Science

Elon Musk: madman or ingenious entrepreneur?

Written by Callum Murison

Elon Musk certainly is an ambitious and, up until now, an incredibly successful and wealthy man: he is the founder of numerous companies – SpaceX and Tesla being his biggest and, probably, most well known. As present, the construction of his Gigafactory – which, when finished, will be the biggest building in the world – is a significant and necessary step towards improvements in efficiency, quality and volume of the lithium-ion battery, which is now extensively used for car batteries, phone batteries and much, much more!

So, what has he achieved up until now, and what are his major goals?

Well, let’s begin with SpaceX – “the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.” It has already been used for resupply missions (by NASA) to the ISS (International Space Station) and will be used for many years to come for this purpose. Additionally, Elon Musk and SpaceX are in development of the Falcon Heavy – which promises to be the most powerful rocket of all time, with Elon Musk having flown his own Tesla roadster into space to simulate a payload!

But there’s more!

SpaceX are developing something called the BFR (read into the name what you will…) which is being designed for future missions to Mars.

Next, onto Tesla. The Model S and Model X are both already quite well established, but the high price of buying either of them has clearly restricted the target market. Elon Musk is already trying to expand his market with the release of the Model 3, which is a much more affordable: £35,000 compared to the Model S (beginning at £66,730) and the Model X (from £74,530). However, his view for such a mass scale of production means he is encountering difficulties, which hopefully will be resolved soon, as his Gigafactory grows even more gargantuan!

And just when you think that’s ambitious enough, a project called Hyperloop has been described as Elon Musk as a “cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table”. Ever-so-slightly odd… A revolutionary, futuristic mode of travel, it is likely to propel passengers at speeds up to 700mph, drastically shortening journey times for proposed routes.

So, these are just a handful of the main projects Elon Musk is involved in and, it must be said, he certainly doesn’t lack ambition. Whether these incredible brain-children of Musk will eventually exist will have to be seen in progress in forthcoming years and, hopefully, reap massive benefits when complete. But, if you think he’s being over-ambitious and a little bit crazy, ask yourself this: has there ever been an ingenious entrepreneur without a touch a madness?

About the author

Callum Murison

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