Elon Musk is trying to redefine transportation on earth and in space. Through Tesla Motors he is aiming to bring fully-electric vehicles to the mass market; at SpaceX he launches satellites and is working to send humans to other planets. It has been a meteoric rise for Musk, as both companies he helped found and still runs have skyrocketed in value and catapulted Musk into the national spotlight. But it hasn't been all smooth sailing lately. After a string of successful missions, a SpaceX rocket caught fire during fueling in September 2016. Plus in May of the same year a Tesla vehicle that was on autopilot crashed into a tractor trailer, killing the Tesla driver and drawing Musk into a public spat over the safety of his vehicles. Meanwhile investors are skeptical about his plan to merge unprofitable Tesla with SolarCity, a publicly-traded solar panel designer and installer run by his cousin, Lyndon Rive. The South African-born Musk immigrated to Canada at age 17 and then to the U.S. as a transfer student to the University of Pennsylvania. He made his first fortune as a cofounder of PayPal.
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