Elon Musk's Legacy For SpaceX, Tesla And Mars Travel Falls Short Of Einstein's Impact On Humanity

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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Harvir Dhindsa.

Elon Musk is a meta human.

He is going to be 46 in June and the man already regularly keeps on top of two huge multi-billion dollar corporations that are changing the world and will continue to do so. One that is radicalizing space travel with the ultimate goal to land a human on Mars by 2025, and another that is going to forever change the automotive sector, one of the hardest industries to successfully enter and execute in. He is, through his ventures, slowly progressing humanity as a species towards a multi planetary and greener future. He is the very definition and epitome of what it means to “change the world.” SpaceX has claimed numerous historic feats of engineering with its drone ship landings and reusable rocket technology. And Tesla has consistently received worldwide recognition for their range and overall design appeal. Just to be CEO of either Tesla or SpaceX would be any entrepreneur’s dream. On the side he also is the Chair of SolarCity and the lead investor in Hyperloop. The former of which will slowly transition us from fossil fuels into a new age and the latter of which will connect the people of Earth through high speed transportation. Elon has consistently taken on the status quo in the world and changed it for the better. I have enormous respect for him.


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All of that being said, Albert Einstein was a God amongst men and women.

In what is known as his “miracle year” in 1905, Einstein published FOUR papers that would change Physics and all of natural science and engineering forever. Producing just one of those papers through one’s life would make the career of any other Physicist. All of this while he was spending his time daydreaming in a patent office! While revered professors like Max Planck were busy trying to postulate theories like he did. Oh, I didn’t mention this was all done when Einstein was 26 years old. Just being able to imagine the concepts of special relativity and brownian motion were astounding feats of the human mind. A decade later, Einstein published the General Theory of Relativity. If I were to be asked by an alien civilization to hand over our most impressive work from all history in order to impress them, it would be this paper. The General Theory defines what the human mind is capable of if utilized to the fullest. It was a game changer no one had considered and very likely wouldn’t have if not for Einstein. Albert Einstein replaced Newton on the pedestal for genius with that paper. The Newton verse was replaced by the idea of space-time as a fabric that can be bent. All of Einstein’s theories would later appear in revolutionary technologies (GPS to name one) all the way through to the most recent discovery of gravitational waves.

Elon Musk is changing the world for humanity. Albert Einstein redefined the universe for humanity. I feel the latter is much more significant.

Elon Musk could prove me wrong with the rest of his ventures in life. Depending on where his companies go, he could get very near Einstein’s level of reverence. But surpassing it, I very much doubt.