Elon Musk’s excellent adventures: SpaceX blastoff, Tesla’s impending rollout

Still missing that pop? If Elon Musk could take the spotlight from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for just a moment, we can talk about taking off.

• SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket early Tuesday, sending it on its way to dock with the International Space Station. It’s historic because it opens up a new era in which private companies work with NASA on space exploration after the shutdown of the U.S. government’s shuttle program. The SpaceX launch, which was scrubbed over the weekend because of a defective part, was said to be “perfect” this morning.

Musk is CEO of SpaceX, a Hawthorne-based company he founded in 2002. Among the company’s goals: commercialized space travel, and helping “humanity become a multiplanet species,” Musk said on “60 Minutes” a couple of months ago.

Those who doubt Musk, a PayPal co-founder, can deliver on that ambitious goal might need to be reminded he has so far helped create a hugely successful online payment system, and an all-electric vehicle by Tesla Motors, where he is also chief executive. Before PayPal, he also founded Zip2, a company that made online publishing software, which he sold to AltaVista ages ago. Musk also is chairman of San Mateo-based SolarCity, which announced in April that it intends to go public.

• Speaking of delivering, Tesla has announced it will roll out its Model S sedan June 22. The cost of the Model S, Tesla’s second vehicle and the first one to be built at the company’s Fremont factory, starts at $57,000. The company has said it has 10,000 reservations for the Model S, and that it will produce 5,000 cars by the end of the year. The company’s first car was the $100,000-plus Roadster. Shares of the Palo Alto company are up more than 6 percent to about $30.55 as of this post.


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