Biography Philanthropists

Elon Musk

Elon Musk
elon musk.jpg

Musk in 2015
Born Elon Reeve Musk
June 28, 1971 (age 47)
South Africa
Residence Bel Air, Los AngelesCalifornia, United States[1][2]
  • South Africa (1971–present)
  • Canada (1989–present)
  • United States (2002–present)
Alma mater
Occupation Entrepreneur and investor
Net worth US$20.2 billion (August 2018)[5]
Political party Independent
Children 6 (1 deceased)
Awards Fellow of the Royal Society
Elon Musk

Elon Reeve Musk FRS (/ˈlɒn/; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate and investor.[7][8][9] He holds South AfricanCanadian, and U.S. citizenship and is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX;[10] co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.;[11] co-founder and CEO of Neuralink; and co-founder of PayPal. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.[12] As of August 2018, he has a net worth of $20.2 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 46th-richest person in the world.[13]

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk taught himself computer programming at the age of 10. He moved to Canada when he was 17 to attend Queen’s University. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania two years later, where he received an economics degree from the Wharton School and a degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He began a Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences at Stanford University in 1995 but dropped out after two days to pursue an entrepreneurial career. He subsequently co-founded Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million in 1999. Musk then founded, an online bank. It merged with Confinity in 2000 and later that year became PayPal, which was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.[18]

In May 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, of which he is CEO and lead designer. He helped fund Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, in 2003, and became its CEO and product architect. In 2006, he inspired the creation of SolarCity, a solar energy services company that is now a subsidiary of Tesla, and operates as its chairman. In 2015, Musk co-founded OpenAI, a nonprofit research company that aims to promote friendly artificial intelligence. In July 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company focused on developing brain–computer interfaces, and is its CEO. In December 2016, Musk founded The Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel-construction company.

In addition to his primary business pursuits, Musk has envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a vertical take-off and landing supersonic jet electric aircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet.[19][20] Musk has stated that the goals of SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity.[21] His goals include reducing global warmingthrough sustainable energy production and consumption and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by establishing a human colony on Mars.[22]

Early life

Early childhood

Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa,[23] the son of Maye Musk (née Haldeman), a model and dietitian from ReginaSaskatchewan, Canada,[24] and Errol Musk, a South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, and sailor. He has a younger brother, Kimbal (born 1972), and a younger sister, Tosca (born 1974).[28] His paternal grandmother was British, and he also has Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.[29][30] His maternal grandfather Joshua Haldeman was American, from Minnesota[31] After his parents divorced in 1980, Musk lived mostly with his father in the suburbs of Pretoria,[29] which Musk chose two years after his parents split up, but now says was “not a good idea”.[32] As an adult, Musk has severed relations with his father.[32] He has a half-sister,[33] and half-brother.[34]

During his childhood, Musk was an avid reader.[35] At age 10, he developed an interest in computing with the Commodore VIC-20.[36] He taught himself computer programming at the age of 10, and by the age of 12 sold the code of a BASIC-based video game he created called Blastar, to a magazine called PC and Office Technology, for approximately $500.[37][38] A web version of the game is available online.[37][39] His childhood reading included Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation series from which he drew the lesson that “you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.”[32]

Musk was severely bullied throughout his childhood[32] and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs and then beat him until he lost consciousness.[35][40]

Musk attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School, and Bryanston High School[40] before graduating from Pretoria Boys High School. Though Musk’s father insisted that Elon go to college in Pretoria, Musk became determined to move to the United States. As he states, “I remember thinking and seeing that America is where great things are possible, more than any other country in the world.”[41] Knowing it would be easy to get to the United States from Canada, he moved to Canada against his father’s wishes in June 1989, just before his 18th birthday,[42] after obtaining a Canadian passport through his Canadian-born mother.[43][44]


At age 17, in 1989, Elon Musk moved to Canada to attend Queen’s University and avoid mandatory service in the South African military. He left in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and stayed for a second bachelor’s degree in physics.

After leaving Penn, Elon Musk headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, his move was timed perfectly with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after just two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation.[45]



In 1995, Musk and his brother, Kimbal, started Zip2, a web software company, with money raised from a small group of angel investors.[32] The company developed and marketed an Internet “city guide” for the newspaper publishing industry.[46] Musk obtained contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune[47] and persuaded the board of directors to abandon plans for a merger with CitySearch.[48] While at Zip2, Musk wanted to become CEO; however, none of the board members would allow it.[35] Compaq acquired Zip2 for US$307 million in cash[35]:109 and US$34 million in stock options[citation needed] in February 1999.[49] Musk received US$22 million for his 7 percent share from the sale.[47][35]:109 and PayPal

In March 1999, Musk co-founded, an online financial services and e-mail payment company, with US$10 million from the sale of Zip2.[42][46][48] One year later, the company merged with Confinity,[47][50] which had a money-transfer service called PayPal. The merged company focused on the PayPal service and was renamed PayPal in 2001. PayPal’s early growth was driven mainly by a viral marketing campaign where new customers were recruited when they received money through the service.[51] Musk was ousted in October 2000 from his role as CEO (although he remained on the board) due to disagreements with other company leadership, notably over his desire to move PayPal’s Unix-based infrastructure to Microsoft Windows.[52] In October 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for US$1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk received US$165 million.[53] Before its sale, Musk, who was the company’s largest shareholder, owned 11.7% of PayPal’s shares.[54]

In July 2017, Musk purchased the domain from PayPal for an undisclosed amount stating that it has “great sentimental value” to him.[55]


In 2001, Musk conceptualized “Mars Oasis”, a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars, containing food crops growing on Martian regolith, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration.[56][57] In October 2001, Musk travelled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supplies fixer), and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college), to buy refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could send the envisioned payloads into space. The group met with companies such as NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, according to Cantrell, Musk was seen as a novice and was consequently spat on by one of the Russian chief designers,[58] and the group returned to the United States empty-handed. In February 2002, the group returned to Russia to look for three ICBMs, bringing along Mike Griffin. Griffin had worked for the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, as well as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was just leaving Orbital Sciences, a maker of satellites and spacecraft. The group met again with Kosmotras, and were offered one rocket for US$8 million; however, this was seen by Musk as too expensive; Musk consequently stormed out of the meeting. On the flight back from Moscow, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed.[58]According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson,[59] Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time. It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin.[60] Ultimately, Musk ended up founding SpaceX with the long-term goal of creating a “true spacefaring civilization.”[61]

Musk and President Barack Obama at the Falcon 9 launch site in 2010

With US$100 million of his early fortune,[62] Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, in May 2002.[63] Musk is chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Hawthorne, California-based company. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon), and its first spacecraft is the Dragon (a nod to Puff the Magic Dragon).[64] In seven years, SpaceX designed the family of Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft. In September 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fueled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit.[35] On May 25, 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and berth a vehicle to the International Space Station.[65]

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden congratulates Musk in front of the Dragoncapsule in 2012

In 2006, SpaceX was awarded a contract from NASA to continue the development and test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft in order to transport cargo to the International Space Station,[66][not in citation given] followed by a US$1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services program contract on December 23, 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the Space Station, replacing the US Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011.[67] Astronaut transport to the ISS is currently handled solely by the Soyuz, but SpaceX is one of two companies awarded a contract by NASA as part of the Commercial Crew Development program, which is intended to develop a US astronaut transport capability by 2018.[68]

