Elon Musk passed out after drinking vodka in a meeting with Russians to buy rockets because he was hungover from partying in Paris, biography says

Elon Musk drinks from a wine glass at the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar.REUTERS/Carl Recine

  • Elon Musk passed out in a meeting that involved shots of vodka, per his upcoming biography.

  • He was negotiating buying rockets in Moscow, and had partied in Paris the night before.

  • The Russians taunted him in a later meeting: “Oh, little boy, you don’t have the money?”

Elon Musk once passed out during a Moscow meeting where he had several shots of vodka, according to Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography.

The SpaceX CEO told Isaacson that, before founding the company in 2002, he instead wanted to launch a mission that would inspire public interest in space exploration. His first plan, called “Mars Oasis,” involved sending a greenhouse to Mars.

So Musk recruited a rocket engineer called Jim Cantrell, and along with Adeo Ressi — The Founder Institute CEO and Musk’s former college housemate — they arranged a business meeting with some Russians to negotiate buying rockets, the book says.

The journey included a stopover in Paris, where Isaacson writes that a late night of partying left Musk “ragged” upon arriving in the Russian capital.

Then in the back room of a Moscow restaurant, the lunchtime meeting involved “small bites of food interspersed with large shots of vodka,” according to the biography. The Russians also gifted the trio a bottle of vodka each, where the label was a picture of the recipient on Mars.

“I calculated the weight of the food and the weight of the vodka, and they were roughly equal,” Musk told Isaacson.

And then, in the biographer’s words: “Musk, who was holding his head up with his hand, passed out, and his head slammed into the table.”

Back in January, Musk said he dislikes “the taste or effects of most alcohol,” but expressed a preference for red wine. The billionaire was also pictured drinking from a wine glass while at the World Cup Final in Qatar last year. And in 2017, Musk tweeted: “A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien… and magic!”

After passing out in Moscow, there was another unsuccessful meeting on that trip before Musk returned in early 2002. Isaacson writes that he thought there was a deal to buy two Dnepr rockets for $18 million, but the Russians actually wanted $18 million for each.

And when Musk pushed back, they upped the price to $21 million each. Cantrell told Isaacson that the Russians then taunted the SpaceX founder, saying: “Oh, little boy, you don’t have the money?”

Musk did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.

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