Elon Musk, possibly the world’s greatest engineer, wants to hack the malicious ‘woke mind virus’ that has infected so many. Twitter is a great place for him to start, writes Fox News host STEVE HILTON
April 22, 2022
First we passed a giant control room straight out of the film Apollo 13 (though far bigger and more high-tech). Then we entered a cavernous hangar with rockets — yes, actual space rockets — in various stages of construction all around us. Our tour guide, Musk himself, was overflowing with child-like excitement about everything that was happening.
Except this was no juvenile hobby. It was the headquarters of a multibillion-dollar business that would soon win its first contract with the U.S. space agency Nasa and eventually supplant Nasa as America’s — and the world’s — top space exploration pioneer.
The company was SpaceX (short for Space Exploration Technologies), founded by Elon Musk in 2002 (when he was 30 years old) with the $176 million he made from the sale of a previous venture he was involved in, PayPal. Astonishingly, Musk taught himself rocket science in order to start SpaceX.
Perhaps even more astonishingly, to get to the SpaceX headquarters we drove past the design centre for an electric car company few people outside California had even heard of at the time: Tesla. Also founded by Elon Musk.
This was in 2013. Our meeting had been arranged by my friend and former Downing Street colleague Rohan Silva, to see if Musk had any useful observations on government transport policy in the UK.
Indeed he did.
‘Why on earth are you guys still talking about building high-speed rail? It’s such old technology. You’re crazy!’ he said.
He railed — apologies for the pun — against the cost of traditional railway construction, explaining that he had been developing alternatives that could achieve much better results for a fraction of the cost.
He told us about his plans for a ‘hyperloop’ — an ultra-high-speed transport system that would enable ‘pods’ of passengers to travel through a vacuum tube at speeds of over 600 mph on magnetic tracks.
A few years later, as a guest on the BBC’s Question Time, I mentioned Elon Musk’s hyperloop idea in response to an audience member’s question about the latest costly bureaucratic delay to hit the HS2 project.
I remember the merciless mockery directed at me by fellow panellist Ed Miliband for bringing my ludicrous California blue-sky babble about ‘hyperloops’ to the gritty topic of train travel in England.
Sure enough, the audience hooted at me in derision (thankfully, it was the ‘warm-up’ round and was never broadcast).
But look where we are today. The prototype hyperloop has been built and is working in Las Vegas. The technology is being developed by yet another Elon Musk start-up, The Boring Company, which aims to eliminate urban traffic by digging underground tunnels in big cities.
Oh, and did I mention Neuralink? Musk founded that company to develop artificial intelligence and neural implants to help people with brain injuries, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and even paralysis to regain some independence by controlling computers and mobile devices with their brain.