New Elon Musk Biography Hits Stores Next Week

SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Falcon 9 Rocket
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk stands next to the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. (Image credit: SpaceX)

If you'd like some insight into the rise of SpaceX and its ambitious founder and CEO, you're in luck — a new biography of Elon Musk comes out next week.

"Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future" (HarperCollins, 2015), by tech journalist Ashlee Vance, will be released on May 19. But you can get a sneak peak at the Elon Musk bio now, via a lengthy excerpt published Thursday (May 14) on

The excerpt traces the history of SpaceX, from Musk's early dream to send mice to Mars through the company's shaky first few years to now, when SpaceX is launching cargo missions to the International Space Station for NASA under a $1.6 billion deal — and preparing to loft astronauts by 2017 under a separate $2.6 billion contract with the space agency.

It hasn't been easy, for Musk or for SpaceX. In 2008, for example, Musk filed for divorce from his wife Justine, and things weren't going well with Tesla, the electric-car company Musk co-founded and currently serves as CEO. From the book excerpt:

"I was just getting pistol-whipped," Musk said. "There was a lot of schadenfreude at the time, and it was bad on so many levels. Justine was torturing me in the press. ... It hurt really bad. You have these huge doubts that your life is not working, your car is not working, you’re going through a divorce and all of those things. I felt like a pile of s---. I didn’t think we would overcome it. I thought things were probably f---ing doomed."

But Musk persevered, and Tesla did not go under. The company's Model S sedan won Motor Trend's Car of the Year award in 2013, and has received numerous other accolades as well.

If the excerpt leaves you wanting more, you can pre-order "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future" now at

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.