As CEO and Chief Designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Elon Musk has ignited the private sector’s space race, finishing first with flying colors. With his company’s space shuttles routinely carrying cargo to the International Space Station, Musk has come a long way since migrating from South Africa at age 17. Studying at University of Pennsylvania, Musk followed his passions in multiple fields. Musk holds a Bachelors of Arts in Physics and a Bachelors of Science in Business––an unorthodox combination in academics––but true to his education, Musk has turned physics into an art and business into a science.
After devising and implementing PayPal, the largest global Internet payment system, Musk turned to Tesla Motors, where he revolutionized the design of their trademark all-electric models while serving as CEO and Product Architect. But this scientific artist was driven to breach a new frontier in the world of transportation design. With the cosmos as his corporate canvas, Musk founded SpaceX. Since its inception, SpaceX has racked up numerous commercial firsts thought to be achievable only by governments. As it turns out, NASA is one of SpaceX’s largest clients, requesting their space shuttle Dragon to venture on regular cargo missions. Though he lives and works in Los Angeles, Musk has said that his ultimate goal with SpaceX is to successfully colonize Mars and eventually, other planets. Musk stretches his ambition and potential so much that though his thoughts may ascend above the clouds, his feet are planted firmly on the ground.