Fresh off of his success in sending the first private space flight to the International Space Station, CEO of Spacex and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk announced today that he has recently returned from a journey to the center of the Earth, making him the first man in history to achieve that feat.
Musk's stealth geothermal start up - EarthX Energy - issued a press release this morning confirming that its founder and CEO has used one of the company's exploratory wells to make the journey to the Earth's inner core, to where the firm has secretly built an "energy mine" in hopes of bringing terrawatts of clean renewable energy to the surface.
"This was really just a side project for me."
The manned journey was the final mission in a years long process of drilling all the way to the Earth's core. Advanced pressure robots have been excavating a shaft wide enough to place a thermal conduction cable, which will transfer the intense thermal energy of the core to the surface, where it will be used to create electricity in a standard steam turbine process.
The energy to be tapped is huge. Scientists estimate that EarthX's first well alone could provide 20% of U.S. electricity needs. And the economics are so favorable that the process is expected to bring the average cost of elecricity down by a factor of 10.
"With a few dozen EarthX wells we could completely satisfy the Earth's energy requirements," says Michael Riccardo, a professor of clean energy studies at Stanford University, "in a few years we won't need oil, coal, or natural gas anymore."
Seeing the writing on the wall, Exxon and RoyalDutchShell have agreed to acquire EarthX for $400 billion.
In addition to its core geothermal knowledge base, the fossil fuel duo hope to market the ancillary technologies that EarthX has invented - including advanced mining equipment, heat shielding, and thermal conduction devices - which are expected to revolutionize nearly every industry on the face of the Earth.
"Picture every product we use metal for," says Riccardo, "Now picture those products at 75% off. That's what just happened here today folks."
Employees at the company's headwuarters in Mountian View, CA were estactic at the news of the acqusition, which will make a record 52 people billionaires. Musk himself, however, was more modest. The Daily Currant caught up with him at a Nobu near his home in Los Angeles:
"This was really just a side project for me. I didn't expect it to go anywhere - but hey. It was a lot of fun, and it looks like I might make a few hundred billion dollars. So yeah - no complaints."