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At the age of 10 Elon Musk developed interest in computers. Musk created a game called blaster at the age of 12 he sold its game to magazine for $500. He studied physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. With $28,000 of his father money, Musk and his brother Kimbal started zip2, which is web startup that provides city travel guides to newspapers. Later in 1999, they sold zip2 to Compaq computers for $307 million, earning Musk $22 million. He invested more than half of his earning to co-found X.com, and online banking services. The company quickly merged with its rival and became PayPal, with musk at the majority shareholder.
In 2001, Musk conceptualized a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars. In 2002, eBay bought PayPal and musk walked away with $180 million. Musk traveled to Russia to buy refurb intercontinental ballistic missiles, also known as ICBMs to send colony of mice to Mars. Russian offered to sale one rocket at $8 million USD, Musk felt it was artificially overpriced. They even taunted Elon Musk that “oh little boy don’t have the money?” Musk Replied “I think we can build a rocket ourselves” and then stormed out of the meeting.
On the flight back from Moscow, he realized that he could start a company. That could build the affordable rockets he needed. Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales prices of rocket at the time.
SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70 percent gross margin, with $100 USD, Musk founded SpaceX, in May 2002, with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. In 2006 the first SpaceX rocket failed in just 33 seconds after lift-off. In 2007 and in 2008 the 2nd and the 3rd chance to establish company’s credibility also ended in failure. The 3rd Failure almost killed the company. Musk had money that could only found the 4th launch. On 28th September 2008. The 4th falcon 1 Rocket was successfully launched and achieved earth orbit.
History was made, Falcon 1 become the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the earth. On December 23, 2008 NASA awarded SpaceX $1.6B Dollar contract to handle cargo transport for the international space station, with plans for astronaut transport in the future. In a move to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions. In 2011 SpaceX publicly announced reusable launch system development program. After few failure attempts.
SpaceX achieved a successful landing and recovery of a first stage in December 2015. In March 2017, SpaceX relaunched the used rocket and brought it back by landing it in the ocean. All rockets are designed to burn up reentry, it can also successfully land back on earth and refly again. Musk believes a fully and rapidly reusable rocket is needed to reduce the cost of space travel. And in time, Musk wants to build a city on the red planet.
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