If you haven’t seen this 1999 video profile of a very young Elon Musk discussing his Zip2 wealth – PayPal was only just born –  while taking delivery of his McLaren F-1, you really should stop what you’re doing and watch it.

No mention of space travel or electric cars, but he does reveal some rock-star aspirations. “I’d like to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. That would be cool.”

No Rolling Stone cover as far as we are aware, but the SpaceX founder and CEO has been on the covers of The Atlantic, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Wired, Time, and SpaceNews, to name a few.

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Elon Musk made his SpaceNews debut on the jump page of a November 2002 special report.

Musk’s SpaceNews debut  – newly reproduced below – was on the jump page of a 1,600-word article I wrote after meeting him at SpaceX’s coming-out party at the 2002 World Space Congress in Houston.

My editor at the time was understandably skeptical of anybody planning to enter the launch business with a scratch-built rocket.

We sat on the interview until I talked to a bunch of people – including Jeff Foust, long before he joined SpaceNews – about this brash-yet-soft-spoken 31-year-old’s plan to build a better rocket.

We finally ran the story  – “Web Entrepreneur Eyes Small Launcher Market” – in our Nov. 22, 2002 “Launch Industry Overview” special report.

Right below an article about Arianespace counting on its upgraded Ariane 5 to survive a launch market slump.


Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...