Meet Elon Musk, The Real-Life Iron Man

You have probably already heard about the red sports car that flew to space inside a rocket in the beginning of February. Like most people, you may have thought it was the plot of a new sci-fi movie or HQ. But it actually happened: inside the world’s most powerful rocket, a dummy astronaut named Starman flew to space in a sedan that played David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” on loop. And it all comes back to one man.

Launching of Roadster in space / Source: Wikipedia

For Elon Musk, this whole fantastic scenario was the beginning of his life’s dream on earth. Since his childhood in South Africa, Musk had current questions about the limited life available on Earth, so he never ceased to question how he could change “life-as-we-know-it”. Always thinking about human’s bad usage of natural resources and wasting, Musk decided to devote his whole life to making the universe a sustainable place to live. And, due to his genius brain, this is beginning to become true.

Musk is not like any normal person: at the age of 12, he created a videogame called Blastar, which he designed by learning to program computers all by himself. In 1984, the 17 years old thin boy left his hometown to study in Canada, amazed by the technological advances that were being made in North America. Four years later, he left the country to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania - where he caught the attention of all his teachers.

Following the Internet boom in the 90’s, the just-graduated Musk materialized his entrepreneur self, launching his first company Zip2 Corporation, an online city guide that was soon providing content for the new websites of The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. While the company was bought by Compaq Computer Corporation in 1999 for U$$434 million, Musk co-founded, an online financial services/payments organization that became later the giant PayPal.

When PayPal was sold to Ebay, it was time for Musk to focus on his mission: life on Mars. With the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel, the entrepreneur created in 2002 the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX. The disruptive company changed the way the world saw spacecraft, which was designed only for public organizations.

Now, SpaceX is certified by NASA, has 3 rockets and some achievements to be proud of, naming two: it’s the first private company to send a spacecraft, Dragon, to the International Space Station and the first one that did a propulsive landing for an orbital rocket, with the rocket Falcon 9 in 2015.

Falcon Heavy Demo Mission / Source: Flickr

The last but not least breakthrough led by Musk was the creation of Tesla Motors. Founded in 2003, the company specialized in electric cars and lithium-ion battery energy storage has as mission change the way we see cars. Musk’s dream is to turn all vehicles eco friendly and leave diesel motors in the past.

Elon Musk is one of the most important entrepreneurs of the world; a man only 46 years old that had already changed the status-quo of a century and challenged our beliefs regarding technology. By the end of 2026, Musk says humans will already be landing on Mars to colonize the planet. If he managed to send a car to space, we may believe his words.