The internet’s favorite billionaire, Elon Musk, had a pretty barn-burning 2017. Here are the highlights:
After a depressing 2016 for SpaceX (including a costly launchpad explosion), Elon started out 2017 right with a critical launch success in January. SpaceX built on that success in March with the launch and recovery of a previously launched rocket. This was the first successful multiple-use rocket, and it represents a dramatic step in bringing the cost of rocketry down.
Tesla also had big wins in 2017 with a massive valuation and a brief spot at the top of the car manufacturing world. They also produced a line of Model 3s and unveiled the Semi truck and Roadster.
Aside from the success of his rocket and car companies, Musk has been all over the place. He was appointed to President Donald Trump’s advisory council only to quit a few months later in disgust, he started The Boring Company, he made advances in Neuralink, OpenAI, and became even more outspoken about the dangers of artificial intelligence.
It seems the one big miss he had in 2017 was the failure to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket, but with an early January launch date, he may be able to cross that one off the list as well.