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Elon Musk says he's planning a 'supersonic, electric hover jetplane'

Florida 'wet dress' rehearsal leaves space fans excited

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Hecamillionaire space cowboy Elon Musk has revealed new and ambitious plans for the future - among them the idea of a "supersonic electric jet" able to make hovering landings and takeoffs.

The one-time PayPal luminary and founder of both upstart rocket biz SpaceX and electrocar darling Tesla Motors is also pondering plans to create an overarching company that would control both his new-tech ventures.

"Am starting to consider whether it would make sense to create a parent corporation that would own the stock," Musk wrote in an online Q&A with readers on Jalopnik.com. "Not sure if that is feasible or sensible, but am thinking about it."

The Tesla Roadster is the green-minded celebrity's choice for environmentally conscientious motoring, with actors like Matt Damon and George Clooney behind the wheel as well as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The firm has just launched its second car, the Model S sedan, which will cost at least $49,900, and has plans for another supercar in the next five years.

"It is more important to the world that we do a more affordable electric car. Hopefully, we will get to a [new] electric supercar in 4 to 5 years," Musk said.

One reader also asked Musk if he was starting to feel like a modern-day Howard Hughes.

"I'm starting to hear the Howard Hughes thing quite a lot, which always makes me want to check my fingernail length and curtail any urges to pee in a jar," he joked. But on serious note, yes, at least in terms of plane-building.

"There is this airplane design that I've had in mind for about four years. It is a VTVL, supersonic electric jet," he added.

Meanwhile, SpaceX has just successfully completed a "wet dress rehearsal" ahead of its planned October launch of a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station. This refers not to any sauciness, but simply to the fact that the rehearsal is conducted with a fully-fuelled (ie wet) rocket.

The wet dressing was done by the Falcon 9 rocket, which is due to launch on the first official cargo resupply mission. A successful Dragon mission to the station has already occurred - in a first for a private company - but that was only a test, and carried non-essential supplies. ®

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