Elon Musk’s Bad Day Was Much Worse Than We Thought

Elon Musk’s Bad Day Was Much Worse Than We Thought

Yesterday, Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded during a test fire. But that wasn’t all — by the time the day was over, Musk had also lost nearly $US780 million ($1.03 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg’s love. Image: AP

According to Bloomberg, Musk’s fortune shrank by $US779 million ($1.02 billion) on yesterday, although the reasons don’t appear to be explosion-related. Rather, they can be traced back to the sharp drop in stock prices for his other companies, SolarCity and Tesla Motors, as well as a regulatory filing the day before that disclosed Musk had offered up an extra $US489 million ($646 million) of his stock in the companies “as collateral to secure personal borrowings”. (As the Wall Street Journal reported, both companies are “facing financial crunches”, while some investors aren’t happy about the proposed merger between the two.)

But money isn’t everything, and love, as J. Lo once told us, don’t cost a thing. Unfortunately for Musk, that went up in flames, too.

Late Thursday night, reports began emerging that one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded during a test firing. While there were no injuries reported, the explosion did destroy some precious cargo in addition to the rocket itself — Facebook’s Amos 6 satellite, which was part of Mark Zuckerberg’s grand plan to bring internet to the world. He was not pleased.

“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent,” Zuck wrote on Facebook after the explosion. Zuck isn’t exactly known for playing it straight in his public statements, so this is the closest you’ll see to a no-bullshit dig at a fellow billionaire who messed up his stuff.

Then again, Musk is in good company, if one considers “rich people who are so rich that losing billions of dollars in one day won’t bankrupt them” good company. Following Brexit, for example, Warren Buffett lost $US2.3 billion ($3 billion), and Zuck himself saw $US1 billion ($1.3 billion) fly out the window, as Vanity Fair pointed out.

At least Musk has somewhere to sleep should he lose it all.