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Entrepreneur Musk offers to help Boeing fix batteries

WASHINGTON--Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of the electric carmaker Tesla and aeronautics firm SpaceX, has offered to help Boeing fix apparent problems with the batteries in its grounded 787 Dreamliner.

Spokeswomen from both of Musk's companies confirmed that he has reached out to Boeing, which has been struggling to address the concerns of customers and regulators following recent fire incidents that grounded the fleet.

“Elon has offered to help Boeing. Any further information about the offer will be left to Boeing and the FAA to communicate,” SpaceX spokeswoman Emily Shanklin said, confirming messages posted by Musk on Twitter.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel confirmed the aircraft giant was “engaged with a number of experts, both inside and outside the company, in resolving the issue and returning the 787 fleet to flight status.

“However we are not identifying them by name publicly,” he added.

World regulators grounded all 50 operating Dreamliners after a fire aboard a parked Japan Airlines 787 on Jan. 7 and a smoking battery that forced the emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways 787 on Jan. 16.

SpaceX made headlines last October when it successfully launched an unmanned capsule to the International Space Station, marking a major landmark in American efforts to privatize space exploration.

Tesla markets a sports car at more than US$100,000 and launched the Model S — which does not contain an internal combustion engine and features a second trunk under the hood — at a starting price of US$49,900.

The Model S accelerates from 0 to 60 miles (100 kilometers) per hour in as little as 4.4 seconds and includes an in-dash touchscreen with Internet capabilities, allowing for streaming radio, Web browsing and navigation.

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