The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Elon Musk

Elon Musk is most commonly known for things like selling flamethrowers for $600 and putting a Tesla in Earth’s orbit.

Conner McMillan, Columnist

Elon Musk is a very successful person who has completed many feats, like sending his car to space and landing the rocket that put it up there. He is also a large shareholder of many large companies such as SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. In his early life, he took interest in computing and taught himself computer programming at 12. He created a BASIC-based video game called Blastar, (BASIC stands for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), and then sold the game to the magazines PC and Office Technology for $500, according to Sean O’Kane, a writer for The Verge.

Elon Musk first attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School. Before he graduated from Pretoria Boys High School, he moved to Canada. He was able to become a Canadian citizen because of his Canadian mother. As Ashlee Vance, writer of the book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”, says that when he was only 17, he was accepted into Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. After two years there, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania. In 1995, Musk attended Stanford University and studied renewable energy and astronomy, in particular possible colonization of the solar system. He then graduated in May of 1997, receiving a bachelor’s degree in physics and economics.

According to PayPal, Musk has had many footholds in companies that have been successful. In the early life of PayPal, he was the largest shareholder of the virtual banking company, owning 11.7 percent of the company. When the company was sold, he bought the domain using those funds, creating one of the first online banks. Recently, Musk purchased the domain back from PayPal, citing its sentimental value.

Elon Musk, now having a small fortune in his early life, founded SpaceX. Ashley Vance writes that SpaceX was founded with the objective of colonizing Mars; they are also the largest producer of rocket engines. Throughout the entirety of his life, he has been interested in space exploration, so it is only fitting for him to found a company based on space exploration. One of SpaceX’s biggest agendas is to colonize Mars; he plans to have a Mars colony by the year 2040. In 2012, SpaceX launched its first satellite into Earth’s orbit, they were then awarded the first commercial company to launch a vehicle to the International Space Station. On Dec. 22, 2015, SpaceX’s Falcon rocket successfully landed itself on a landing pad.This was a significant event because it can make space travel much easier and cheaper with the technology. With SpaceX also being a large producer of rocket engines, they have produced more than 100 Merlin 1D engines. According to SpaceX, The Merlin 1D is the most powerful engine in the world for its weight; the engine is powerful enough to lift 40 mid-sized family cars.

Elon Musk is also the prime shareholder and CEO of Tesla, a company focused on building and manufacturing efficient, electric-powered cars. In a May 2013 interview with All Things Digital, Musk stated that because of the range limitations on Tesla’s, they are planning to build a network on superchargers across North America. In addition, Tesla has begun to create cheap and efficient car designs, which he plans to sell to other companies. This is so as to create a far cheaper car industry. His future plans for Tesla include self-driving, solar power, and more diversity in vehicle design.

Elon Musk has done amazing things, because of him SpaceX has been innovating space exploration and technology.