Quoted: Elon Musk on the ‘dismay’ that prompted SpaceX

“The thing that got me started with SpaceX was the feeling of dismay — I just did not want Apollo to be our high-water mark. We do not want a future where we tell our children that this was the best we ever did. Growing up, I kept expecting we’re going to have a base on the moon, and we’re going to have trips to Mars. Instead, we went backwards, and that’s a great tragedy.”

Elon Musk talks about space exploration — or lack thereof — and more to the Los Angeles Times. He says his Southern California company, rocket maker SpaceX, is trying to “affect humanity’s future in a significant way.” In May, SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule docked to the International Space Station. (See Elon Musk’s excellent adventures: SpaceX blastoff, Tesla’s impending rollout.) Of Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley electric-car maker where Musk is CEO, he says, “the next six months will decide whether Tesla will be the first new [successful] car company in a century.” Tesla is cranking out its second all-electric vehicle, the Model S, in a Fremont factory, with a goal of delivering 5,000 of the sedans by the end of the year.


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  • Jim

    So rockets that the gov’t paid over 1/2 the money to develop with a payload capability not much over a Delta-II class rocket developed in the late 80’s are the next step beyond Apollo and its Saturn V, which lofted nearly 12-times more into orbit?

    Just as the Shuttle was a step-back in capability from Saturn V, so is the Falcon 9 from the Shuttle; we’re still moving backwards. Forward movement won’t come until the Space Launch System, or SLS, which will loft 130 mT, more than the Saturn V, into orbit.

    I applaud SpaceX’s success in doing for less what NASA and its contractors, all of whom like SpaceX are commercial enterprises themselves, have been doing for half a century. By lowering the cost of low-mass launches, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences will make low-Earth orbit more accessible for everyone. But there’s no need to hyperbolize this into something it is not.

  • Max

    What absolute B.S. Surely he cannot believe this. He just likes to listen to himself talk.