Musk believed that the key to making space travel affordable is to make rockets reusable, Though most experts in the space industry did not believe that reusable rockets were possible or feasible.[69] On December 22, 2015, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon rocket back at the launch pad. This was the first time in history such a feat had been achieved by an orbital rocket and is a significant step towards rocket reusability lowering the costs of access to space.[70]This first stage recovery was replicated several times in 2016 by landing on an autonomous spaceport drone ship, an ocean-based recovery platform,[71] and by the end of 2017, SpaceX had landed and recovered the first stage on 16 missions in a row where a landing and recovery were attempted, including all 14 attempts in 2017. 20 out of 42 first stage Falcon 9 boosters have been recovered overall since the Falcon 9 maiden flight in 2010.[72] In the most recent full year—2017—SpaceX launched 18 successful Falcon 9 flights, more than doubling their highest previous year of 8.[73]

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon Heavy, the fourth-highest capacity rocket ever built (after Saturn VEnergia and N1) and the most powerful rocket in operation as of 2018. The inaugural mission carried a Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk as a dummy payload.[74]

SpaceX is both the largest private producer of rocket engines in the world, and holder of the record for highest thrust-to-weight ratio for a rocket engine (the Merlin 1D).[75][76] SpaceX has produced more than 100 operational Merlin 1D engines. Each Merlin 1D engine can vertically lift the weight of 40 average family cars. In combination, the 9 Merlin engines in the Falcon 9 first stage produce anywhere from 5.8 to 6.7 MN (1.3 to 1.5 million pounds) of thrust, depending on altitude.[77]

Musk was influenced by Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation series[78] and views space exploration as an important step in preserving and expanding the consciousness of human life.[79] Musk said that multiplanetary life may serve as a hedge against threats to the survival of the human species.

An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct.

Musk’s goal is to reduce the cost of human spaceflight by a factor of 10.[80] In a 2011 interview, he said he hopes to send humans to Mars’ surface within 10–20 years.[81] In Ashlee Vance‘s biography, Musk stated that he wants to establish a Mars colony by 2040, with a population of 80,000.[82] Musk stated that, since Mars’ atmosphere lacks oxygen, all transportation would have to be electric (electric cars, electric trains, Hyperloop, electric aircraft).[83] Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned flight of the larger Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) spacecraft is aimed for departure to the red planet in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024.[84] In September 2016, Musk revealed details of his architecture to explore and colonize Mars.[85] By 2016, Musk’s private trust holds 54% of SpaceX stock, equivalent to 78% of voting shares.[86]

In late 2017, SpaceX unveiled the design for its next-generation launch vehicle and spacecraft system—BFR—that would support all SpaceX launch service provider capabilities with a single set of very large vehicles: Earth-orbit, Lunar-orbit, interplanetary missions, and even intercontinental passenger transport on Earth, and totally replace the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon vehicles in the 2020s. The BFR will have a 9-meter (30 ft) core diameter. Significant development on the vehicles began in 2017, while the new rocket engine development began in 2012.[87][88]


Tesla, Inc. (originally Tesla Motors) was incorporated in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who financed the company until the Series A round of funding.[89]

Both men played active roles in the company’s early development prior to Elon Musk’s involvement.[90] Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004, joining Tesla’s board of directors as its chairman.[91] Musk took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level, but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations.[92]

Following the financial crisis in 2008 and after a series of escalating conflicts in 2007, Eberhard was ousted from the firm.[69][93] Musk assumed leadership of the company as CEO and product architect, positions he still holds today. Tesla Motors first built an electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster in 2008, with sales of about 2,500 vehicles to 31 countries. Tesla began delivery of its four-door Model S sedan on June 22, 2012. It unveiled its third product, the Model X, aimed at the SUV/minivan market, on February 9, 2012; however, the Model X launch was delayed until September 2015.[94][95][96] In addition to its own cars, Tesla sells electric powertrain systems to Daimler for the Smart EVMercedes B-Class Electric Drive and Mercedes A Class, and to Toyota for the RAV4 EV. Musk was able to bring in both companies as long-term investors in Tesla.[97]

Musk has favored building a sub-US$30,000 compact Tesla model and building and selling electric vehicle powertrain components so that other automakers can produce electric vehicles at affordable prices without having to develop the products in-house; this led to the Model 3 that is planned to have a base price of US$35,000.[98] Several mainstream publications have compared him with Henry Ford for his work on advanced vehicle powertrains.[99]

In a May 2013 interview with All Things Digital, Musk said that to overcome the range limitations of electric cars, Tesla is “dramatically accelerating” its network of supercharger stations, tripling the number on the East and West coasts of the U.S. that June, with plans for more expansion across North America, including Canada, throughout the year.[100] As of January 29, 2016, Musk owns about 28.9 million Tesla shares, which equates to about 22% of the company.[101][102]

As of 2014, Musk’s annual salary is one dollar, similar to that of Steve Jobs and other CEOs; the remainder of his compensation is in the form of stock and performance-based bonuses.[103][104]

In 2014, Musk announced that Tesla would allow its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith in a bid to entice automobile manufacturers to speed up development of electric cars. “The unfortunate reality is electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales,” Musk said.[105]

In February 2016, Musk announced that he had acquired the domain name from Stu Grossman, who had owned it since 1992, and changed Tesla’s homepage to that domain.[106]

In January 2018, Musk was granted a $2.6 billion award by the company, awarding him with 20.3 million shares and could raise Tesla’s market value to $650 billion. Majority shareholder approval is pending.[107] The grant was also meant to end speculation about Musk’s potential departure from Tesla to devote more time to his other business ventures.[108] A report by advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. to clients argued against granting the award.[107] Despite what the New York Post described as an “astronomical deal” in pay, Musk accepted $750 million in public funds from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as part of the Buffalo Billion project, a plan to invest money to help the economy of the Buffalo, New York area. The money was used to build a factory and infrastructure for solar panel maker SolarCity, which Tesla acquired. As of March 2018, the plant employed “just a few hundred workers and its future remains uncertain.” (The Buffalo area actually lost nearly 5,000 jobs between December 2016 and December 2017).[109]

In September 2018, Musk was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a tweet claiming that funding had been secured for taking Tesla private. The lawsuit characterized the tweet as false, misleading, and damaging to investors, and sought to bar Musk from serving as CEO on publicly traded companies.[110][111]


Musk provided the initial concept and financial capital for SolarCity, which was then co-founded in 2006 by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive.[112][113] By 2013, SolarCity was the second largest provider of solar power systems in the United States.[114] SolarCity was acquired by Tesla, Inc. in 2016 and is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesla.[115][116][117]

The underlying motivation for funding both SolarCity and Tesla was to help combat global warming.[118] In 2012, Musk announced that SolarCity and Tesla are collaborating to use electric vehicle batteries to smooth the impact of rooftop solar on the power grid, with the program going live in 2013.[119]


