Elon Musk

  • Aired:  04/10/12
  •  | Views: 45,446

Paypal co-founder Elon Musk hopes to make human life multi-planetary through his SpaceX project. (5:52)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE FOUNDER OF TESLA MOTORS AND SPACEX, ALSO THE CHIEF DESIGNER, THE PRIVATE

SPACE EXPLORATION COMPANY SOON LAUNCHING -- I'M NOT MAKING THIS

UP -- LAUNCHING A SPACE CRAFT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM ELON MUSK.

HELLO, SIR.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

FIRST OF ALL I'M GLAD YOU ARE NOT A HOLOGRAM BECAUSE --

[ LAUGHTER ]

YOU HAVE INVENTED A ROCKET?

>> YES.

>> Jon: AND A SPACESHIP ON THE ROCKET AND YOU ARE -- YOU HAVE LAUNCHED THIS INTO ORBIT ALREADY.

>> YES.

>> Jon: AND BROUGHT IT BACK.

>> YES, YES.

>> Jon: THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT SCIENCE.

THE FOUR ENTITIES THAT HAVE DONE THAT ARE THE UNITED STATES.

>> RIGHT.

>> Jon: CHINA, THE SOVIET UNION AND ELON MUSK.

>> YES.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Jon: IS THAT CORRECT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

I HAD SOME HELP BUT YES.

>> Jon: DID YOU?

IT WASN'T IN THE BACKYARD WITH A TIMER AND YOU JUST DID THE THING.

WHAT MADE YOU -- FORGET ABOUT -- LET'S BACKTRACK.

YOU GOT THE MONEY TO DO THAT BY INVENTING PAY358.

>> WITH SOME OTHER PEOPLE, YES.

>> Jon: OKAY BUT DID THEY LAUNCH ROCKETS?

>> NO.

>> Jon: SO YOU WENT ON FROM PAYPAL TO LAUNCH ROCKETS.

WHY?

>> OKAY SO PEOPLE WONDER HOW DID YOU GO FROM INTERNET PAYMENTS TO ROCKETS.

>> Jon: THIS WAS MY QUESTION.

>> A REASONABLE QUESTION.

>> Jon: THANK YOU.

>> WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE THERE WERE THREE AREAS I THOUGHT WOULD MOST EFFECT THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY.

THOSE WERE THE INTERNET,

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND SPACE EXPLORATION MAKING LIFE INTERPLANETARY.

>> Jon: WE ALL THOUGHT THAT BUT NONE OF US COULD DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

WE GOT HIGH AND PLAYED DUNGONS AND DRAGONS.

>> I DID THAT, TOO.

>> Jon: YOU IDENTIFIED THESE AREAS.

HOW DID YOU PRIORITIZE THEM?

HOW DO YOU CREATE A HIRE ASH.

Y WHERE YOU -- HIERARCHY WHERE YOU MOVED TO NEXT?

>> I DIDN'T EXPECT I WOULD BE DOING THEM BUT IT TURNED OUT THAT WAY.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> THE ADVENT OF THE INTERNET AND PARTICULARLY THE SALE OF PAYPAL GIVE ME THE CAPITAL TO

START A ROCKET COMPANY AND A CAR COMPANY.

BECAUSE THESE ARE HIGH CAPITAL ENDEAVORS.

I ALMOST RAN OUT OF MONEY.

>> Jon: I FIND A LOT OF START-UP ROCKET COMPANIES REALLY --

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: ABOUT SIX MONTHS IN THEY ARE LIKE WE CAN'T AFFORD FROZEN HYDROGEN OR WHATEVER IT

IS YOU USE.

>> RIGHT.

INITIALLY I HAD TO PROVIDE THE FUNDING MYSELF BECAUSE ROCKETS ARE PRETTY FAR OUT OF THE

COMFORT ZONE OF MOST VENTURE ADAPICALLISTS.

>> Jon: ISN'T THAT -- MOST VENTURE CAPITALISTS.

>> Jon: ISN'T THAT WITHIN THE REALM OF DANGER WRUR VISITED AT

NIGHT BY MEN IN BLACK GLASSES WANTING TO SEE YOUR FILES.

I WOULD THINK THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH THE ABILITY TO LAUNCH LONG-RANGE ROCKET WODZ

MAKE THAT PERSON POSSIBLY AN EVIL VILLAIN.

>> RIGHT, YEAH.

I SHOULD HAVE A WHITE CAT OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

WHAT MADE IT STRANGER THAT WAS FOR A WHILE WE DID LAUNCH THIS FROM A REMOTE TROPICAL ISLAND.

[ LAUGHTER ]

AND NOW WE'RE LAUNCHING FROM CAPE CANAVERAL.

WE HAD TO EARN OUR WAY TO CAPE CANAVERAL.

>> Jon: I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT FLORIDA, IT'S A PRETTY EVIL TROPICAL ISLAND.

[ LAUGHTER ]

DO YOU HAVE ASTRONAUTS?

>> YES, WE HAVE SOME AFTER THE THE -- ASTRONAUTS THAT WORK AT SPACEX AND ARE PARTICIPATING IN

THE DESIGN OF SPACECRAFT.

OOM A CHIEF DESIGNER BUT IT'S A LARGE TEAM.

WE'VE 1800 PEOPLE.

>> Jon: YOU WERE GIVING ASTRONAUTS ARE THE ABILITY TO DESIGN THEIR OWN SPACE CRAFT.

ARE YOU NERVOUS LIKE WHAT, WAIT,

WHAT DO WE NEED PINBALL MACHINES FOR?

ARE YOU NERVOUS THEY'LL ADD MORE PLEASURE CRAFT, LESS SPACEY?

THAT'S A TECHNICAL TERM BY THE WAY.

>> I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CRITICAL ROLE OF NASAL.

I COULD NOT HAVE STARTED IT WITHOUT THE GREAT WORK DONE BY NASA.

WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE TODAY AND ALL THE PEOPLE ARE NASA.

>> Jon: A LOT OF THEM WITH THE GOVERNMENT DEFUNDING THAT CAN THEY WORK FROM SPACEX?

>> WE'VE HIRED A NUMBER OF PEOPLE FROM THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM.

>> Jon: THAT'S GREAT.

THAT'S GREAT.

[ APPLAUSE ]

IS IT STRANGE TO BE -- YOU ARE COMPETING ON A CORPORATE LEVEL BUT YOU ARE COMPETING ON A

NATION/STATE LEVEL.

THAT'S A STRANGE PLACE TO BE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL.

>> IT IS A STRANGE PLACE TO BE.

>> Jon: AS YOU DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT CHECKING IF IT'S POISONED.

WHAT KIND OF VILLAIN ARE YOU?

>> THE HEAD OF RUSSIAN SPACE PROGRAM IS VISITING SOON.

THEY HAVE GREAT TEA.

>> Jon: I WAS GOING TO STAY WEAR YOUR HAZMAT SUIT.

CAN YOU STICK AROUND FOR FIVE MINUTES OR DO YOU HAVE TO LAUNCH SOMETHING?

WE'RE GOING TO PUT THIS ON THE WEB.

IT'S FREE.

>> SURE.

>> Jon: ELON

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