Elon Musk likes to end his talks with the line: 'I want to die on Mars. Just not on impact.' And he is not joking.
In September 2017 the Formula One-faced billionaire outlined his dream to turn humankind into a 'multi-planetary species', and five months later he launched the Falcon Heavy rocket that could take the first human crew to Mars.
Which all sounds pretty damn cool, but the question must be asked: why?
Why would he spend so much money on this, and how does he manage to convince his investors to do the same?
In a paper summarizing his speech at the International Aeronautical Congress, Musk tells us that the reason is very simple. Or, rather, the choice is a no-brainer: stay on Earth and accept our collective demise by an inevitable extinction event, or 'become a space-bearing civilization and multi-planetary species'.
Okay. But is that what he tells his investors? Give me hundreds of millions of dollars to save humanity? Invest now and your progeny will dodge an asteroid? Our names will be written in history books? We will be the forebears of a civilization? Or is it simply: we’ll be rich?
Musk made a lot of money from building and selling PayPal, and he is creating huge value with electric vehicles, solar power, and a train that will go ever so fast in a frictionless vacuum tube. But these are all practical, real-life, mass market ideas. Read More...
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