View Full Version : Elon Musk

Plutonic Panda
10-26-2014, 10:01 PM
This amazing guy is an inspiration to me! Just awesome.

Former SpaceX Exec Explains How Elon Musk Taught Himself Rocket Science

While it's certainly impressive that Elon Musk has bachelor's degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, it's an absurd overstatement to say that prepared him to run SpaceX, his spacecraft company.

Jim Cantrell, who was an aerospace consultant at the time, became SpaceX's first VP of business development and Musk's industry mentor when the company launched in 2002. He says that Musk literally taught himself rocket science by reading textbooks and talking to industry heavyweights.

Cantrell's first contact with Musk was a cold call in 2001. As he explains to Esquire:

"I had the top down on my car, so all I could make out was that some guy named Ian Musk was saying that he was an Internet billionaire and needed to talk to me. I'm pretty sure he used that phrase, 'Internet billionaire.'"

Musk learned about Cantrell through Robert Zubrin, the founder of the Mars Society. Musk knew that Cantrell was an expert in Russian rockets and wanted to learn how he could get a spacecraft to Mars.

After reading Cantrell's response in the Quora thread "How did Elon Musk learn enough about rockets to run SpaceX?," we asked him to share some insights into his time with Musk.

Below, he explains the two-part learning process that Musk used to teach himself rocket science.

Read more: How Elon Musk Learned Rocket Science For SpaceX - Business Insider (