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“Solar City”
The Good, the Bad and the Elon

elon_musk_vance_bookElon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
By Ashlee Vance
392 pages. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers

Is it possible for someone to be too smart for his own good?

That’s the question that echos through Ashlee Vance’s fascinating biography of Elon Musk. The SpaceX founder comes across as a brilliant visionary with a messianic zeal to improve the lot of humanity. His ultimately goal is to establish a settlement on Mars to ensure the the human race survives if Earth gets wiped out.

And yet, his brilliance, massive ego and single-minded ambition put him miles above the mass of his fellow human beings, who he tends to mistreat in the worst ways. At his best, he has the brilliance and charisma of Iron Man’s Tony Stark, at his worst, he turns into The Simpsons’ C. Montgomery Burns. And not in a funny way.


  • Parabolic Arc
  • September 17, 2015
Elon Musk to Appear on The Simpsons

One of America’s favorite billionaires will meet one of its most hated in the upcoming season of The Simpsons: The Simpsons panel was unusually light on guest-star news, with exec producer Al Jean making only one announcement: Elon Musk will play himself in an upcoming episode in which Mr. Burns loses all of his money to the Tesla/SpaceX tycoon. Mr. Burns is, of course, C. Montgomery Burns, the elderly and […]

  • Parabolic Arc
  • July 30, 2014
Video: TED Talk By Elon Musk

Video Caption: Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about his visionary projects, which include a mass-marketed electric car, a solar energy leasing company and a fully reusable rocket.

  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 22, 2013
Not Many Billionaires Focused on Commercial Space

Richard Branson and then-Gov. Bill Richardson. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s billionaires. There are a record 1,426 individuals with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion in the world. The table below shows the tiny handful of this group — nine individuals — who are currently or have been previously involved in space projects.

Rank Name Net Worth (Billions) Age Nationality Company/
Space Project(s)


Jeff Bezos $25.2 49 American CEO, Founder Blue Origin


Larry Page $23.0 39 American Google CEO, Co-founder Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
21 Sergey Brin $22.8 39 American Google Co-founder Google Lunar X Prize
53 Paul Allen $15.0 60 American Microsoft Co-founder Stratolaunch, SpaceShipOne
SETI array
138 Eric Schmidt $8.2 57 American Google Chairman Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
272 Richard Branson $4.6 62 British Virgin Group CEO, Founder Virgin Galactic
527 Elon Musk $2.7 41 American PayPal, Tesla Motors, Solar City SpaceX
831 Guy Laliberte $1.8 53 Canadian Cirque du Soleil Space tourist
1031 H. Ross Perot, Jr. $1.4 54 American computer services, real estate Planetary Resources


  • Parabolic Arc
  • March 5, 2013