The first ever successful launch and safe return and retrieval of the booster, after mission accomplished, happened in December 2015 for SpaceX. The success of the operation of carrying and launching the payload in space was surely an occasion to rejoice; however, it had happened before on numerous occasions.
The most significant and triumphant aspect of the mission for Elon Musk and the SpaceX team was the safe return and retrieval of the booster which had never happened before for SpaceX until December 2015; although Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin had successfully achieved this feat of safe return and retrieval earlier with its “New Shepard” mission.
Ever since that momentous day in December 2015, SpaceX achieved six successful launches and booster retrievals until the tragic explosion of Falcon 9 along with its payload in September 2016 and a re-launch was scheduled for January 2017.
Of course, an enquiry into the disaster was initiated and SpaceX investigators were able to narrow down the cause of last year’s pre-launch testing catastrophe at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to a malfunction of one of three helium tanks inside the rocket’s second-stage liquid oxygen tank as reported by Associated Press (AP).
“SpaceX announced this month that investigators concluded the accident involved a failure of one of three helium tanks inside the rocket’s second-stage liquid oxygen tank,” reported AP.
However, true to their word of a re-launch in January 2017, Elon Musk and the SpaceX team achieved their seventh successful launch and booster retrieval on Saturday, January 14, 2017.
The Falcon9 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on Saturday, with a payload of 10 satellites launching the “Iridium-1” mission on behalf of Iridium Communications Inc. headquartered in McLean, Virginia. It is a voice and data communications company which operates Iridium satellite constellations providing voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers covering the entire surface of the earth.
The successful launch and retrieval not only by Elon Musk’s SpaceX but also Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin mean retrieved boosters can be used multiple times for launching different payloads into orbit, thereby, making such missions much more economical and feasible for other space-related ventures.
As far as SpaceX is concerned there are reports that they have a minimum of seventy scheduled launches in the not too distant future involving a mind-blowing US$10 billion.
In addition to commercial space launches like the seventh launch for Iridium, SpaceX is also involved in carrying space supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
Reportedly, they are also working on space capsule technology designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.
With the rapid development being witnessed in space technology in the 21st century along with NASA’s involvement, assistance, and expertise, colonization of Mars, commercial space flight services, space hotels, amusement parks and much more are appearing more and more as distant, and in some cases not too distant, realities.
For more information on related topics please refer to the following links:
The Tesla “Gigafactory 1” (GF1) event for investors was held on January 4, 2017, at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Nevada. The purpose of the event was to give the investors an insight into the workings of the plant and see for themselves where their investments were heading towards.
This was not the first GF1 event for investors by Tesla and their expectations were that it would be a lot more interesting and informative for investors than the one held back in July 2016.
The Gigafactory 1 (GF) is a lithium-ion battery production facility, currently under construction is primarily intended for the Tesla Motors manufacturing units.
Ever since its impressive opening on July 29, 2016, Tesla has claimed that it will focus on the use of renewable energy, primarily a solar array with promises of the largest solar rooftop array in the world, at least seven times bigger than any existing rooftop facility anywhere.
The use of fossil fuel has no place in their plans – a strict No- No. It’s Tesla’s dedication to modernizing the world while protecting the environment at the same time.
As more information is being released to the public after the conclusion of the January 4 GF1 event, they have confirmed that they will employ a combination of a solar rooftop assembly and also ground level solar installations.
The solar rooftop array, as claimed by Tesla, will be a 70 MW facility, the largest in the world by a wide margin – the largest such array is in India with an 11.5 MW capacity and the second largest in the world is the Whirlpool Corporation Regional Distribution Center in Perris, California, with a 10 MW limit – both will be dwarfed in comparison to the Goliath rooftop array under construction by Tesla in Nevada.
