Elon Musk had a busy week.
He ended last week with the nearly successful landing of his 14-story-tall Falcon 9 rocket — “Close, but no cigar,” he tweeted — but he also had several announcements this week, many of which were made at the Detroit Auto Show.
Musk says he plans to build an engineering office for SpaceX in Seattle, which will employ 'several hundred people, maybe a thousand people.' A commercial satellite business will help SpaceX secure the necessary money and communications systems needed to eventually build a human colony on Mars.
On the Tesla front, Musk believes the state should allow his company to sell its cars directly to consumers in the same way Michael Dell sold his computers directly years ago. But Tesla will also have secondary significance to Musk ...
Musk says he will probably build the test track of his ultra-high-speed shuttle system, theoretically able to transport people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour, in Texas.
'This car is really good,' Musk says. 'I don't say these things lightly.'
8. Tesla is also working on its affordable car design, the Model 3, which will start around $35,000 before incentives.
Due to the falling price of gas, however, it might take more time for Tesla to achieve an efficient car design that's also not too expensive. Musk says the Model 3 will be on the road by 2020.
That's because he is 'absolutely certain' his company can reduce the cost of its batteries by 30% by that time -- and sales of the affordable Model 3 won't hurt, either.
'I do think it's important that we as a species and a civilisation are on a path to become a true space race civilisation.'