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Elon Musk

Elon Musk69 posts

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.

28 Jun, 1971

Elon Musk born in Pretoria, South Africa

Birth

Elon Musk is born in Pretoria, the eldest child of South African engineer Errol and Maye, nee Haldeman, a Canadian fashion model. He spends part of his childhood in the suburb of Waterkloof and graduates from Pretoria Boys High School.

He reads for many hours a day during childhood and enjoys comic books and J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing. He discusses science and computers with his brother Kimbal, and sister, Tosca, and debates computers with his father, who divorces from his mother. Instead of hiring domestic help, the children do chores, unlike many other wealthy South African families at the time.

I guess I was a bit of an autocratic father – do this, do that…I was a single parent, and they simply had to help out.

He develops the ambition to migrate to the U.S. during childhood, to escape a South African society that he views as oppressive under apartheid.

Mar 1999

X.com

Musk founds X.com as an internet financial services company. He is company chair while Bill Harris, the former CEO of tax and accounting software creator Intuit.com, is president and CEO. Investment banker John Story also joins the company.

The site goes online in December 1999, and a marketing campaign offering $20 to new customers and $10 for new referrals attracts 100,000 customers in its first two months of operation.

Mar 2000

PayPal founded

PayPal is formed after online point-of-sale payments company X.com buys payments company Confinity. X.com stops its internet banking operations, and a Confinity system that focuses on payments transactions on personal digital assistants becomes the email-based PayPal system. The joint company is renamed PayPal and Elon Musk is its biggest shareholder.

19 May, 2009

Daimler buys stake, $550 million valuation

German automaker Daimler buys a 9% stake in Tesla Motors for $50 million.  The company’s post-money valuation is now $550 million.  Daimler also expands its partnership with the company to put electric batteries into Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  In a press release, Daimler says:

Tesla is the only production automaker selling a highway capable electric vehicle in North America and Europe.

22 Apr, 2011

Man on Mars

Interview

In an interview with the WSJ, Musk makes the case for an affordable electric car, the likelihood of his company SpaceX sending a man to Mars, and why he isn’t exactly like Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

I’ll put a man on Mars in 10 years

19 Jan, 2012

Musk, Riley divorce

Divorce

Musk announces that he and Riley are splitting after just over one year of marriage. Riley moved out of their Bel Air home six months ago. Musk:

We took some time apart for several months to see if absence makes the heart grow fonder, and unfortunately it did not, I still love her, but I’m not in love with her. And I can’t really give her what she wants.

11 Feb, 2013

Musk: NYT review is fake

Musk takes to twitter to denounce the NYT review as fake:

Musk notes in a later tweet that logging is not turned on for normal customers, only for journalists.

12 Feb, 2013

NYT: Not fake

John Broder responds to Musk’s accusation:

My account was not a fake. It happened just the way I described it.

Border also notes that Elon Musk called him before the article went up on the Web, to offer sympathy and regrets about the outcome of his test drive. He said that the East Coast charging stations should be 140 miles apart, not 200 miles, to take into account the traffic and temperature extremes in this part of the country. He also offered Broder a second chance at a test drive in a few months, after additional Supercharger stations come online.

13 Aug, 2013

Maxim Interview

Interview

Musk talks about coming along at the right time to start his business ventures:

Yeah, I feel like I’m here at the right time. If not for the Internet, where it’s possible to start with no capital and end up with a valuable company, it would have taken me a long time to build up these other businesses. It’s important to remember that being a good global citizen and a good businessman are not mutually exclusive.

30 Mar, 2014

60 Minutes interview

Interview

Scott Pelley profiles Musk on 60 Minutes:

If something’s important enough, you should try it even if the probable outcome is failure

14 May, 2014

The Oatmeal request

Webcomic The Oatmeal asks 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.

29 May, 2014

Unveils Dragon V2 reusable capsule

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.

10 Jul, 2014

Donates to The Oatmeal campaign

Musk responds to a campaign by webcomic The Oatmeal to donate $8 million to open a Nikola Tesla museum:

I would be happy to help

He eventually donates $1 million and a Supercharger station, allowing Tesla car owners to charge up on the spot.

23 Aug, 2014

Responds to newspaper ad

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:

24 Oct, 2014

‘We are summoning the demon’

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.

14 Apr, 2015

Booster launch succesful, landing fails

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.

30 Apr, 2015

Adds battery into DemandLogic system

Makes Statement

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.

6 May, 2015

Reveals timeline for Model 3

Makes Statement

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.

28 Jun, 2015

Rocket explodes after launch

Plane Crash

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.

17 Jul, 2015

Ludicrous Speed upgrade

Announcement

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.

20 Jul, 2015

Support strut probably caused failure

Makes Statement

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.

29 Sep, 2015

Model X launch

Product Release

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.

 

2 Oct, 2015

Unveils ‘world’s most efficient’ solar panel

Announcement

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.’

14 Oct, 2015

Autopilot driverless car update

Product Release

Telsa Autopilot imageTesla 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.

14 Dec, 2015

GQ Interview: Colonize Mars before WWIII

Interview

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…?

22 Dec, 2015

Lands Falcon 9 booster

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.

14 Dec, 2016

Trump meets tech leaders

Meeting

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.

25 Sep, 2022

Falcon 9 launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit

Unmanned launch

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.

French feminist: Elon Musk is ‘one the greatest environmental killers of all time’

Makes Statement

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.

Musk posts photo with Grimes: ‘No way to prove we’re living in a simulation’

Makes Statement

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.

26 Sep, 2022

One million Starlink terminals manufactured

Announcement

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.

Starlink now over 1M user terminals manufactured

Report: Tesla China to hit over 80k deliveries this month

Makes Statement

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.

27 Sep, 2022

The Boring Company offers extra $15M for San Antonio Loop

Fundraising

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.

Tesla expects ‘high volume’ of deliveries, asks staff to help

Makes Statement

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.

Twitter lawyers: Musk destroyed Andreessen evidence

Court filing

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.

Twitter: Musk’s fake account claim ‘not supported’

Court filing

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 files to end SEC ‘muzzle’

Court filing

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.

29 Sep, 2022

Tesla wants ‘thousands of humanoid robots’ within its factories

Makes Statement

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 teases Tesla AI Day 2

Makes Statement

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.

Musk: Waterproof Cybertruck can cross rivers, lakes

Makes Statement

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.

30 Sep, 2022

Government agencies mock floating Cybertruck

Makes Statement

Musk’s claim that Cybertruck will be able to ‘serve briefly as a boat’ is mocked by two government agencies.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources responded with a photo of a submerged car and said:

Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that “serves briefly as a boat” should not be used as a boat.

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

Dorsey wanted Musk on Twitter’s board, but directors were too ‘risk averse’

Court filing

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.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Elon Musk, created by Newslines contributors. Make it grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more