On June 17, 2014, Musk committed to building a SolarCity advanced production facility in Buffalo, New York, that would triple the size of the largest solar plant in the United States. Musk stated the plant will be “one of the single largest solar panel production plants in the world,” and it will be followed by one or more even bigger facilities in subsequent years.[120] The Tesla Gigafactory 2 is a photovoltaic (PV) cell factory, leased by Tesla subsidiary SolarCity in Buffalo, New York. Construction on the factory started in 2014 and was completed in 2017.[121]


On August 12, 2013, Musk unveiled a concept for a high-speed transportation system incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.[122] The mechanism for releasing the concept was an alpha-design document that, in addition to scoping out the technology, outlined a notional route where such a transport system might be built: between the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area.[123]

After earlier envisioning Hyperloop, Musk assigned a dozen engineers from Tesla and SpaceX who worked for nine months, establishing the conceptual foundations and creating the designs for the transportation system.[124][125] An early design for the system was then published in a whitepaper posted to the Tesla and SpaceX blogs.[126][127][128] Musk’s proposal, if technologically feasible at the costs he has cited, would make Hyperloop travel cheaper than any other mode of transport for such long distances. The alpha design was proposed to use a partial vacuum to reduce aerodynamic drag, which it is theorized would allow for high-speed travel with relatively low power, with certain other features like air-bearing skis and an inlet compressor to reduce freestream flow. The document of alpha design estimated the total cost of an LA-to-SF Hyperloop system at US$6 billion, but this amount is speculative.[129]

In June 2015, Musk announced a design competition for students and others to build Hyperloop pods to operate on a SpaceX-sponsored mile-long track in a 2015–2017 Hyperloop pod competition. The track was used in January 2017, and Musk also started building a tunnel.[130]

Hyperloop One, a company unaffiliated with Musk, had announced that it had done its first successful test run on its DevLoop track in Nevada on July 13, 2017. It was on May 12, 2017 at 12:02 a.m. and had lasted 5.3 seconds, reaching a top speed of 70 mph.[131]

On July 20, 2017, Elon Musk announced that he had gotten “verbal government approval” to build a hyperloop from New York City to Washington, D.C., stopping in both Philadelphia and Baltimore.[132] However, the New York City Transit AuthoritySoutheastern Pennsylvania Transportation AuthorityWashington Metropolitan Area Transit AuthorityMaryland Transit AdministrationUnited States Department of Homeland Security, as well as the mayors of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. stated that they are unaware of any such agreement.[133]


In December 2015, Musk announced the creation of OpenAI, a not-for-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company. OpenAI aims to develop artificial general intelligence in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.[134]

By making AI available to everyone, OpenAI wants to “counteract large corporations who may gain too much power by owning super-intelligence systems devoted to profits, as well as governments which may use AI to gain power and even oppress their citizenry.”[135] Musk has stated he wants to counteract the concentration of power.[32] In 2018 Musk left the OpenAI board to avoid “potential future conflict” with his role as CEO of Tesla as Tesla increasingly becomes involved in AI.[136]


In 2016, Musk co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology startup company to integrate the human brain with artificial intelligence. The company is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence. These enhancements could improve memory or allow more direct interfacing with computing devices.[137] Musk sees Neuralink and OpenAI as related: “OpenAI is a nonprofit dedicated to minimizing the dangers of artificial intelligence, while Neuralink is working on ways to implant technology into our brains to create mind-computer interfaces.”[32]

The Boring Company

Musk discussing The Boring Company at TED 2017

On December 17, 2016, while stuck in traffic, Musk tweeted “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” The company was named ‘The Boring Company’.[138] On January 21, 2017, Musk tweeted “Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.”[139] The first tunnel will start on the SpaceX campus,[140] and will probably go to a nearby parking garage. As of January 26, 2017, discussions with regulatory bodieshave begun,[141] but no requests for permits to dig in the Los Angeles area had been filed with the California Department of Transportation by late January 2017.[142][needs update]

In February 2017, the company began digging a 30-foot-wide, 50-foot-long, and 15-foot-deep “test trench” on the premises of Space X’s offices in Los Angeles, since the construction requires no permits.[143][144] Musk has said that a 10-fold decrease in tunnel boring cost per mile is necessary for economic feasibility of the proposed tunnel network.[145][needs update]

After a string of negative press targeting Tesla caused Musk to become “frustrated”,[146] specifically articles published by Reveal News criticizing Tesla for its factory safety procedures,[147] Musk announced on Twitter that he is planning on creating a website where users could rate the truthfulness of specific articles in addition to the credibility of journalists and publications.[148] He suggested calling it “Pravda” after a Soviet Union-era Communist Party newspaper of the same name.

This caused backlash from many journalists, claiming that a platform where any user could freely vote on an article’s or a journalist’s credibility could be prone to abuse.[149][150]

After realizing the site “” is used by the Ukrainian Internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, Musk bought the site on May 25, 2018.[151]

Tham Luang cave rescue

Mini-submarine being tested by divers in a pool. The video of this testing procedure was released by Musk through his Twitteracount.[152][153][154][155]

The file above’s purpose is being discussed and/or is being considered fordeletion. See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do.

In July 2018, Musk attempted to provide assistance to rescuers during the Tham Luang cave rescue by ordering his employees to build a small rescue pod.

Musk, responding to requests for help from Twitter users,[156] ordered engineers from two of his companies to design a “kid-sized” submarine to help the rescue effort and publicised the process via Twitter.[157][158] Engineers at Musk’s companies SpaceX and The Boring Company built the mini-submarine out of a Falcon 9 liquid oxygen transfer tube[159] and personally delivered it to Thailand.

Named “Wild Boar” after the children’s soccer team,[160] its design, a five foot long, 12 inch wide sealed tube weighing about 90 pounds propelled manually by divers in the front and back,[161] was intended to solve the problem of safely transporting the children, who might have had difficulty learning the scuba skills required to exit the cave on their own without panicking.[162] In case the mini-submarine could not fit through the cave system, Elon Musk also requested Wing Inflatables, a California-based inflatable boat manufacturer, to build inflatable escape pods. The pods were designed, fabricated, and tested in one day before being flown to Thailand.[163][164]

By this time, eight of the twelve children had already been rescued and Thai authorities decided not to use the submarine, describing it as technologically impressive but impractical.[165][166][167]

Device viability

The supervisor of the rescue operation Narongsak Osatanakorn dismissed the submarine as “not practical for this mission”. The British rescue caver, Vern Unsworth, who had been exploring the cave for the past six years and who had originally located the trapped football team, said that Musk’s idea “had absolutely no chance of working….the submarine, I believe, was about five foot six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles. It wouldn’t have made the first 50 metres into the cave from the dive start point.”[168][169] Musk tweeted that Richard Stanton, leader of the international diving team, had earlier urged Musk to continue construction of the mini-submarine as a back-up, in case the flooding worsened.[170]

Although the device could safely hold an occupant, the submarine could not have been used at this operation, as its rigid body was only slightly smaller than the narrowest passages in the cave.[160]

Media coverage and Musk’s behavior

As media coverage of the event grew, some were skeptical of Musk’s intentions, claiming the submarine was mainly built for publicity for Tesla and Musk, citing the apparent uselessness of the device.[171][172][173]

