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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Tesla and SpaceX: Elon Musk's industrial empire

• CBS News 60 Minutes

The following script is from "Fast Cars and Rocket Ships" which aired on March 30, 2014. Scott Pelley is the correspondent. Harry Radliffe, producer..
Comparing the Tesla Model S to other cars is like comparing an iPhone to a desk phone. It is a technological marvel that scorches the pavement -- zero to 60 in four seconds. Tesla is another revolutionary idea from the mind of Elon Musk -- a 42-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who built an industrial empire from the stuff of little boy dreams: fast cars and rocket ships. Musk is an idealist who told us he had to start his companies so that man could colonize Mars and save the Earth. His sister says it's like her brother traveled into the future and came back to tell us all about it. So what is the future like?
Apparently it's fast and smoke-free. The Tesla Model S is powered by 7,000 battery cells linked to an electric motor. No engine, no transmission, no tailpipe. As this company video shows, the dash is dominated by a computer that's constantly connected to the Internet. It has a fanatical following. There's a waiting list that Elon Musk is trying to shorten building 600 Model S's a week in this high-tech plant in Northern California.

Scott Pelley: I have heard a lot of people describe you.

Elon Musk: Okay, good, I mean, hopefully-- on-- on balance, hopefully, mostly good.

Scott Pelley: How do you describe yourself?

Elon Musk: I usually describe myself as an engineer that's basically what I've been doing since I was a kid. I'm interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it and you're like, "Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?"

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