The South African-born computer programmer and businessman is worth about $21 bn( PS15bn) today. He was catapulted into the ranks of the super-rich with the sale of PayPal to eBay, which netted him $165 m
In 2002, he employed $100 m to find SpaceX, which aims to cut the cost of space travel through technology such as reusable rockets. One of Musk’s ultimate goals is to pioneer efforts to colonise Mars.
Musk became a major investor in electric car company Tesla in 2004 and took over the controls in 2008. Tesla has focused on building a vehicle with mass marketplace appeal. Despite low-pitched sales, its stock market value overtook Ford last year.
Another ambitious Musk project is the Hyperloop, his eyesight of a super-fast underground transport system to whisk fares between major US metropolis, such as LA and San Francisco, at hypersonic rate. He has called the idea a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an breath hockey table”. Critics say it is too impossible and expensive.
More recent ideas include OpenAI, a not-for-profit house researching neural networks, and Neuralink, a company exploring ways to connect the human brain with AI.
Photograph: Peter Parks/ AFP
Caught in what Musk has called ” manufacturing blaze”, the electric car firm has failed to hit its weekly production target of 2,500 Model 3 vehicles in the first three months of 2018, promoting skepticism within the industry that Tesla will be able to smacked its 5,000 -a-week target in three months time.
The significant make shortfall has delayed crucial patron gives. Musk said he was forced to take direct hold of the production line at the beginning of April, resorting to drawing all-nighters and sleeping at the factory.
” We were allowed to unlock some of the crucial things that were accommodating us back from reaching 2,000 vehicles a few weeks. But since then, we’ve continued to do 2,000 automobiles a week ,” he said.
At the same time Tesla is facing negative publicity over a fatal disintegrate of one of its Model X SUVs that was driving using the firm’s Autopilot mode, openly feuding with the US National Transportation Safety Board and attempting to suppress issues before media attention.
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