One of the divers said to have played a “major role” in the rescue criticized the submarine as amounting to nothing more than a “PR stunt” that “had absolutely no chance of working” and “he had no conception of what the cave passage was like”;[174] and said that Musk “can stick his submarine where it hurts”. Musk reasserted on Twitter that the device would have worked and referred to the diver as “pedo guy” without offering any evidence to support the claim, causing backlash against Musk.[175][176] He subsequently deleted the tweets, along with an earlier tweet in which he told another critic of the device “Stay tuned jackass”.[176] On 16 July, the diver stated that he was considering legal action in relation to Musk’s comments.[177][178]

After Musk’s Tweets, Tesla shares fell 4% as some investors worried about his erratic behavior.[179] Tesla investors subsequently demanded that Musk apologize.[180] Two days later, Musk issued an apology for his remarks:[181][182] “The fault is mine and mine alone”[183] and “…my words were spoken in anger…”[184]

On August 28, 2018, in response to criticism from a writer on Twitter regarding how Musk had handled the diver’s criticism, Musk circled back to the pedophilia accusation tweeting “You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me? He was offered free legal services. […]”.[185] The following day, a letter from L. Lin Wood, the rescuer’s attorney, dated August 6, emerged, showing that he had been making preparations for a libel lawsuit.[186][187]

On 5 September 2018, a reporter from Buzzfeed News published an email written by Musk on August 30 marked “off the record”, saying “I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole. As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue … I fucking hope he sues me.” Musk confirmed that he had sent the email.[188] The diver subsequently filed a defamation suit in Los Angeles federal court in mid-September 2018, with plans to also file a similar case in the United Kingdom. The lawsuit contends that “Musk embarked on a PR campaign to destroy [the diver]’s reputation by publishing false and heinous accusations of criminality against him to the public”, and seeks upwards of US$75,000 in damages.[189][190]



Musk speaking alongside former Irish Taoiseach(Prime Minister) Enda Kenny in 2013

Politically, Musk has described himself as “half Democrat, half Republican.” In his own words: “I’m somewhere in the middle, socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”[191] Prompted by the emergence of self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, Musk has voiced support for a universal basic income;[192] he additionally backs direct democracy.[193] He has described himself as a socialist, but “not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm” – arguing instead, “true socialism seeks greatest good for all.”[194] He supports targeting an inclusive tax rate of 40%, prefers consumption taxes to income taxes, and supports the estate tax, as the “probability of progeny being equally excellent at capital allocation is not high.”[195]

Musk has described the United States as “[inarguably] the greatest country that has ever existed on Earth,” describing it as “the greatest force for good of any country that’s ever been.” Musk believes outright that there “would not be democracy in the world if not for the United States,” arguing there were “three separate occasions in the 20th-century where democracy would have fallen with World War IWorld War II and the Cold War, if not for the United States.” Musk also stated that he thinks “it would be a mistake to say the United States is perfect, it certainly is not. There have been many foolish things the United States has done and bad things the United States has done.”[196]

Prior to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Musk criticized candidate Trump by saying: “I feel a bit stronger that he is probably not the right guy. He doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.”[197] Following Donald Trump’s inauguration, Musk expressed approval of Trump’s choice of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and accepted an invitation to appear on a panel advising President Trump. Regarding his cooperation with Trump, Musk has subsequently commented: “The more voices of reason that the President hears, the better.”[198] He subsequently resigned from both in June 2017, in protest at Trump’s decision to withdraw the United Statesfrom the Paris Agreement on climate change.[199][200]


In an interview with The Washington Post, Musk stated he was a “significant (though not top-tier) donor to Democrats,” but that he also gives heavily to Republicans. Musk further stated, “in order to have your voice be heard in Washington, you have to make some little contribution.”[201][202]

A 2012 report from the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group that tracks government spending, found that “SpaceX has spent over US$4 million on lobbying Congress since it was established in 2002 and doled out more than US$800,000 in political contributions” to Democrats and Republicans. The same report noted that “SpaceX’s campaign to win political support has been systematic and sophisticated,” and that “unlike most tech-startups, SpaceX has maintained a significant lobbying presence in Washington almost since day 1.” The report further noted that “Musk himself has donated roughly US$725,000 to various campaigns since 2002. In 2004, he contributed US$2,000 to President George W. Bush‘s reelection campaign, maxing out (over US$100,000)[203] to Barack Obama‘s reelection campaign and donated US$5,000 to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who represents Florida, a state critical to the space industry. (…) All told, Musk and SpaceX gave out roughly US$250,000 in the 2012 election cycle.”[201][204] Additionally, SpaceX hired former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to represent the company, via the Washington-based lobbying group Patton Boggs LLP. Alongside Patton Boggs LLP, SpaceX uses several other outside lobbying firms, who work with SpaceX’s own lobbyists.[205]

Musk had been a supporter of the U.S. political action committee (PAC), which was started by fellow high-profile entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg and advocates for immigration reform. However, in May 2013, Musk publicly withdrew his support in protest of advertisements the PAC was running that supported causes like the Keystone Pipeline. Musk and other members, including David O. Sacks, pulled out, criticizing the strategy as “cynical.”[206] Musk further stated, “we shouldn’t give in to the politics. If we give in to that, we’ll get the political system we deserve.”[207]

In December 2013, Sean Becker of the media/political website Mic called Musk a “complete hypocrite,” stating that “[for] the 2014 election cycle, Musk has contributed to the Longhorn PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee – both of which have funded the campaigns of anti-scienceanti-environment candidates such as Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn.).”[207] Musk has directly contributed to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been accused of holding similar positions regarding climate change.[204]


Musk has stated that he does not believe the U.S. government should provide subsidies to companies but should instead use a carbon tax to price in the negative externality of air pollution and discourage “bad behavior.” Musk argues that the free market would achieve the “best solution,” and that producing environmentally unfriendly vehicles should come with its own consequences.[208]

Musk’s statements have been widely criticized, with Stanford University Professor Fred Turner noting that “if you’re an entrepreneur like Elon Musk, you will take the money where you can get it, but at the same time believe as a matter of faith that it’s entrepreneurship and technology that are the sources of social change, not the state. It is not quite self-delusion, but there is a habit of thinking of oneself as a free-standing, independent agent, and of not acknowledging the subsidies that one received. And this goes on all the time in Silicon Valley.”[209] Author Michael Shellenberger argued that “in the case of Musk, it is hard not to read that as a kind of defensiveness. And I think there is a business reason for it. They are dealing with a lot of investors for whom subsidies are not the basis for a long-term viable business, and they often want to exaggerate the speed with which they are going to be able to become independent.” Shellenberger continues, “we would all be better off if these entrepreneurs were a bit more grateful, a bit more humble.” While journalist and author Jim Motavalli, who interviewed Musk for High Voltage, his 2011 book about the electric vehicle industry, speculated that “Elon is now looking at it from the point of view of a winner, and he doesn’t want to see other people win because they get government money – I do think there is a tendency of people, once they have succeeded, to want to pull the ladder up after them.”[210]

In 2015, Musk’s statements were subject to further scrutiny when an LA Times article claimed that SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity and buyers of their products had or were projected to receive together an estimated US$4.9 billion in government subsidies over twenty years. One example given is New York state, which is spending $750 million to build a solar panel factory in Buffalo which will be leased to SolarCity for $1 a year. The deal also includes no property taxes for a decade, an estimated $260 million valuation. Musk employs a former U.S. State Department official as the chief negotiator for Tesla.[211]

