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Career of millions, egos and projects, on earth and in space: Elon Musk was once again the richest person in the world, displacing Jeff Bezos

Musk, in an interview after a space launch with NASA REUTERS / Steve Nesius / File Photo Musk, in an interview after a space launch with NASA REUTERS / Steve Nesius / File Photo

Elon musk regained the status of the world’s richest person that he had gained on January 7, when a surge in shares of Tesla, the automaker of which he is founder, CEO and main shareholder (with 18% of the company’s shares), allowed him to exceed in “net value” Jeff Bezos, founder and main shareholder of Amazon and a constellation of companies.

Bezos had returned to be the richest on Tuesday, February 16, due to a 2% drop in Tesla shares, but he stayed just 48 hours at the top; Musk surpassed it again last Thursday, when another of his chiches, the aerospace company SpaceX, of which he is also Chief Engineer, obtained financing for USD 850 million and its valuation rose to USD 74,000 million, according to Bloomberg, which measures day by day the race of centimil-millionaires.

That race depends mainly on how the shares of the main companies of one and the other move. The latest account from Bloomberg shows that Musk has a fortune of $ 200,000 million and Bezos of $ 194,000 million. The Top-5 is completed Bill gates, Microsoft, French Bernard Arnault, from the fashion and luxury firm LVMH, and the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

Registrations, cancellations and modifications

The biggest drop in Bezos’ fortune came two years ago, when he divorced his former wife, MacKenzie Scott, who received nearly 25% of Amazon’s shares, briefly making her the richest woman in the world. Shortly after Scott, dedicated to charities and philanthropy, donated $ 6 billion and the richest woman was again Francoise bettencourt, main heir to the cosmetics company L’Oreal.

The main source of Bezos’ fortune was the increase in Amazon shares, which increased fivefold in the last five years. Musk’s grew even faster: In 2020, as the global trend toward electric cars deepened, Tesla’s value increased 8-fold and Elon’s fortune increased $ 140 billion in just one year.

Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie Scott, who in the divorce took about 25% of Amazon shares Bezos and his former wife, MacKenzie Scott, who in the divorce took about 25% of Amazon shares

But even those figures are not enough for Musk’s ambition. In an interview last December with Mathias Döpfner, owner of the Axel Springer publishing house, confessed that he began selling his properties, including his family residence in Bel Air, Los Angeles, which a Russian millionaire acquired, and others (including one that he had bought from actor Gene Wilder) with which so far it has raised about USD 100 million. Also, you are considering moving from California to Texas, which has lower taxes. His plan, he said, is to have absolutely no ownership, save for shares in Tesla and some of his other companies (Starlink, SpaceX, Neuralink, OpenAI, Halcyum Molecular, The Boring Company), because he needs all the money he can to fund his biggest project: the colonization of Mars.

To infinity and beyond

His goal, he said, is to contribute to the creation of a space-traveling, multi-planetary human civilization. To do this, and beginning in 2026, it aims to send, by 2050, one million humans to Mars in 1,000 SpaceX ships. Musk even confessed that he wants to be buried on the red planet. His spatial objectives have a lot to do with his scientific training (he is a Physicist, as well as an Economist, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, USA) and his adventurous spirit, which led him, for example, to contract one of the most aggressive forms of malaria on a trip to Brazil. But what about Mars is more than adventure; It is 470 million kilometers from Earth, only a few days ago the Perseverance spacecraft managed to land on its surface and the space agencies of the US and the European Union (NASA and ESA) collaborate to return samples to Earth.

The spatial objectives have a lot to do with his scientific training (he is a Physicist, as well as an Economist) and his adventurous spirit, which led him, for example, to contract one of the most aggressive forms of malaria on a trip to Brazil

“I basically have no valuables except my shares in the companies,” Musk told Döpfner in an interview in the town near Berlin where Tesla is building its plant in Europe. And he was even surprised when, when asked where he planned to sleep that night, he answered that it was in the meeting room of the plant under construction. And by the time the plant is finished and he needs to spend more time in Germany, he said, he will rent an apartment so his children can be there. Musk, who will turn 50 in June, is six: five with his first wife and one with his current partner, the Canadian singer Grimes. Between the two he was married and later divorced from British actress Talulah Riley and American model and actress Amber Heard.

His immediate goal at Tesla, his main asset, is to build a 100% automatic model, without the need for human driving, this year, although he admits it will take longer for driverless cars to be approved, especially in Europe. Tesla’s annual production has not yet reached 1 million vehicles per year, but its goal is to make 20 million per year. That would be equivalent, he explained, to 1% of the close to 2 billion cars and trucks in circulation in the world today, as if to begin to have an environmental effect through the renewal rate of the global fleet, today almost totally propelled with hydrocarbons. .

Recently, the Musk and Bezos companies had a clash over the assignment of orbits for their satellite plans Recently, the Musk and Bezos companies had a clash over the assignment of orbits for their satellite plans

Musk believes the move toward electric cars, which Tesla pinned, is a definite trend, but he acknowledges some limitations to producing its vehicle batteries, including the goal of a super battery that lasts up to 1.6 million kilometers. For that, it needs access to important reserves of lithium, copper and cobalt, although its main limitation, he says, is nickel.

Musk’s satellite projects recently led him into a clash with Bezos over assigning orbits for Starlink, his project to provide Internet services through a satellite network.

Both centimillionaires also compete in the space race. Bezos also says that his objective is to “save the planet” for which he has Blue Origin, his own aerospace company, which he finances by selling from time to time shares of Amazon, the mother ship of his empire, in which he resigned the position of CEO precisely to spend more time on your space projects.

Unlike Musk, Bezos’s idea is not to colonize a planet, but to establish floating communities in space. His favorite character is Jean-Luc Piccard, the legendary captain of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek saga.

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