The hand out of the GF1 event of January 4, the company says:
All-electric allows for greater efficiency in the factory itself along with zero carbon emissions. A large portion of building heating is provided by waste heat recovered from production processes. Gigafactory’s closed-loop water supply system uses six different treatment systems to efficiently recirculate about 1.5 million litres of water, representing an 80% reduction in fresh water usage compared with standard processes. Construction is underway for an on-site recycling facility that will safely reprocess all types of Tesla battery cells, modules, and packs, into various metal products for reuse in new cells.”
The handout complete with illustrations of January 4, 2017, event is available on https://www.scribd.com/document/336162277/Tesla-Gigafactory1-Tour-Jan-2017-Handout-FINAL
Touted as the fastest production car in the world, Tesla’s S P100D priced at US$134,000, is not all talk but true to its claims. The tech-heavy luxury car meant for the upper echelon of society is worth every dollar as claimed by those who have experienced the ride.
The awesome acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds will not only push you back in your seat but warp your eyes and recalibrate your internal organs the way a roller coaster ride would do – it has the ability to embarrass Europe’s most talked about sports cars.
The mind blowing acceleration is not the only outstanding feature of this truly amazing top of the line car – the Tesla S P100D.
Here are some of the features that make the car worthy of its price and claims:
1. Acceleration: It won’t be inappropriate to term it an insanely fast car in terms of acceleration. While driving in urban traffic conditions there will not be too many opportunities to hustle from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds but the feeling of knowing that the option is available anytime you want it is really nice.
2. Battery Capacity: The 100-kWH battery provides the owner a range of 315 miles every full charge, a significant increase of around 15 miles per charge over models S 90D and P90D.
A 300 plus mile range for every full charge is a noteworthy accomplishment for any electric car.
Musk says that battery capacity improvement is 8 percent per annum in the EV industry on an average; however, the 10kWh up gradation from P90D to P100D is an enhancement of 11 percent which has exceeded his own estimation.
3. Autopilot: Though not the first car ever to provide autopilot feature, the P100D allows the Autopilot mode full autonomy to drive from point A to point B by using just one radar camera and one sensor which is uncommon in other cars with autopilot features.
4. It has child-friendly features: It comes equipped with child seating and a spacious rear bench but may scare the devil out of your children if you suddenly decide to accelerate to full capacity.
5. The charge lasts longer irrespective of driving style: Like other Tesla EVs, the P100D range per charge also lasts longer than any other EV. Even if you drive at 70mph, with the A/C full on, and the biggest wheels installed it will still give you 250 miles per full charge.
6. Amenities: The P100D is a resplendently luxury car with amenities that can match the finest German cars or any luxury European car, for that matter.
7. Driving Conditions: Whatever the surface you are driving on, be it a street surface, highway or freeway, or a complex parking lot the driving experience is remarkably smooth.
Had it been cheap enough, in pricing terms, one would have bought it, like yesterday.
Date of birth – June 28, 1971 Place of birth – Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa Parents – His father, Errol Musk, was also born in South Africa and an electromechanical engineer by profession.
His mother Maye Musk, Maye Haldeman before her marriage to Errol Musk, is again a South African-born dietician and model.
The couple divorced in 1980.
Siblings – His brother Kimbal Musk born on September 20, 1972, is a Canadian-American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and an environmentalist.
Tosca, the youngest among the siblings, born in 1974, is a producer and director of films and TV programs.
Very early in his life, at the age of ten, Elon Musk developed a penchant for computers and just two years later, aged 12, had begun computer programming (self-taught) and developed and sold the code for a video game, which he named Blastar, to a magazine called PC and Office Technology – his first business deal.
Schooling & University – He studied at the Waterkloof House Preparatory School and graduated from Pretoria Boys High School. Soon after his graduation, he moved to Canada and had no difficulties getting Canadian citizenship because of his Canadian-born mother.
He joined the Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and after two years moved over to the University of Pennsylvania earning his Bachelor of Science degree in physics and Bachelor of Science degree in economics at the age of 24.
In 1995 Elon shifted base to California where he joined the Stanford University to pursue PhD in applied physics and materials science but two days were enough for him to leave and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams. His areas of interest were the internet, renewable energy and space.