Destiny and religion

When asked whether he believed “there was some kind of destiny involved” in humanity’s transition to a multi-planetary species, rather than “just physics,” Musk responded:

Well, I do. Do I think that there’s some sort of master intelligence architecting all of this stuff? I think probably not because then you have to say: “Where does the master intelligence come from?” So it sort of begs the question. So I think really you can explain this with the fundamental laws of physics. You know it’s complex phenomenon from simple elements.[212]

Musk has stated that he does not pray, or worship any being, although previously admitted to praying before an important Falcon 1 launch, asking “any entities that [were] listening” to “bless [the] launch.” When asked whether he believed “religion and science could co-exist,” Musk replied “probably not.”[213]

Extraterrestrial life

Although Musk believes “there is a good chance that there is simple life on other planets,” he “questions whether there is other intelligent life in the known universe.”[213] Musk later clarified his “hope that there is other intelligent life in the known universe,” and stated that it is “probably more likely than not, but that’s a complete guess.”[214]

Musk has also considered the simulation hypothesis as a potential solution to the Fermi paradox:

The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation…. Like when you’re playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can’t ever get there. If it’s not a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilization that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish…. If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way. … And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations.[215]

Artificial intelligence

Musk has frequently spoken about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, declaring it “the most serious threat to the survival of the human race.” During a 2014 interview at the MITAeroAstro Centennial Symposium, Musk described AI as “[humanity’s] biggest existential threat,” further stating, “I’m increasingly inclined to think that 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.” Musk described the creation of artificial intelligence as “summoning the demon”.[216][217]

Despite this, Musk has previously invested in DeepMind, an AI firm, and Vicarious, a company working to improve machine intelligence. In January 2015, he donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, an organization focused on challenges posed by advanced technologies.[218] He is the co-chairman of OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research company.[219]

Musk has said that his investments are, “not from the standpoint of actually trying to make any investment return… I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence.” Musk continued, “There have been movies about this, you know, like Terminator – there are some scary outcomes. And we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad.”[220]

In June 2016, Musk was asked whether he thinks humans live in a computer simulation, to which he answered:

The strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation I think is the following: 40 years ago we had Pong – two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were. Now 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable.[221]

Elon Musk’s dark warnings over Artificial Intelligence have brought him some controversy. He and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have clashed with the latter terming his warnings “irresponsible”. Musk responded to Zuckerberg’s censure by saying that he had discussed AI with Zuckerberg and found him to have only a “limited understanding” of the subject. In 2014 Slate‘s Adam Elkus argued “our ‘smartest’ AI is about as intelligent as a toddler—and only when it comes to instrumental tasks like information recall. Most roboticists are still trying to get a robot hand to pick up a ball or run around without falling over.” Elkus goes on to argue that Musk’s “summoning the demon” analogy may be harmful because it could result in “harsh cuts” to AI research budgets.[222]

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington D.C. think-tank, awarded its Annual Luddite Award to “alarmists touting an artificial intelligence apocalypse”; its president, Robert D. Atkinson, complained that Musk and others say AI is the largest existential threat to humanity. Atkinson stated “That’s not a very winning message if you want to get AI funding out of Congress to the National Science Foundation.”[223][224][225] Nature sharply disagreed with the ITIF in an April 2016 editorial, siding instead with Musk, and concluding: “It is crucial that progress in technology is matched by solid, well-funded research to anticipate the scenarios it could bring about… If that is a Luddite perspective, then so be it.”[226] In a 2015 Washington Posteditorial, researcher Murray Shanahan stated that human-level AI is unlikely to arrive “anytime soon,” but that nevertheless “the time to start thinking through the consequences is now.”[227]

Public transport

At a Tesla event on the sidelines of the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems in December 2017, Musk stated that:

I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time. […] It’s a pain in the ass. That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.[228]

Afterwards, he dismissed an audience member’s response that public transportation functioned effectively in Japan.[229][230]

His comment sparked widespread criticism from both the public and transit experts. Urban planning expert Brent Toderian started the hashtag #GreatThingsThatHappenedonTransit which was widely adopted by Twitter users in order to dispel Musk’s notion that everybody hated public transport.[229][231][232] Yonah Freemark, an urbanist and journalist specialising in planning and transportation, summarised Musk’s views on public transport as “It’s terrible. You might be killed. Japanese trains are awful. Individualized transport for everyone! Congestion? Induced demand? Climate change impacts? Unwalkable streets? Who cares!”[228]

Jarrett Walker, a known public transport expert and consultant from Portland, said that “Musk’s hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford,” referring to the theory that planning a city around the preferences of a minority yields an outcome that usually does not work for the majority.[233][234][235] Musk responded with “You’re an idiot,” later saying “Sorry […] Meant to say ‘sanctimonious idiot.'”[236][237][238] The exchange received a significant amount of media attention and prompted Nobel laureate Paul Krugman to comment on the controversy, saying that apparently, “You’re an idiot” is Musk’s idea of a cogent argument.[233][239]

Personal life

Musk owned a McLaren F1 supercar, which he crashed while it was uninsured.[240][241] He also previously owned an Aero L-39, a Czech-made jet trainer aircraft.[242][243][244]

The 1994 model Dassault Falcon 900 aircraft used in the 2005 film Thank You for Smoking was registered to Musk (N900SX),[245] and Musk had a cameo as the pilot of his plane, opening the door for Robert Duvall and escorting Aaron Eckhart aboard. Musk owns Wet Nellie, the Lotus Esprit from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. He plans to convert it into the functional car-submarine from the film.[246]

Musk attended the Burning Man festival in 2004 and has said he first thought up the idea for SolarCity at the festival.[119]

Tosca Musk, Elon’s sister, is a filmmaker. She is the founder of Musk Entertainment and has produced various movies.[247]

Musk stated that he wants “to die on Mars, just not on impact.”[248]


Musk is chairman of the Musk Foundation, which focuses its philanthropic efforts on providing solar-power energy systems in disaster areas. In 2010, the Musk Foundation collaborated with SolarCity to donate a 25-kW solar power system to the South Bay Community Alliance’s hurricane response center in Coden, Alabama.[249] In July 2011, the Musk Foundation donated US$250,000 towards a solar power project in Sōma, Japan, a city that had been recently devastated by a tsunami.[250]

In July 2014, Musk was asked by cartoonist Matthew Inman and William Terbo, the grandnephew of Nikola Tesla, to donate US$8 million toward the construction of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.[251] Ultimately, Musk agreed to donate US$1 million toward the project and additionally pledged to build a Tesla Supercharger in the museum car park.[252]

Musk donated US$10 million to the Future of Life Institute in January 2015, to run a global research program aimed at keeping artificial intelligence beneficial to humanity.[253][218][254]

As of 2015, Musk is a trustee of the X Prize Foundation[255] and a signatory of The Giving Pledge.[256]


Musk met his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson, while both were students at Ontario’s Queen’s University. They married in 2000 and separated in 2008.[257] Their first son, Nevada Alexander Musk, died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) at the age of 10 weeks.[258] They later had five sons through in vitro fertilization[259] – twins in 2004, followed by triplets in 2006. They share custody of all five sons.[260]

