A Saga –meaning: a medieval tale of Icelandic or Norwegian heroes. By Debbie Hulston
He came screaming into this world on the 28th of June in 1971 in a private hospital in Pretoria in South Africa. Not born Icelandic nor Norwegian but he did have a touch of Dutch blood racing through his veins. His father was a wealthy South African engineer called Errol and his blond mother was a Canadian called Maye. He grew into a shy, introverted but intelligent boy who loved studying the constellations in the night sky. His hero’s were astronauts. He loved his siblings Kimbal and Tosca. At twelve he showed a talent for computer logistics by creating a video game called Blaster which he sold. With strong feelings for the social injustices of apartheid and his pending call for compulsory military service he left South Africa in 1988 to study in Canada.
At Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and the University of Pennsylvania he achieved his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Economics. He didn’t want to progress with his studies and turned his attention to the Internet and computers. In 1995 he founded and designed a company called Zip2 which offered online maps and directions. By 1999 he sold Zip2 to a computer manufacturer called Compaq for $307 million. With his growing skills he co founded PayPal, a financial servicing company he later sold in 2002 for 1.5 billion. He was now unstoppable and would go on to founder and become CEO to Neralink and OpenAI (which designs artificial intelligent software) and The Boring Company (which designs machinery for constructing tunnels). He was CEO and owner of Twitter and CEO and architect of Tesla, specialising in electronic cars and batteries.
During the accumulation of all these companies, this Thor like man produced eleven children. He married Justine Wilson his first wife while studying at University. They lost their first child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome which had a huge impact on him so he over compensated by using IVF and produced one set of twins and one set of triplets called Damian, Kai, Saxon, Griffin and Nevada then a single child called Vivian. The marriage didn’t last and he remarried the Canadian pop singer Claire Boucher also called Grimes and produced two more children. One called X Ash A Twelve and the other Exa. During the birth of X Ash A Twelve in 2022 he was also becoming Dad to a set of twins from a romantic liaison with a co-worker Shivan Zelis. He is an eccentric and off beat individual with skewed social skills but in 2022 at the age of 51 years he was worth a cool 184.7 Billion US dollars.
It is what this super hero has accomplished in the last seventeen years that has given hope to all mankind despite his additions to our overpopulated planet. His belief is that if life is to survive then humanity needs to become a multiplanet species. So in 2002 he became founder and CEO of SpaceX a company which could manufacture affordable rockets. In 2006 he launched the Falcon 1 rocket then in 2010 Falcon 9 rocket. By 2018 he had produced a Falcon Heavy rocket which could carry a payload of 53,000 kg of weight into orbit for 1/3 of the normal cost. A milestone in space research was reached in 2020 with the Super Heavy Starship System. This enables a rocket to carry 100,000kg payload (which is the Starship) to reach lower orbit then leave the Starship in orbit around earth. The Super Heavy rocket could then descend to earth and land up right on a landing pad and could be reused again. This now makes it possible to safely set up bases on the Moon and then Mars.
SpaceX and NASA also developed the Dragon Spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX is now contracted to NASA on the Artemis Space Programme which will help build a station on the moon in 2025. This hero is Elon Musk whose research and pigheaded determination is pushing our reluctant arses into the frontiers of space. He has started a very long saga that will alter all of our future generations’ lives forever.