Let’s pick up where we left off:-
In 2001, Elon started visualizing his dream project to land a miniature greenhouse on Mars, which would possess food crops growing on Martian regolith called – “Mars Oasis”. For this, he traveled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell and Adeo Ressi ( His best friend from college) to purchase refurbished ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) which could send the predicted payloads in 2001 and also gathered with companies such as NPO Lavoachkin and Kosmotras.
But with all this, Elon was noticed as a beginner and was denied the requirement and groups returned empty-handed. But he is not ready to give up like this. The groups returned back to Russia bringing along Mike Griffin in February 2002. Mike had already worked for the CIA’s Venture capital Arm; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was just giving away orbital sciences
This time they required for three ICBMs and had already met with Kosmotras, but because of the very expensive price of $8 Million, Elon walks out of the meeting and returned back. On his flight, he released that he could start a company which could make the affordable rockets he needed. When he calculates, he observed that the raw material for building a rocket costs only 3% of the total sales price.
With the help of vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, they could cut the launch price up to the tenth of its original value and still gets 70% gross margin. And finally the day came, with $100 million from his early fortune, in 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies or you can say SpaceX.
He was the CEO& CTO of the California based company, who develops space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. From its starting, the company had created lots of new stuff for several of its achievements, their first two launch (Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets) and first spacecraft (Dragon), turns out to be the 1st two privately funded liquid – fuelled vehicles to put a satellite into Earth Orbit.
In seven years, SpaceX has designed a family of Falcon Launch vehicles and the Dragon Multipurpose Spacecraft which has also berthed with the ISS (International Space Station).
In 2006, SpaceX also gets a contract from NASA to continue with the development and test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and Dragon spacecraft in order to transport cargo to the International Space Station. This all followed by a $1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services program for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon Spacecraft to the space station which will replace the US Space Shuttle after it was retired in 2011.
In 2008, after the financial crisis which he assumed the position of the CEO and product architect. Under his hands, Tesla Motors built an electric sports car called The Tesla Roadster in 2008, which reported for sales of about 2500 vehicles in 32 countries.
In 2010, Tesla Motors become the shining star with the second car manufacturing company after Ford in the USA history to launch their IPO. In spite of unprofitable for almost 10 years, Tesla got listed on NASDAQ with $17 per stock and involved more than $225 million of investments as well.
After that, the company had gone on to develop several models, including – their four-door Model S sedan, the Model X, the Model X, electric power train systems for Daimler for the Smart EV, Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive and Mercedes A-Class, and to Toyota for the RAV4 EV
As of January 29, 2016, Musk contains $28.9 million Tesla shares (about 22% of the company), and obtain home an annual salary of $1, similar to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, the remainder of his compensation is in the form of stock and performance-based bonuses
Currently, Elon is now working on the first unnamed flight of the larger Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) spacecraft which is set to depart to the Mars in 2022. He wants to colonize Mars with the first manned MCT Mars Flight in 2024.
If we sum up the whole from the beginning, Elon has made a total of 120 investments that include – NeuroVigil, Vicarious, SolarCity, Stripe, Tesla Motors, OneRiot, Mahalo, SpaceX, Game Trust, Everdream, and PayPal.
And lastly, during his journey – the most important and valuable lesson that he has learned and still follows is that….
“The most difficult thing in life will be to come up with the right questions!”