In 2008, Musk began dating English actress Talulah Riley, and in 2010, the couple married. In January 2012, Musk announced that he had ended his four-year relationship with Riley,[27][261]tweeting to Riley, “It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day.”[262] In July 2013, Musk and Riley remarried. In December 2014, Musk filed for a second divorce from Riley; however, the action was withdrawn.[263] The media announced in March 2016 that divorce proceedings were again under way, this time with Riley filing for divorce from Musk.[264] The divorce was finalized in late 2016.[265]

Musk began dating American actress Amber Heard in 2016 but the two split up after one year due to their conflicting schedules.[266] On May 7, 2018, Musk and Canadian musician Grimesrevealed that they had begun dating.[267]

Zolpidem usage

In an apparent admission of mixing zolpidem (Ambien) and alcohol, Musk tweeted in June 2017: “A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien … and magic!”[268] Musk gained media attention for mentioning the dangerous drug combination publicly on his social media.[269][270]

Joe Rogan podcast appearance

In mid-September 2018, Musk appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and discussed various topics for 2-1/2 hours.[271] Within five days, the appearance had registered 10 million YouTube views.[272] One of the highest profile and controversial aspects of the program was Musk’s puffing from a cannabis-laced cigarette offered by Rogan. The Washington Post observed, “In the media’s hands, it became a story about Musk’s growing instability…”[273] Tesla stock dropped after the incident, which coincided with the confirmation of the departure of Tesla’s Vice President of Worldwide Finance earlier that day.[274] Fortune wondered if the cannabis use could have ramifications for SpaceX contracts with the United States Air Force, though a USAF spokesperson told The Verge that “It’s inaccurate that there is an investigation” and that the Air Force is still processing the situation.[275][276]

Awards and recognition

In popular media

In Iron Man 2 (2010), Musk met Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in a restaurant, and had some brief lines regarding an “idea for an electric jet.”[295]

In January 2015, Musk made a guest appearance playing himself on The Simpsons in an episode titled “The Musk Who Fell to Earth“; the episode poked fun at many of Musk’s ideas.[296]

In November 2015, Musk appeared in an episode of The Big Bang Theory, playing himself, volunteering at a soup kitchen with Howard.[297]

Musk was featured in the 2015 environmental documentary Racing Extinction, in which a custom Tesla Model S was designed to help project images of critically endangered species onto public buildings, including the Empire State Building and the Vatican.[298]

In 2016, Musk appeared as himself in the romantic comedy film Why Him? where he was briefly met by one of the main characters, Ned Flemming played by Bryan Cranston, in a bar at a party.[299]

Also in 2016, Musk was referenced by Dr. Martin Stein on The CW time-travel TV show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. During time travel to the past, Stein meets his younger self and introduced himself as Elon Musk, to disguise his own identity.[300]

In October 2017, Musk was prematurely immortalized as a historic pioneer on the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery. Set in the year 2256, Captain Gabriel Lorca attempts to motivate a scientist on his ship by asking him “How do you want to be remembered in history? Alongside the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, Zefram Cochrane? Or as a failed fungus expert. A selfish little man who put the survival of his own ego before the lives of others?”[301][302] According to an article in published the day after the episode aired, this mention is “also interesting because of its notable omission of Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos: This other space entrepreneur is such a big fan of Star Trek that he pitched and succeeded in landing a cameo in Star Trek Beyond as an alien being, but he doesn’t rate a mention from Lorca among the spaceflight pantheon.”[303]

Musk is significantly referenced numerous times in Hat Films‘ 2017 album, Neon Musk.[304]

In November 2017, Musk appeared as himself in the Season 1, Episode 6, episode of The Big Bang Theory spin-off prequel series Young Sheldon. The successful first landing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage on a drone ship on April 8, 2016, is shown being covered by CNN. This is followed by a scene where Musk is shown alone in his office reading the notebook that young Sheldon mailed NASA in 1989 (a scene shown earlier in the episode) containing calculations detailing how this feat could be accomplished.[305]


