Born in 1971, Elon Musk is a South African-born American entrepreneur and businessman who founded X.com in 1999, which later became PayPal, SpaceX in 2002, and Tesla Motors in 2003. Musk became a multimillionaire in his late 20s when he sold his start-up company, Zip2, to a division of Compaq Computers.
Musk gained popularity in 2012 when SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station.
Let’s take a look at Musk’s professional timeline since he first founded the iconic SpaceX and Tesla.
Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in 2002 with the aim of building spacecraft for commercial space travel.
By 2008, SpaceX was well established, and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station in a move to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions.
On May 22, 2012, Musk and SpaceX made history when the company launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. The vehicle was sent to the International Space Station with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts stationed there, marking the first time a private company had sent a spacecraft to the International Space Station.
In July 2018, Space X enjoyed the successful landing of a new Block 5 Falcon rocket, which touched down on a drone ship less than 9 minutes after liftoff.
In May 2019, SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 satellites followed with another payload of 60 satellites in November the same year.
Musk is the co-founder, CEO, and product architect at Tesla Motors, a company formed in 2003 that is dedicated to producing affordable, mass-market electric cars as well as battery products and solar roofs. Musk oversees all product development, engineering, and design of the company’s products.
In March 2008, Tesla unveiled the Roadster, a sports car capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, as well as traveling nearly 250 miles between charges of its lithium-ion battery.
In June 2010, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering which helped them raise $226 million.
In 2012, the Model S finally entered production at a starting price of $58,570. Capable of covering 265 miles between charges, it was honored as the 2013 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine.
In April 2017, Tesla announced that it surpassed General Motors to become the most valuable U.S. carmaker.
By April 2018, with Tesla expected to fall short of first-quarter production forecasts for its Model 3 car, news surfaced that Musk had pushed aside the head of engineering to personally oversee efforts in that division. In a Twitter exchange with a reporter, Musk said it was important to “divide and conquer” to meet production goals and was “back to sleeping at factory.”
Following extensive production delays, Model 3 was officially launched in 2019.
Even during the lockdown in May 2020, Tesla was one of the few automakers whose share surpassed an all-time high of $1,000 mark earlier this month. As of 30 June’20, Forbes has reported that the total net worth of Elon Musk is estimated at $42.7 billion.