From Batman to Tony Stark, heroes of the tech industry no longer exist only in comic books. Our Digital Heroes brings you one tech-savvy icon every month to love, hate, and learn from. This month we discuss Elon Musk; a man who has true digital superpowers whilst also being hated as much as he is loved!
If you were to overhear about the life and work of Elon Reeve Musk for the first time, you very well might brush the gossip off as a group of teenagers talking about their favorite super hero.
But for Musk, his fans are not teenagers and he is a very real-life representation of digital superpowers.
Musk has famously long been convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multi-planet species. He began to develop his career around this concept.
He isn’t impressed with our current rocket launcher model, hailing them as too expensive. As a result, in 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets for his multi-planet expansion initiative.
SpaceX went on to develop the Dragon spacecraft, which carries supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon can carry as many as seven astronauts.
Enter Tesla. Musk set his sights on the roads of Earth and the automotive sector in the meantime while his SpaceX goals develop.
Another project, the Hyperloop, which is a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel the 350 miles (560 km) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, nearly the speed of sound.
In his personal life, Musk and Canadian musician Grimes are in a relationship with a newborn baby. According to Musk and Grimes, his name was “X Æ A-12”; however, the name was deemed illegal under California law. Human names cannot contain characters that are not in the modern English alphabet. The baby’s name was then changed to “X Æ A-Xii”. This drew more confusion from the public, as Æ is not a letter in the modern English alphabet, either. The child was eventually named “X AE A-XII”, with “X” as a first name and “AE A-XII” as a middle name.
Musk currently resides in Texas. From the early 2000s until late 2020, he resided in the Los Angeles area of California where both Tesla and SpaceX were founded and where their headquarters are still located.
Elon Musk dropped out of Stanford after only two days, deciding instead to join the Internet boom and launch an internet startup.
Musk only owns 21% of Tesla but has pledged more than half his stake as collateral for loans.
He grew up in South Africa, then immigrated to Canada at age 17. He landed in the U.S. as a transfer student to the University of Pennsylvania.
Although his father insisted that he attend college in Pretoria, Musk was determined to move to the United States. Aware that it would be easier to enter the United States from Canada, he applied for a Canadian passport through his Canadian-born mother.
Musk has been the subject of criticism due to unorthodox or unscientific stances and highly publicized controversies.