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  73. Jump up^ Mike Wall (December 22, 2017). “Used SpaceX Rocket Launches 10 Communications Satellites Once Again” Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  74. Jump up^ Gebhardt, Chris (February 9, 2018). “Falcon Heavy success paves the way for open access to space beyond Earth –” Retrieved February 19, 2018.
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  76. Jump up^ Clark, Stephen. “100th Merlin 1D engine flies on Falcon 9 rocket – Spaceflight Now”. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  77. Jump up^ “SpaceX completes 100th Merlin 1D Engine”SpaceX. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
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  82. Jump up^ Cite error: The named reference Rue89-2015-05-28 was invoked but never defined (see thehelp page).
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  84. Jump up^ Davenport, Christian (June 13, 2016). “Elon Musk provides new details on his ‘mind blowing’ mission to Mars”Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  85. Jump up^ Chang, Kenneth (September 27, 2016). “Elon Musk’s Plan: Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond”New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  86. Jump up^ Lambert, Fred (November 16, 2016). “Elon Musk’s stake in SpaceX is actually worth more than his Tesla shares”Electrek. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  87. Jump up^ Elon Musk (September 29, 2017). Becoming a Multiplanet Species (video). 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia: SpaceX. Retrieved December 31, 2017 – via YouTube.
  88. Jump up^ Dent, Steve (September 29, 2017). “Elon Musk’s Mars dream hinges on a giant new rocket”Engadget. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  89. Jump up^ Burns, Matt (October 8, 2014). “A Brief History of Tesla”TechCrunch. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  90. Jump up^ Nordqvist, Joseph (February 12, 2014). “Tesla Motors Inc.—Company Information”. Market Business News. Archived from the original on February 12, 2014. Retrieved April 16,2014.
  91. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (August 2, 2006). “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me) No. 124”. Tesla Motors. Archived from the original on August 2, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2010. [self-published source]
  92. Jump up^ Musk, Elon. “CEO Elon Musk”. Tesla Motors. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  93. Jump up^ Morrison, Chris (October 15, 2008). “Musk steps in as CEO”The New York Times.
  94. Jump up^ Graham Ruddick. “Tesla’s Model X electric car spreads falcon wings at US launch”the Guardian. Retrieved November 4,2015.
  95. Jump up^ “Tesla Model X: Not a model launch”Fortune. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  96. Jump up^ “Model X”. Tesla Motors. October 29, 2012.
  97. Jump up^ Joann Muller (June 1, 2013). “What Do Toyota And Mercedes See in Tesla? A Bit of Themselves”
  98. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (August 2, 2006). “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)”. Tesla Motors.
  99. Jump up^ Hamilton, Tyler (October 12, 2009). “Tesla CEO following in Henry Ford’s tracks”Toronto Star. Archived from the original on October 17, 2009.
  100. Jump up^ Del Ray, Jason (May 29, 2013), Musk: You’ll Be Able to Drive Your Tesla Cross-Country by Year’s End With Supercharger ExpansionAll Things D
  101. Jump up^ Claudia Assis; Jeremy C. Owens. “Elon Musk exercises Tesla options, pays million tax bill with own cash”MarketWatch. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  102. Jump up^ Chris Ziegler (January 29, 2016). “Elon Musk bought million more worth of Tesla this week”The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  103. Jump up^ “Tesla’s Elon Musk worked for free last year”Fortune. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  104. Jump up^ Durisin, Megan (August 10, 2013). “Musk get US$4.3 millionof stock options for Model X work”Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  105. Jump up^ “All Our Patent Are Belong To You”. Tesla Motors. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  106. Jump up^ Dana Hull (February 19, 2016). “Musk Gets Domain Name After Waiting a Decade”. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
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  108. Jump up^ “Musk’s New Pay Deal Could Make Him the World’s Richest Man—If Tesla Succeeds” January 23, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  109. Jump up^ “New York taxpayers’ gift to Elon Musk”New York Post. March 25, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  110. Jump up^ Goldstein, Matthew (27 September 2018). “S.E.C. Sues Tesla’s Elon Musk for Fraud and Seeks to Bar Him From Running a Public Company”The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  111. Jump up^ O’Kane, Sean; Lopatto, Elizabeth (27 September 2018). “Elon Musk sued by SEC for securities fraud” Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  112. Jump up^ “Management Team”. SolarCity.
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  114. Jump up^ “2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors”Solar Power World. September 13, 2013.
  115. Jump up^ “Tesla’s Acquisition of SolarCity Receives Shareholder Approval”. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  116. Jump up^ “Early Christmas Present For Elon Musk As Shareholders Bless Tesla-SolarCity Merger”Forbes. November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  117. Jump up^ “Tesla – Current Report”
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  120. Jump up^ Aaron Smith (June 17, 2014). “Elon Musk’s sunny plans for Buffalo”CNNMoney.
  121. Jump up^ Ayre, James (2017-09-07). “Solar Roof Tile Production At Tesla’s Buffalo “Gigafactory” Now Up & Running”CleanTechnica. US. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  122. Jump up^ “Beyond the hype of Hyperloop: An analysis of Elon Musk’s proposed transit system” August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  123. Jump up^ Ashlee Vance“Revealed: Elon Musk Explains the Hyperloop, the Solar-Powered High-Speed Future of Inter-City Transportation”Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  124. Jump up^ “Hyperloop Update: Elon Musk Will Start Developing It Himself”. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  125. Jump up^ “Musk announces plans to build Hyperloop demonstrator”. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  126. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (August 12, 2013). “Hyperloop Alpha” (PDF). SpaceX. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  127. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (August 12, 2013). “Hyperloop”Tesla. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
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  129. Jump up^ “Hyperloop”. SpaceX. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
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  132. Jump up^ “Elon Musk Says He Has ‘Verbal’ OK To Build N.Y.-D.C. Hyperloop” Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  133. Jump up^ Felton, Ryan (July 20, 2017). “Here’s A Running List of Comments From Public Agencies on Elon Musk’s ‘Verbal Govt Approval’ To Build A Hyperloop From NYC To D.C.” Jalopnik. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  134. Jump up^ Markoff, John (December 11, 2015). “Artificial-Intelligence Research Center Is Founded by Silicon Valley Investors”The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  135. Jump up^ Levy, Steven (December 11, 2015). “How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over”Medium/Backchannel. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  136. Jump up^ “Elon Musk, who has sounded the alarm on AI, leaves the organization he co-founded to make it safer”CNBC. February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  137. Jump up^ “Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI”The Verge. March 27, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  138. Jump up^ Golson, Jordan (January 25, 2017). “Elon Musk: “Without tunnels, we will all be in traffic hell forever””The Verge. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  139. Jump up^ “Elon Musk Will Begin Digging His “Boring Company” Tunnel in About A Month”Fortune. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  140. Jump up^ Parnell, Brid-Aine. “Elon Musk Teases Traffic-Busting Tunneling Firm ‘The Boring Co.'”Forbes. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  141. Jump up^ Solon, Olivia (January 26, 2017). “Elon Musk to dig tunnel to ease traffic in LA, but he doesn’t yet have permission” – via The Guardian.
  142. Jump up^ Mazza, Sandy. “Elon Musk wants to start digging a traffic-relieving tunnel in Hawthorne ‘in a month or so'”. Los Angeles Daily Times. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  143. Jump up^ Chafkin, Max (February 16, 2017). “Elon Musk Is Really Boring”. Bloomberg. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  144. Jump up^ Heathman, Amelia. “Elon Musk’s boring machine has already built a ‘test trench’ in LA”Wired UK. Retrieved February 19,2017.
  145. Jump up^ Hanley, Steve. “Elon Musk Talks About His Vision Of The Future At TED2017”Gas2. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  146. Jump up^ “Elon Musk joins the Truth Squad and so can you”PolitiFact. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  147. Jump up^ “Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books”Reveal. 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  148. Jump up^ Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (May 23, 2018). “Tweet on credibility website idea” (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  150. Jump up^“Pravda: Elon Musk’s solution for punishing journalists”Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
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  152. Jump up^ “Elon Musk posted videos of the ‘kid-size submarine’ he’s sending to help save the boys trapped in a cave in Thailand”Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  153. Jump up^ “How Elon Musk’s mini-sub actually works”NewsComAu. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  154. Jump up^ “Watch Divers Test Elon Musk’s Submarine for the Thai Cave Rescue Mission”Inverse. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
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  156. Jump up^ “Elon Musk joins effort to free Thai boys from cave, as immediate diving attempt ruled out”.
  157. Jump up^ Glaser, April. “Elon Musk Is Trying to Aid the Thai Cave Rescue by Sending His Engineers and Brainstorming on Twitter”SlateArchived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  158. Jump up^ “Elon Musk says SpaceX is building a ‘kid-sized submarine’ to rescue trapped soccer team”The VergeArchived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  159. Jump up^ Ferris, Robert (10 July 2018). “Elon Musk says his ‘mini-submarine’ can be used for other things”. CNBC. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