In 2002 he was granted U.S. citizenship.
Career and Growth
His entrepreneurial adventure and ascendency in the world of big business began with Zip2, a software company he co-founded with his brother Kimbal Musk with an initial investment of US$28,000 funded by their father.
In February 1999, Zip2 was acquired by Compaq at an estimated cost of US$307 million in cash and US$34 million in stocks, his share of 7percent of the sale amounted to US$22 million making him a multimillionaire at the age of 28 – this was the beginning of bigger things to come.
X.Com and PayPal
In March 1999, with an investment of US$10 million, Elon co-founded an online financial services and email-payment-company named X.com later merging with the money transfer company Pay Pal and renamed his company PayPal in 2001.
PayPal was finally acquired by eBay for an amount of US$ 1.5 billion in stocks with Elon Musk netting US$165 million from the acquisition amount – step 2 toward becoming a billionaire and much more.
His flirtation with outer space started in 2001 which included the conceptualization of “Mars Oasis”, his travels to and from Moscow in pursuit of his space exploration aspirations, meeting with companies like NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras, his ideas being scoffed at, and the trials and tribulations he endured in chasing his dreams.
He finally took the ultimate step, and in 2002, he founded the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, more commonly known as SpaceX, in his quest of creating and pioneering technologies that would reduce space travel costs which in turn would enable the colonization of Mars.
The company developed Falcon1 and Falcon9, both designed to be reusable for carrying and launching payloads and returning back safely to earth for further use.
In 2011, a privately funded program of reusable launch system technology development was started by SpaceX and after encountering numerous failures and glitches in the endeavour, December 2015 witnessed the perfect return of a Falcon9 rocket.
It landed back on its launch pad in an upright position which was cause for much jubilation within the SpaceX community – it was a historical moment for Elon Musk on a personal level.
There were several other successful launches and safe returns until September 2016 when a SpaceX rocket exploded on its launch pad destroying both rocket and payload. A re-launch has been scheduled for January 2017.
SpaceX setbacks include thrusters issues in a Dragon spacecraft in orbit, failed launches, and launch pad explosion.
However, Elon Musk’s vision of the colonization of Mars together with other space-related future plans continues.
The financial success of SpaceX can be gauged by the fact that, by 2016, Musk’s private trust holds 54% of SpaceX stock, equivalent to 78% of voting shares
Tesla Motors, better known as Tesla, was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning with Elon Musk getting involved with the company in February 2004 as the chairman of Tesla’s board of directors.
Initially, Musk was not involved in the day-to-day business operations of the company.
However, the financial crisis of 2008 saw Musk assuming the leadership of the company as CEO and Product Architect.
Under his leadership the company has grown by leaps and bounds and innovation in new Tesla cars has seen the company’s success graph go northwards.
In Elon Musk’s own words, “Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.”
His other entrepreneurial commitments and achievements worthy of mention include the acquisition of Solar City – the largest solar energy suppliers in the U.S, Hyperloop – a company that specialises in road transport at airline speeds, and Open AI – a non-profit artificial intelligence research company
Elon Musk married Justine Wilson, a Canadian author, and separated from her in 2008 with six sons from the marriage.
In 2010, after a two-year courtship, Musk married Talulah Riley, an English actress and then announced the termination of the relationship spanning four years.
In his tweet to Riley he wrote, “It was an amazing four years. I will love you forever. You will make someone very happy one day.”
He remarried Riley in July 2013 and filed for a divorce a second time in December 2014 which was later withdrawn.
March 2016 saw a third filing for divorce, this time by Riley and the divorce was finalized and confirmed in October this year.
So, guys, this is the story of Elon Musk the man, entrepreneur and visionary with a number of awards to his credit.
Our endeavour to bring similar stories of young entrepreneurs, who have the capability of influencing the way we live, will continue.
