The Game ChangerElon Musk is ready to take the human race to Mars
The Red Bulletin presents Game Changers. The people, things and ideas that will change our lives in 2016.
“It would be pretty cool to die on Mars some day, just not on impact.” When a man such as Elon Musk – the South African-born entrepreneur who became a dotcom billionaire in the US via a little idea by the name of PayPal – says something like that, you know he sees it as a genuine possibility.
While he has one eye on space, Musk is also concerned with saving planet Earth on the back of the American Dream, setting up one successful company after another.
In 2003, he invested in Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturers; he’s now the CEO and Product Architect. Musk is also Chairman of the company SolarCity, which designs and sells solar panels. And in the Hyperloop, he’s come up with the concept for a super-fast, environmentally friendly, air-cushion transport system that could make aircraft redundant.
With his project SpaceX, the 44-year-old’s ultimate aim is to fulfil a lifelong ambition and usher in an era of the colonisation of Mars. He claims his aerospace concept could reduce the cost of journeys into space by 90 per cent. SpaceX rockets have already delivered supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), and it’s been predicted that we’ll see the first humans on Mars within 20 years from now.
“We’re at the dawn of a new age [of space exploration],” says Musk, the man on which Hollywood is said to have based its version of billionaire world saviour Tony Stark, alias comic-book superhero Iron Man. The real-life business magnate wants to take the next step in his mission to land on the Red Planet this spring. If the latest SpaceX rocket, Falcon Heavy, can prove its space-worthiness, it will be the most powerful rocket of our time.