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  161. Jump up^ McKay, Tom. “Elon Musk Says He’s Building a Tiny ‘Submarine’ to Rescue Thai Soccer Team Trapped in Cave”Gizmodo. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  162. Jump up^ “Thai official: Elon Musk’s submarine “not practical for this mission” [Updated]”Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  163. Jump up^ “Arcata’s Wing Inflatables, SpaceX collaborate on Thailand cave rescue”madriverunion.comArchived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  164. Jump up^ “Answering Elon Musk’s call for help to build Thailand’s cave rescue pod in 24 hours”teslarati.comArchived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  165. Jump up^ “Thai cave rescue: Elon Musk delivers tiny submarine, rescuers say no thanks”. ABC News. 10 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 10 July2018.
  166. Jump up^ Rawlinson, Kevin (10 July 2018). “Elon Musk queries expertise of Thai cave rescue officials”The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  167. Jump up^ Suhartono, Muktita; Jacobs, Julia (15 July 2018). “Elon Musk Defends His Rejected Mini-Sub Plan for Thai Cave”The New York Times. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  168. Jump up^ Chris Baynes (14 July 2018). “Elon Musk can ‘stick his submarine where it hurts’, says British caver who helped rescue Thai schoolboys”Independent. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
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  170. Jump up^ “Richard Stanton email correspondence”twitter.comArchived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July2018.
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  172. Jump up^ “Subscribe to read”Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
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  174. Jump up^ Furious Elon Musk calls Thailand cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’ By Linda Massarella, NYP July 15, 2018
  175. Jump up^ Michaels, Matthew (15 July 2018). “Elon Musk calls British diver from the Thai cave rescue a ‘pedo guy’ after he said Elon ‘can stick his submarine where it hurts'”Business Insider. Business Insider. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
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  177. Jump up^ “British caver ‘could sue’ Elon Musk”BBC News. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-16.
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  179. Jump up^ Kelleher, Kevin (16 July 2018). “After Elon Musk’s ‘Pedo’ Tweet, Tesla Shares Fall 4% as Some Investors Worry About His Erratic Behavior”Fortune. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  180. Jump up^ Levin, Sam (17 July 2018). “Tesla investors demand Elon Musk apologize for calling Thailand diver ‘pedo'”The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  181. Jump up^ Browne, Ryan. “Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless ‘pedo guy’ claim”CNBC. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
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  185. Jump up^ Mac, Ryan. “Elon Musk Revisits Baseless Pedophile Claims”BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  186. Jump up^ Mac, Ryan (29 August 2018). “The Rescuer Elon Musk Called A “Pedo” Is Preparing A Libel Claim”BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  187. Jump up^ Castillo, Michelle (29 August 2018). “Cave explorer Elon Musk called a ‘pedo guy’ is preparing a lawsuit”CNBC. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  188. Jump up^ Levin, Sam (5 September 2018). “Elon Musk calls Thailand diver ‘child rapist’ in latest baseless attack”. The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
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  197. Jump up^ “Elon Musk on Trump presidency: ‘I don’t think he’s the right guy'” Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  198. Jump up^ Lee, Dave (January 26, 2017). “Elon Musk: I’m Trump’s voice of reason”BBC News. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  199. Jump up^ “US quits Paris climate pact: Reaction from around the world following the US president’s decision on the Paris accord”. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  200. Jump up^ “Elon Musk anouncing departing presidential councils on Twitter”. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  201. Jump up to:a b “Elon Musk, SpaceX Founder, Battles Entrenched Rivals Over NASA Contracts”The Huffington Post. February 20, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  202. Jump up^ “Obama and Congress at odds over Elon Musk”. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  203. Jump up^ Timothy P. Carney, “Carney: Green stimulus profiteer comes under IRS scrutiny”,, October 14, 2012.
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  205. Jump up^ Salant, Jonathan D. (September 27, 2013). “Billionaires Battle as Bezos-Musk Companies Vie for Launch Pad” Bloomberg Business. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  206. Jump up^ Steven Kovach, “Elon Musk Says He Quit Mark Zuckerberg’s PAC Because It Was Too Cynical”,, May 31, 2013.
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  208. Jump up^ Werber, Cassie. “Elon Musk says tax-free carbon is “the dumbest experiment in history””. Quartz. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  209. Jump up^ “Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Tesla Motors, So Why Does Elon Musk Slam Them?”Mother Jones. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  210. Jump up^ Harkinson, Josh (September 2013). “Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Tesla Motors, So Why Does Elon Musk Slam Them?”Mother Jones. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  211. Jump up^ Hirsch, Jerry (May 30, 2015). “Elon Musk’s growing empire is fuelled by  billion in government subsidies”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  212. Jump up^ “Going to Mars with Elon Musk” June 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
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  214. Jump up^ “Elon Musk, CEO and CTO, Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX), Peter Diamandis, CEO, X Prize Foundation and John Doerr, Venture Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers”. YouTube. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  215. Jump up^ Anderson, Ross (September 30, 2014). “The Elon Musk Interview on Mars Colonization”Aeon. Retrieved June 10,2015.
  216. Jump up^ Gibbs, Samuel (October 27, 2014). “Elon Musk: artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat”The Guardian. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  217. Jump up^ “Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking think we should ban killer robots”Washington Post. July 28, 2015. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  218. Jump up to:a b Kosoff, Maya (January 15, 2015). “Elon Musk Is Donating Million To Keep Killer Robots From Taking Over The World”Business Insider. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  219. Jump up^ Muoio, Danielle (December 11, 2015). “Elon Musk just announced a new artificial intelligence research company”. Tech Insider. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  220. Jump up^ Hern, Alex (June 18, 2014). “Elon Musk says he invested in DeepMind over ‘Terminator’ fears”. Retrieved June 10, 2015– via The Guardian.
  221. Jump up^ “We are living in a computer simulation, Elon Musk says”. The Independent. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  222. Jump up^ Elkus, Adam (October 31, 2014). “Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence”Slate. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
  223. Jump up^ Artificial Intelligence Alarmists Win ITIF’s Annual Luddite Award, ITIF Website, January 19, 2016
  224. Jump up^ “‘Artificial intelligence alarmists’ like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking win ‘Luddite of the Year’ award”The Independent (UK). January 19, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  225. Jump up^ Price, Emily (December 24, 2015). “Elon Musk nominated for ‘luddite’ of the year prize over artificial intelligence fears”The Guardian. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  226. Jump up^ “Anticipating artificial intelligence”Nature532 (7600): 413. April 26, 2016. Bibcode:2016Natur.532Q.413.doi:10.1038/532413aPMID 27121801.
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  228. Jump up to:a b Brown, Mike (15 Dec 2017). “Elon Musk Sparks Heated Twitter Debate Over Boring Company’s Vision”Inverse. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  229. Jump up to:a b Hunt, Elle (December 21, 2017). “‘I met my wife on a train platform’: Twitter responds to Elon Musk with positive public transport stories”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  230. Jump up^ Marshall, Aarian (December 14, 2017). “Elon Musk Really Doesn’t Like Mass Transit Systems He’s Trying to Build”WIRED. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  231. Jump up^ Toderian, Brent (December 18, 2017). “Elon Musk may say bad things about public transit, but I asked Twitter to share their #GreatThingsThatHappenedOnTransit! As usual, Twitter responded in spades. Here are some of my favourites for posterity – please enjoy & share!”@BrentToderian. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  232. Jump up^ Hamilton-Smith, Lexy (March 23, 2017). “Brisbane’s urban planning ‘average’ and making residents sick, expert says”ABC News. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  233. Jump up to:a b Morris, David Z. (December 16, 2017). “Elon Musk Calls Transit Expert ‘An Idiot,’ Says Public Transport ‘Sucks'”Fortune. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  234. Jump up^ Walker, Jarrett (December 14, 2017). “In cities, @elonmusk’s hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford. Letting him design cities is the essence of elite projection”@humantransit. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  235. Jump up^ Walker, Jarrett (July 31, 2017). “The Dangers of Elite Projection — Human Transit”Human Transit. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  236. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (December 14, 2017). “You’re an idiot”@elonmusk. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  237. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (December 14, 2017). “Sorry”@elonmusk. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  238. Jump up^ Musk, Elon (December 14, 2017). “Meant to say “sanctimonious idiot””@elonmusk. Retrieved December 23,2017.
  239. Jump up^ Krugman, Paul (December 19, 2017). “Elon Musk’s idea of a cogent argument: “You’re an idiot” …”@paulkrugman. Retrieved December 23,2017.
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Further reading

External links

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