Elon Musk, founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, co-founder and Chairman of Solar City, co-founder of Open AI – a non-profit Artificial Intelligence research company, an estimated net worth of $11.5 billion as of June 2016, ranked 21 on Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People in December 2016, is after all human, and the child in him was evident in a recently released video by National Geographic capturing his reaction to the successful launch and landing of Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 21, 2015.
The momentous event including the launch and the ultimately safe and upright landing back on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral and the post landing jubilation of SpaceX employees were witnessed live via YouTube streaming broadcast.
However, what one did not get to see then, was the reaction of Elon Musk which was captured on video by a crew following him during the launch and return; the video, however, was recently released by National Geographic.
In the Nat Geo clip, soon after the countdown and the successful launch, Elon Musk says, “It’s good baby” and is seen running out of the command center into the open to watch Falcon 9 rocket blazing up into the night sky.
“Come on” he urges looking up with folded hands and looks even more tensed before the landing, continuing to look up with hands still folded. At one point, probably expecting the worst, he says, “Oh, where is it? This is bad. It’s actually bad.” The video clearly captures his grimacing, heavy breathing, looking up then, apparently, looking back at someone.
Then suddenly the sonic boom on re-entry of Falcon 9 into the earth’s atmosphere is heard and finally the near-perfect, if not the perfect, landingof the craft on the launch pad is witnessed by an elated Musk and cheering SpaceX employees.
The child in Elon Musk suddenly explodes as soon as Falcon 9 lands on the launch pad in an upright position. In his euphoria, he is seen running towards the command center calling out, “It’s standing up.”
On entering the command center he says to nobody in particular “when it started coming in it sounded like an explosion.” He then rushes to the monitor high-fiving his colleagues on the way.
On seeing the rocket on the monitor screen standing upright on the launch pad he releases his emotions, “What! Holy smokes man!” he says.
After the ecstatic childish reaction, he was back to his sober demeanour and this is what he had to say about the event:
“It’s kind of amazing that this window of opportunity is opened for life to go beyond earth and we just don’t know how long that window is going to be open. But the thing that gets me most fired up is that creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars which would be the greatest adventure ever – ever in human history. It would be so exciting to wake up in the morning and think that, that’s what’s happening”.
The successful landing in December 2015 was the first for SpaceX after many failed attempts and since then SpaceX has successfully landed back many such rockets after successfully delivering their payloads into space.
The company, however, experienced a major setback, when in September 2016, one such SpaceX Falcon9 rocket exploded on its launch pad destroying the Israeli satellite it was expected to launch into orbit.
After the massive setback in September, SpaceX is in the process of investigating the cause of the explosion and trying to iron out the glitches that caused the explosion with the target of a January 2017 re-launch.
Elon Musk is a man on many missions with a clear vision of his goals. Setbacks like the one in September 2016 is not the first he has experienced, and may not be the last, but the visionary that he is will certainly not deter him from pushing on and realizing his dreams.
Donald Trump’s transition team announced the inclusion of three highly rated CEOs in Trump’s advisory team before Wednesday’s scheduled meeting with top tech leaders.
The three names announced were, Elon Musk – CEO of Space-X and Tesla, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi – CEO of Pepsi, and Travis Kalanick – CEO of Uber.
Oracle CEO, Safra Catz, who was present at Wednesday’s meeting with Trump, was included on the executive committee of the transition team – the announcement of his inclusion was made on Thursday.
The attendees in Wednesday’s high-octane meeting with President-elect Donald Trump included names like:
* Tim Cook – CEO of Apple * Larry Page – CEO of Alpha * Satya Nadella – CEO of Microsoft * Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon * Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla and SpaceX * Ginni Rometty – CEO of IBM * Brian Krzanich – CEO of Intel * Safra Catz – CEO of Oracle * Eric Schmidt – Executive Chairman of Alphabet * Chuck Robbins – CEO of Cisco * Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook * Ivanka Trump – Executive VP of the Trump Organization * Peter Thiel – Venture Capitalist and ardent Trump supporter * Reince Priebus – incoming White House Chief of Staff
Conspicuously absent from the meeting were Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey of Twitter. However, Facebook was represented by its COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
The main focus of the meeting, which lasted for two hours, was on jobs,
immigration policy, cybersecurity, tax reforms, education, infrastructure, repatriation of foreign assets, ease of doing business overseas, and China.
