Farnborough International Ltd. (FIL) officials, having hosted Farnborough International Airshow 2014 earlier this month in England, added a space component to the biennial aviation event. Their timing is perhaps right on, given that the commercial space vertical is growing faster than many aerospace industry segments—with the exception of commercial aviation, of course.
The commercial space industry continues to gather momentum, bringing the dream of space flight closer to reality for virtually everyone. One of the people helping to drive this market vertical forward (or skyward, as the case may be) is Elon Musk. Musk is among many geeks’ favorite technology innovators, and this military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek is no different. Musk seems to be one of those “you love him or you hate him” figures who tends to elicit nearly as many eye rolls as he does accolades; nonetheless, many hang on his every word. Doubtless, he and SpaceX, the advanced rocket and spacecraft designer and manufacturer he founded in 2002, are pioneering the commercial space segment.
Born in South Africa in 1971, Musk taught himself to write software code at an early age. He sold his first video game, called “Blastar,” at the young age of 12 for $500. After he emigrated from South Africa to Canada at the age of 17, Musk eventually made his way across Canada’s southern border to the U.S. in 1992. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Elon became an American citizen in 2002, the year that also marked the sale of PayPal, a company he co-founded, to eBay for a cool $1.5 billion. Currently Musk is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, Product Architect and CEO of Tesla Motors, and Chairman of SolarCity with an estimated net worth of $12 billion as of March 2014.
Musk recently released all Tesla Motor Companies patents for free public use—a military and aerospace (mil/aero) geek’s dream!