardencliffe, but says this is insufficient to open an actual museum at the site, where Tesla’s laboratory is located among asbestos-laden buildings that need to be refurbished, restored or demolishe:
It’s been a year since we officially closed on Wardenclyffe, and after getting countless estimates from site planners, architects, and museum curators from all around the world, we determined that $8M is the bare minimum to build, staff, and maintain a Nikola Tesla Museum. While we’d be grateful for any amount, any less than $8M would pretty much leave us in the same boat we’re in now.
He posts an open letter to Musk from William Terbo, the last surviving Tesla family member who met Nikola before his 1943 death, and says that while Tesla’s name is open-source and Musk is not profiting from its use, but that the Tesla legacy needs help to survive:
This is not a demand or an accusation or a plea. It’s a polite request from a humongous fan … Help us build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.