10 Things We Learned From Elon Musk This Week

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.

1. 'We're going to try and do for satellites what we've done for rockets.'

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launched by SpaceX, on a cargo resupply service mission to the International Space Station, lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Jan. 10, 2015.

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.

2. Falling gas prices are hurting Tesla's efforts to build an affordable car in 2017.

'It just means we will have to work harder at improving the cost of electric vehicles,' Musk says.

5. Texas is going to play a major role in Musk's future operations.

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 ...

6. Musk is following through with his Hyperloop concept -- he will build a 5-mile test track.

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.

7. Tesla Motors' first all-electric SUV, the Model X, will be unveiled later this year.

'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.

9. Speaking of 2020, that's when Musk believes Tesla will become profitable.

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.

10. Musk says he 'absolutely' believes he will travel to Mars in his lifetime.

Musk speaks after unveiling the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne, California, May 29, 2014.

'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.'

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