This African guy wants to establish a human settlement on Mars
What comes to your mind when you hear the words Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City? If you are me, you’d probably think Elon Musk because he’s the guy who leads all those three game-changing companies as CEO. Yes, he’s CEO of all three and he leads them simultaneously.
Elon Musk is no stranger to the tech world and he’s definitely one of the most remarkable and innovative people alive today. Most people know Musk because of Tesla, the $58 Billion electric vehicle manufacturer that’s giving well-established companies like General Motors and Ford a run for their money.
Nevertheless, there is more to Elon Musk than Tesla. You remember PayPal, the world’s largest P2P payments platform valued at $99 Billion? Well, he founded it with his brother. Elon Musk is a maverick, a visionary and an avid risk-taker.
When PayPal was sold to eBay for $1.5 Billion in 2002, Elon Musk received $165 Million constituting his 11.5% ownership in the company. Guess what Musk did with the $165million? No, he did not buy a flashy Island or get a private jet he put all the money he made into Tesla and SpaceX and thus begun a new era of private Space Exploration.
One thing most people don’t know about Elon is he’s South African. According to Wikipedia Elon Musk grew up in Pretoria only to move to Canada when he was 17 years old for college before going to Penn University where he studied Economics and Physics.
Going to Mars
The idea for SpaceX which is short for Space Exploration was conceptualized by Musk in 2001 which led them to travel to Moscow to buy ICBM’s which would enable them to send payloads to Space. After a company offered to sell them a rocket for $8 million which Musk saw as too expensive, he then began researching on how he could build his own rockets.
He later figured out that the raw materials needed for building a rocket cost 3% of the average cost of purchasing one.
In May 2002, Musk took $100 million he got from the sale of PayPal and put it all into SpaceX. Over the years, SpaceX has achieved many feats including being the first private company to put a satellite into the earth’s orbit and in 2009, got a contract from NASA to transport cargo to the International Space Station.
In 2015 SpaceX perfected Rocket Reusability where they landed their Falcon 1 rocket back on the landing page after it had launched, something that had never been done before. SpaceX also owns the Falcon heavy, considered the most powerful rocket on the planet.
Musk has many ambitions including reducing the cost of flying to space by 10 and sending humans to Mars. His hope is to establish a colony on Mars by 2040. According to him, the colony he’ll establish should have a total population of about 80 000 people.
The motivations behind his companies Tesla and Solar City is basically to support human existence on Mars as there is no combustion engine. The sun will be the only primary energy source on the planet.