Breaking News
More () »

From rocket launches to proposed 'Tesla tunnels': How Elon Musk has impacted Florida

The billionaire was just named TIME's 2021 Person of the Year.
Credit: AP | Jae C. Hong

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Every year, TIME bestows the title of "Person of the Year" on a public figure that's believed to have carried the most influence or impact. 

For the last 347 days, the national magazine believes that person was none other than billionaire Elon Musk. 

And Florida's Space Coast might just agree with that decision. 

Musk spearheads two companies bringing jobs, infrastructure and funds to the Sunshine State: SpaceX and Tesla. 

SpaceX has had a presence in the state for more than a decade, launching rockets, crews, satellites, payloads, cargo, and more. 

The private space company's first launch to ever take place from Cape Canaveral under a NASA contract was in 2010. Its first launch from the Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39-A would then follow in 2017.

The two sites continue to be the main focus for SpaceX given the constant stream of launches that are occurring at both launch pads.

SpaceX has also seen its share of history-making moments off Florida's coast.

The company helped return American astronauts launching from U.S. soil to space for the first time in nine years. Musk's company also proved that a ride into space no longer requires being a professional astronaut when the Inspiration4 crew embarked on a multi-day journey to orbit the planet we call home.

Its next endeavor? Making Florida the gateway for human space travel to Mars. In early December, Musk announced on Twitter that SpaceX has begun construction of a launchpad for its Starship rockets at 39-A.

And while rocketry is the main reason Floridians hear Musk's name, that doesn't mean Tesla isn't trying its hand at making an impact, either.

In partnership with Musk's Boring Company, Tesla is trying to combat traffic congestion in Ft. Lauderdale by building a tunneled form of transportation called  "The Las Olas Loop" to connect its downtown area to the beach.  

According to the Miami Herald, the underground mode of transportation would be around 2.2 miles long. Teslas would be used as the mode of transportation for riders.

While the city accepted the proposal in July 2021, the plan is not a done deal — yet.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out