A German physicist predicted that a man named ‘Elon’ would lead people to Mars. Was Elon Musk’s role in a Mars expedition expected in a 1953 book by Wernher Von Braun, one of the early pioneers of space exploration?
Do you believe in fate? Things appear to be predestined at times. Elon Musk, CEO and co-founder of private space exploration company SpaceX, announced last October that his company hoped to launch a crewed spacecraft to Mars in 2024.
The Red Planet has long been a part of Musk’s dreams, given that Musk has argued that achieving space colonisation is the only way to save life on Earth. The CEO of SpaceX has even stated that he wishes to be buried on Mars.
It’s odd, then, that someone in the 1950s seemingly predicted Musk’s ambitions. The serial entrepreneur tweeted at the end of last year, “Destiny, fate. There is no way out for me.” What’s interesting is the response he received from Twitter user Toby Li.
“In terms of destiny, did you know that in Von Braun’s 1953 book ‘Mars Project,’ he mentioned a man named Elon who would bring humans to Mars? That’s pretty insane, “Li responded in writing.
Speaking about destiny, did you know that Von Braun’s 1953 book “Mars Project,” referenced a person named Elon that would bring humans to Mars? Pretty nuts pic.twitter.com/m28yFU4Ip6
— Toby Li (@tobyliiiiiiiiii) December 30, 2020
According to Gizmodo, Li referred to German-American rocket physicist, astronautical engineer, and space architect Wernher Von Braun’s book Mars Project: A Technical Tale (Das Marsprojekt). At the end of WWII, the scientist was a key developer of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket (although his association with Adolf Hitler has been controversial).
Following the war, Von Braun immigrated to the United States, contributing to developing the country’s space exploration strategy and, eventually, NASA.
In his science-fiction book, Von Braun describes what a trip to Mars would have been like during the Cold War. He imagined a person named “Elon”, leading human colonists on Mars. However, as another Twitter user pointed out last year, “Elon” was a title in Von Braun’s book, not the name of the Martian community’s leader.
Yeah it’s real. This is the English transcript of the same book … But “Elon” referred by Von Braun in the book isn’t the name of the person but rather the name of the position something like an elected meritocratic president pic.twitter.com/GADiMJHxLp
— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) December 30, 2020
As a result, the link between Von Braun’s novel and the founder of SpaceX is most likely coincidental. Still, it’s intriguing to think that some people are born with a predetermined destiny, especially given Musk’s recent claim to be the Emperor of Mars.