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Man of Many Dreams

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

"I could either watch it happen or be a part of it" -- Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the forty-six-year-old South African-born inventor, innovator, scientist, and entrepreneur is pushing boundaries and accomplishing things like no other through his several companies. Along with Tesla and SpaceX, he is the founder of Zip2, Paypal, SolarCity, Hyperloop, Open AI, Neurolink, and the Boring Company, and has amassed a net worth of around twenty billion.

Elon, the man of many dreams has always and still is thinking about the future and how he can positively mold it. Often times, his outlandish ideas are cast aside until Musk does what Musk does best . . . the impossible. Ideas like making payments online, building spacecrafts to orbit earth, having electric cars function fully without compromises, and a private company building the world’s most powerful rocket were all fantasies not too long ago, but Musk brought them to life. He’s got a resume like a Cinderella story, accomplishing the type of things that you’d read about in futuristic fantasy books or see only in the movies.

Tesla was Musk’s massive breakthrough. It popularized his “Paypal co-founder” status and brought his then-underrated name into the forefront of the convoluted clean energy industry. When it debuted on the stock market in 2010, it brought the recently divorced and near-broke Musk up to a two billion dollar net worth within two years, making him one of the richest people alive. When Tesla was originally founded in 2003, it had only one mission: to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

History is made as Elon Musk reacts to SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch
  (photo credit: National Geographic).


Fifteen years later under this one, open-ended goal they have managed to create five fully electric vehicles that leave behind zero emissions. These self-driving vehicles are all groundbreaking -- the “Roadster,” for example, can reach sixty miles per hour in a record-breaking 1.9 seconds, proving that electric cars can function with zero compromises. Not to mention that the new “Model 3” is releasing at thirty-five thousand dollars, keeping it on par with gasoline cars of similar builds. 

Now Tesla focuses on energy in general, not just electric vehicles, which gave them reason to create solar panels, solar roofs, powerwalls, and even portable chargers, all for household and large-scale usage. Tesla is breaking down barriers, no one can deny that. They’re a pioneer in the clean energy industry, like horses dashing ahead with a chariot bolstering Musk at the reigns.

Speaking of bolstering, Musk’s bigger and more ambitious company, SpaceX, has made history once again after they successfully launched and landed the heaviest and first reusable rocket ever at sea. The production of a single rocket costs around sixty million, but the reusable rocket only needs to be built once -- at the same price -- with only two hundred thousand dollars needing to be spent on gas and exchangeable parts in between launches. Musk has produced a heavy rocket with a low price -- something that NASA and other spacefaring companies have failed to achieve.

This wasn’t the company’s only accomplishment, however. In 2010, SpaceX became the only privately owned company to return a spacecraft from low orbit. They also delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station in 2012 and, just last year, they successfully achieved the first reflight of an orbital class rocket. Victories are never handed over, however, as SpaceX has failed more times than not. In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015, and 2016, SpaceX’s launches ended in a fiery failure -- the worst exploding within thirty-three seconds. But failures don’t stop Musk, to this day nothing has and nothing will. He accepts failure and realizes that it’s all a part of life, stating that “failure is an option. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

Like his companies, Musk himself has only one goal, which is the future. He lives and breathes it. It provides him with the type of drive that few are born with and a purpose that even less are able to consider. The future is where Musk hangs up his coat, it’s where his head is. It’s why he works hundred-hour weeks and never takes off, it’s why he never accepts a mandatory paycheck from Tesla, it’s why he still makes time for his five children, and it’s why he continues to get up, push forward, and innovate even after he’s fallen. The future is why Musk creates his unprecedented companies and those companies are the reason why, despite being against prolonging human life, he will continue to push boundaries and live forever as one of the most innovative individuals ever.