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 someday, just not on impact.” When a man like Elon Musk—the South African–born entrepreneur who became a dot-com billionaire in the U.S. 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 manufacturer; 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 blueprint 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 fulfill a lifelong ambition to enable human travel to Mars and colonize it. He claims that his commercial, reusable aerospace concept could reduce the cost of journeys into space by 90 percent. SpaceX rockets have already delivered supplies to the International Space Station, and it’s been predicted that we’ll see the first humans on Mars within 20 years.
“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 savior 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 in upcoming tests, it will be the most powerful rocket of our time.