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Elon Musk Changing the World

Brendan Bellingham, Staff Writer

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 Elon Musk will ,without a doubt, be remembered as a pioneer of private space travel, electric transportation, and clean energy production. He has started many successful companies such as Tesla and SpaceX and partnered with companies like SolarCity. Musk is far from finishing innovating as he just began a new tunneling company in past weeks named The Boring Company. Musk’s image of this planet in just a couple decades is intense; he sees a world where all the cars on the road are electric self driving vehicles and instead of flying in the air are driving in tunnels under current highways. Musk may seem insane when he talks about the world changing so drastically well within his lifetime but when you look at what his current companies have produced and the rate at that he is creating new companies and partnering with others Musk’s future world seems obtainable.

 Musk founded Tesla in 2003 as an electric vehicle company and launched his first electric vehicle the Tesla Roadster in 2008. The Roadster was a flashy sports car with an underdeveloped battery, but Musk evolved the company into a full fledged electric vehicle company with a wide lineup of vehicles. Tesla’s current lineup includes the four seat Model S and the larger six seat Model X. These cars are fully electric with semi-autonomous driving features and a software system much like a smartphone. This software allows for Tesla to implement over the air updates to vehicles all over the world and bring new innovations to cars manufactured before current technology was available. Tesla will soon release “a car for the masses” the Model 3 with a more affordable price tag and sudan design for the common man. They will also create a semi-truck with fully autonomous driving functionality for coast to coast halling without a driver. Tesla is labeled as an electric car company but many of Elon’s innovations under the name Tesla like the Gigafactory are pushing Tesla into more fields involving battery technology. The first Gigafactory is up and running off of 100% solar energy in Storey County, Nevada producing lithium-ion for Tesla vehicles and a second one is said to be built overseas in coming years. Elon Musk is doing amazing work by increasing renewable energy production and putting electric vehicles on the road with Tesla but that is just one of his companies.

 SpaceX was founded by Musk in 2002 with the goal of designing and launching rockets that will one day enable mankind to populate other planets. SpaceX has gained popularity lately because of their ability to launch their rockets into space and land them gracefully back on small barges in the middle of the ocean. Videos of SpaceX rocket’s controlled falls from space have gone viral because of just how quickly they seem to slow down and land on a small target. This controlled fall technique is revolutionary as most cargo rockets are never returned to earth after lift off. Musk has spoken about his plans to colonize Mars by using this technique to land people safely on Mars and reuse the expensive rockets. Right now SpaceX is flying numerous resupply missions to the International Space Station but Musk has big plans for the company. The Crew Dragon is one of three rockets SpaceX has created and was the first commercial spacecraft to carry cargo to the International Space Station in 2012, but it was originally designed to carry people. The Crew Dragon has not yet carried passengers but will one day carry astronauts to the International Space Station and “other destinations”. That other destinations statement was recently elaborated on by SpaceX when they announced they will be launching a moon mission much like Apollo late next year. The mission will carry two citizens to the moon and is said to be an important milestone before the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars is met. Time will tell if SpaceX is capable of landing the first human on Mars but with numerous test landings and successful space flights Musk may win the second space race to Mars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In past weeks Musk has started another company called The Boring Company. The company will use boring machines to dig tunnels for car traffic under pre-existing above ground roads. The tunnels aim to fight inner city traffic problems with underground highways as opposed to in air travel. After the initial announcement of The Boring Company with this video two weeks ago Elon gave a TED talk that included hints about the new company’s plans, but Musk has detailed his progress on his Instagram and Twitter. On Instagram Musk showed the boring machine being lowered into the ground across the street from his LA SpaceX office. He also showed his promised 125 MPH speed limit being hit in the tunnel. Going at this speed in the tunnels will allow passengers to go from Los Angeles to Westwood in five minutes, a trip of 15 miles currently taking 20 minutes on above ground highways. As shown in the announcement video the tunnels will connect cars to electric rails that transport the passengers and vehicle at these high speeds.

 Elon Musk had humble beginnings at PayPal but quickly gained traction as an innovator with Tesla. He currently has a net worth of 15.6 billion dollars and has spread his wealth and ideas over many companies doing completely different things to improve the world. Elon Musk will be remember as one of the great minds of this generation, and he’s just getting started.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Elon Musk Changing the World”

  1. Sharon McHugh on May 17th, 2017 3:19 pm

    I found the article quite interesting. It render me of “houses of the future” that we’re presented by GG and Westinghouse in the early 1960’s. We thought those ideas would never become a reality but many came into use quickly. Perhaps the whole tunnel concept is not so far fetched. Bostonians who lived through the Big Dig will certainly be skeptical.

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Elon Musk Changing the World