Musk has been and is currently involved in multiple endeavors—too many to talk about here. To maintain focus on the American Dream, we’ll talk about his company SpaceX. The SpaceX program is perhaps one of best aspects of Musk’s American Dream.
For a brief time, Musk joined the Mars Society’s board of directors, having donated $100,000 to the organization. As part of a project to put a greenhouse on Mars and actually grow plants on the red planet, Musk and others attempted to acquire ICBMs through Russian contacts. Their efforts failed, and Musk determined that he could build affordable rockets himself. SpaceX was created for this purpose.
But the company didn’t soar to infinity and beyond right away. Their first three rocket launches failed, nearly bankrupting the company. Thankfully, on September 28, 2008, SpaceX managed a successful launch. In 2023, the company’s Dragon C2+ became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver a cargo load to the International Space Station. SpaceX continued to reach more milestones, including the creation of Starlink, a satellite internet constellation that provides internet service for over 60 countries.
Musk has signed many high-profile contracts with NASA and the US Air Force to manufacture rockets and execute military missions. Among many other thoughts, he has been vocal about his desire to work with NASA on a collaborative mission to deploy an astronaut to Mars by 2025. While he has been known for using hyperbolic language, Musk has nevertheless persevered to accomplish many of his goals and desires.
He could have settled when he found himself with $175 million at the age of 31, or he could have squandered it all like many do when met with financial fortune. Instead, Musk didn’t sit on his laurels. He invested his fortune to do more. He could have given up when SpaceX lost nearly all its money after three failed launches. Instead, he and everyone else at SpaceX carried on despite the enormous setbacks, and the company has been instrumental in advancing spaceflight technology.
Whether you love him or hate him or have no opinion of him, Elon Musk is a prime example of what can we accomplished when ambition is relentless and failure is seen as just another milestone.