He urged the tech community, “to keep going with the incredible innovation,” and added, “There’s nobody like you in the world. There’s nobody like the people in this room.”
According to an anonymous source, the tech hierarchy gave their consent to Trump’s suggestion of meeting on a quarterly basis to discuss issues.
“This is truly an amazing group of people,” Trump said at the Trump Tower at the commencement of the meeting with Silicon Valley’s big guns, “I want to add that I’m here to help you folks do well.”
He told the gathering of top tech leaders that his administrative team is “going to be here for you. You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. We have no formal chain of command around here,” – an open door policy, so to speak.
While most of the companies represented at the meeting by their CEOs or top officials desisted from making detailed comments on the meeting, here is what Jeff Bezos of Amazon said in a post-meeting statement:
“I shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech — agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing — everywhere.”
Trump who had been critical of the Silicon Valley giants, by and large, has displayed a clear deviation from his campaign policy in this regard and has pledged support to the tech industry in every which way his administration can.
Tech guru Elon Musk, one of the most talked about CEOs in the world, the man behind companies like SpaceX and Tesla, made an amazing announcement last month that took the tech world by surprise. Tesla plans to equip all their future cars with the hardware and software needed for total autonomous control – no human intervention whatsoever.
Although, the concept and technology of self-driving electric cars is nothing new, and there are quite a few competitors out there, names like Google, Uber, GM, working on the same lines, the seemingly unlikely deadline he gave was the surprise factor.
In the self-driving-electric-car competition, Ford is aiming to launch in 2021, China’s Baidu is expected in 2019; Google is yet to make an announcement on a date and likewise for GM.
Tesla envisions a time in the very near future when there would be laws against human-driven cars. If he were to be believed, looking ahead, thousands of lives can be saved by putting more faith in technology and the onboard computer rather than on humans.
His claims seem to be based on the fact that most deaths happen as result of human error rather than mechanical failure, and the stats back that humans are susceptible to falling asleep, to smartphone distractions, to bad decisions to excessive alcohol consumption, and to so many other factors that cause such mishaps in the thousands, every year.
Some economists feel that the car would be somewhat expensive with the kind of investment and resources involved. However, with the amount of advance orders already secured by Tesla, the question that is being asked now is whether they would be able to deliver as promised.
Tesla’s video shows an autonomous, self-driving and self-parking car, with The Benny Hill Show theme song playing in the background. It takes the viewer on a drive, apparently, through real-world roads and situations. A rear camera shows a man sitting with his feet not touching the accelerator or the brake pedals, his hands on his lap, not touching the steering wheel.
The speeded up video goes on to show the car stopping, the man leaving the car and the car parking itself in a vacant spot. Tesla had to put a man in the car because of legal issues.
The video is designed to display the capability of the car to handle real-world road situations including sudden vehicular movements, stop signs, pedestrians, sharp bends, sudden braking and more.
The car is projected to have 8 cameras providing a 360-degree view, with a supercomputer onboard, capable of making an estimated 40 trillion decisions per second or more.
Prof. Raghunathan “Raj” Rajkumar who heads the Autonomous Driving collaborative research Lab. at Carnegie Mellon University said, “An unedited sequence of the vehicle driving itself in downtown San Francisco would be more meaningful to see what the vehicle is capable of doing,”
Despite the distracters and the naysayers, the idea of self-driving cars, promising safer roads and far lesser driving related deaths, makes one look forward to the automobile revolution that seems more and more imminent now.
Also, constructive and valuable Insight into Tesla’s present and future;