Elon Musk named Time Magazine Personality of the Year

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is 2021 Time Person of the Year, the magazine said on Monday (December 13).

“The Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk over life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth as well,” said Edward Felsenthal, editor. Chief and CEO of Time, in a statement. “In 2021, Musk became not only the richest person in the world, but also perhaps the richest example of a massive change in our society.”

This change includes “the continued decline of traditional institutions in favor of individuals; the dysfunction of government which has given more power and responsibility to corporations; and chasms of wealth and opportunity,” said Felsenthal.

The tallest rocket in the world: SpaceX Stacks Starship On Huge Booster For The First Time

This SpaceX photo shows the first test firing of six Raptor engines on the company's Starship SN20 prototype rocket on November 12, 2021 at the Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas.  A Starship Super Heavy booster is on the right.

This SpaceX photo shows the first six-engine Raptor test firing of the company’s Starship SN20 prototype rocket on November 12, 2021 at the Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas. A Starship Super Heavy booster is on the right. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Notable achievements by Musk and SpaceX this year include the safe landing of a prototype of the company’s massive Starship Mars rocket on a high-altitude test flight; maintain crewed access to the International Space Station from the United States via SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket; and successfully launch four civilians on a charitable orbital space flight known as Inspiration4 (a mission supported by fellow billionaire Jared Isaacman.)

Musk was even a guest on Saturday Night Live, which included the required Dogecoin jokes. Musk is a huge fan of cryptocurrency and would even (apparently) start accepting paid assignments in Dogecoin.

Musk still keeps his dreams of interplanetary colonization alive with Starship alive and now sets his goal of reaching the Red Planet as a solution to some of Earth’s problems, such as global warming. This is a position that is inherently controversial among some, according to Vox, but Musk has focused on Mars since SpaceX was founded almost 20 years ago.

“The overall goal has been to make life multiplanetary and enable humanity to become a space civilization,” Musk said in an interview with Time. “The next big thing is to build a self-sufficient city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there, kind of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though – that’s a bit weird if there are only two. “

Musk’s interview with Time also gives some suggested milestones for his various long-range space missions, including circling the moon “maybe as early as 2023”. He also said he would be “surprised” if SpaceX did not succeed in a human landing on Mars in five years, and he gave more details on recent reports that SpaceX could go bankrupt due to a production crisis. on his new Raptor engine for Starship.

“Worst case scenario… bankruptcy isn’t out of the question, it’s not likely,” Musk said in an interview with Time. “We cannot lose our advantage or become complacent.”

You can read the full cover article on Time at this link.

Time’s selection of Musk as person of the year will not be universally acclaimed. The billionaire entrepreneur has been criticized for actions such as reopening a Tesla factory (Musk is also CEO of Tesla) against public health advice during the pandemic and for making rude comments about an individual who helped save a group of boys trapped in a cave, while Musk’s proposed underwater solution has been put aside.

And SpaceX’s Starlink satellite mega-constellation, while expanding internet access in rural areas, has also been criticized for interfering with astronomical observations due to the number and brightness of the spacecraft.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom Or on Facebook.

About Travis Durham

Check Also

SpaceX training begins this month for first commercial spacewalk mission – Spaceflight Now

Artist’s concept of a crew member performing a spacewalk outside a Crew Dragon spacecraft. Credit: …