This is a thank you note to Elon Musk. His achievements are changing the course of human history in astonishing ways.
For example, in the near future, thanks to Elon, humans will have a base on Mars. Really, we will. Becoming a species that is interplanetary is truly remarkable. And that is only one small part of the story.
You think a base on Mars is far-fetched? No, it's not, not at all. There is no doubt in my mind this will happen. And mankind will be the better for it.
I admit I never thought I would say anything like the sentences above in my life, much less, now, at the age of seventy. I was born in 1949, not long after World War II ended. I am a Baby-Boomer. And I have always had a love for the space program.
In fact, I remember so clearly, President Kennedy saying we Americans would have a man on the moon before the end of the decade. That was way back in 1962. So much has changed over the years.
Back then, I was a good athlete in high school, and I attended Ga. Tech because I wanted to be an astronaut. That's a real laugh to me now because I learned later in life that I was claustrophobic and got dizzy with height. If I had become an astronaut, I can see me saying, "I have to get in that small capsule?" and "We're going how high?" What a laugh.
But space and going to the moon was thrilling to think about. Was it really possible? Would human ever really leave earth? Was that in our future?
Well, it was at that time that Star Trek first appeared on TV. We got a better sense of the potential of space (even if it was fiction). And then, lo and behold, we humans actually landed and walked on the moon. Those were heady times.
Then, something happened over time. Space and its potential fell out of favor. Our values shifted. And, the culture and philosophy changed.
To go to the moon, you use reason and logic. But back then, the philosophy of the day became, "If it feels good, do it." What a mistake that was. It became all about emotions.
That philosophy, for example, led to people dying from drug overdose. And more negative news followed. And yet, even with that horrible result, we never really turned back to reason and logic. It's still been all about emotions. Feelings mattered more than the mind. The space program depended on using reason and logic to solve problems and so, it became a political hot-ball.
Until, that is, Elon Musk.
In case you do not know who Elon Musk is, Robert Downey Jr. who played Iron Man in the movies based his portrayal of Tony Stark, the industrialist/scientist who created Iron Man after Elon Musk. Elon even had a cameo on one of the Iron Man movies. Elon is truly an industrialist/scientist/engineer. A man who thinks big. Really big.
How did all that happen? To start with, Elon was one of the co-founders of PayPal. You've heard of PayPal, haven't you? When PayPal was sold to Ebay, Elon received enough money he could have bought an island somewhere and retired in his twenties.
He didn't retire. Quite the contrary. Instead, he created a rocket company called Space Exploration Technologies, simplified into SpaceX. Yes, you read that right, he created a company to produce rocket ships. How's that for vision?
Elon had always been interested in space. Then, as an adult, after receiving millions of dollars for his shares of PayPal, he looked onto NASA's website for when America would be going to Mars. There was a problem. NASA never planned to.
What in the world happened to NASA? And to show how bad things had gotten, after the Shuttle was shut down, America had no way to even get astronauts to the Space Station. They had to hitch a ride with the Russians. Wow. What a negative transition.
So what does Elon do? He creates a company whose purpose is to take humans, not only into space, but to Mars. The Red Planet. His vision was to colonize another planet. Nobody takes initiative like Elon Musk. In fact, he works 80 to 100 hours a week...every week. He has done so for two decades.
Now, there are three companies in the rocket and space industry. Besides SpaceX, there is Blue Origin owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Virgin Galactic owned by Richard Branson of the Virgin companies. Mankind's vision of the future has returned. And it is private enterprise leading the way. Again, thank you Elon Musk for creating SpaceX. And...he didn't stop there.
Perhaps you've heard of Tesla, the electric car that is blowing away the competition. Yes, Elon is one of the co-founders of Tesla. The cars are beautiful and fast. And the least expensive model, the Model 3, is rated by the EPA as getting 310 miles to a single charge while being one of the safest cars in the world. Amazing.
Now we have an all-electric car that functions as well as one that runs on fossil fuels. And the styling is really fantastic. The car has no engine, no transmission, has zero emissions, and have I said how good it looks. Oh, yes, yes, I have.
Tesla is coming out with Semi trucks. Elon is going to change that market as well. Whoever thought there could be an all-electric Semi?
And that's not all. Part of Tesla is Solar City, the largest installer of solar panels in the United States. That part of the company produces sustainable energy, while the automotive part of the company saves energy by not using fossil fuels.
Think how much thinking had to be done to accomplish all that. Once again, I have reason to say...thank you Elon Musk.
Yes, there is more. Elon hated driving in the traffic of Las Angeles. It was an is terrible. In response, he has created a company called The Boring Comany that builds tunnels.
These, too, are futuristic. The tunnels are created rapidly and for a lot less money. Innovation matters. Only electric cars can use the tunnels because of the fumes from fossil fuels. Hmmm...that helps Tesla.
Here is a Ted Talk with Elon Musk being interviewed about The Boring Company. It is excellent. Enjoy.
If you have never heard of Neuralink before, you will. This company is like something created in a science fiction movie. We're talking about putting computer chips in people's skulls. That is both exciting and scary at the same time.
The first applications for this technology will be to help people with severe medical problems. Conditions like paralysis and neurological diseases.
Imagine you've been paralyzed for years, an implant is put into your brain, and you can suddenly move your limbs again. That is part of what Elon Musk and his team are making a reality. That is life changing for people who had little to no hope.
So when will Neuralink be available? It is already being used with animals with some amazing results. There is a video you have to see below.
Neuralink will be available for human trials possible later this year (2021).
The above is only a tip of the iceberg. With the Neuralink chip in our brains, we will be able to connect to computers and the cloud through WiFi. Yes, if you need some information, you will be able to directly connect to the internet and retrieve it...by thinking and guiding the search mentally.
If you don't think that is possible check out the next video and watch a monkey play the game Pong controlling the paddle with only its mind.
Thank you Elon Musk. You never cease to amaze me.
Now you are starting to see why I said thank you to Elon Musk. Because of him, life on Earth will never be the same. He has changed the payment industry with PayPal, he is changing the space industry, the car industry, the trucking industry, the tunneling industry and more (I didn't go over what he has started doing for the health industry). We all owe him a great deal.
And why does he do so much? In many interviews he says, "There needs to be reasons to get up in the morning. Life can't be just about solving problems. Otherwise, what's the point? There's got to be things that people find inspiring...and make life worth living." So true.
What has this inspiration gotten Elon? He is now the richest person in the world. But, more important than that, he really appears happy.
Neil deGrase says Elon Musk is the most important person alive today. Check out this short video:
For our final video: Inspirational - Elon Musk and SpaceX.
In the movies, Tony Stark (Iron Man) dies. Thankfully, that's in the movies. You, Elon Musk, will have many more years to amaze us. And as that great galactic philosopher, Spock, said, "Live long and prosper." Thank you Elon Musk!
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Check out: Elon Musk - Modern Day Columbus
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