SpaceX and Tesla | Elon Week
Elon after sitting on a pile of $165million, needed something to do with it. And his interest in Space waked him again. This time he had funds to pursue his interest. In October 2001, he along with few member arrived in Russia to buy old ballistic missiles which could be used as rockets. With 20 million dollars for deal. He reached to Russian agencies.
Russians wanted $8Million for a rocket. Musk asked 2 rockets at same cost. Obvious answer he got was “no” He decided he wanted to build his own rockets. To help him so he found out a man called Tom Mueller. He had the perfect plan to meet his budget.
Musk believed that NASA made a Ferrari for each launch, when honda accord could do the trick. They bought a 45,000 square piece of land for Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX. He decided that Falcon 1, there 1st project would have 2 rockets. They were named Merlin and Kestrel.
There were a lot of hirings done to carry out operations. They tested Merlin and Kestrel till they ran out of resources or something failed. They were never short of tasks. Each day could be as long as 20 hours and there were high demands by Elon. And Musk demanded high perfection, and imperfection was would he didn’t like. In SpaceX Mary Brown, was the other hand of Musk, helping him in day-to-day task, arranging buisness meets, and understanding his mood to ensure no employee had the bad day, due to wrong timing.
But when Brown asked for higher pays, he asked her to take 2 week leave, and after returning she was told she was no longer required. His place was replaced by Gwynne Shotwell, who later became COO SpaceX. It was the time of first launch, which was from Kwajalein Atoll. Musk and everyone reached through various means. Musk even carried his employees at his own private jet, which accommodated 6… well 7 if bathroom was used. The launched day 24th March 2006, Rocket lifted up and going high up in the sky. But 25 seconds in action It was clear that something was wrong. Rocket came soaring down back on earth. Mission failed and everyone got back to work again. Problem was supposed to be a pipe tightened improperly.
A year later 21st March 2007, they tried again this time more confident, the rocket this time launched perfectly though everyone was bit nervous. 3 minutes in, merlin separated, and Kestrel was on works. A slight wiggle at around 4 minutes soon turned into huge fire, and rocket was never seen again.
Tesla a company founded by Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning was on it’s mission for emission free future. They got license of concept car T-0 from AC propultion and started working on it. There main tasks were designing and setting up batteries, overhauling structure and studying software.
Elon invested 8 Million USD and became the largest investor and gained a controling stake in Tesla.
They started working on a car named Roadster. Full of batteries the car had to focus on speed and range.
Elon announced the pre bookings and allowed a lot of customization, that lead to slower manufacturing. Elon made tall promises and set a timeline of delivery 2007. In 2006, July 4th while celebrating Independence Day, realized the potential harm a fire can cause, and how vulnerable can the batteries be too fires. They took 20 batteries and small spark and few minutes were enough to blow them apart. The Roadster would have 7,000 batteries, they got back to work prioritizing safety first.
Elon’s tall promises were impossible to achieve, Eberhard and Musk started to have many debates on each aspect. This created negative market response. Musk used to do manyinternational interviews to address it. He used to google search news and address each i issue about Tesla but market response didn’t proved to be enough
“The People Who Love The Journey, Are The Ones That Reach The Most Beautiful Destinations”