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Great Inventors #2: Elon Musk

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We're betting you've heard of our second great inventor to know, as he's made quite a name for himself as an innovator in the tech and aerospace fields.

Elon Musk, the South African success, first entered the innovation arena in 1999 during the Internet boom, selling his content-creation company Zip2.com to Compaq for $150M. Later in 1999 he founded X.com, which eventually turned into Paypal, and was sold to eBay for $1.5B in 2003, just four years after it's launch. You may have caught on to this by now, but Musk is not one to take a rest. He expanded his work by starting SpaceX in 2002, prior to his Paypal sale, and then Tesla Motors in 2003. By 2008, SpaceX was being awarded contracts to handle cargo transport to the International Space Station. As if he needed to compete with himself, additionally in 2008, Tesla revealed the Roadster, an electric vehicle with a range of 265 miles and a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds. 

We'll help you with the math here - that's six major innovative accomplishments in under ten years of work. 

Musk then helped to create the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 reusable rockets. Paypal continues to securely permit the acceptance and transfer of online payment through a number of proprietary algorithms. The Tesla cars, designed by Musk and the Tesla engineering team, create a possibility of a daily-driven electric car without emissions.

What does the future hold? Perhaps the most ambitious idea from Musk: the Hyperloop. A tube system connecting cities wherein passengers fly in pods within the Hyperloop at speeds up to 700 mph. It has the potential to enable commuters to travel, just as one example, between cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles within 35 minutes. This innovation would also completely revolutionize the layout of our major cities.

 

Did you enjoy this article? See our first Great Inventors series profile: Robert Kearns

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