Elon Musk and Science Fiction Books, Inspiration for Science Fact

2019 Will See Two People Fly Around the Moon Thanks to Elon Musk and His Science Fiction Inspirations


Elon Musk announced that he will have 2 people fly around the moon next year. A recent list of books that were listed to have inspired Musk included some science fiction novels. Flying around the moon will be science fiction that becomes science fact.


Some say that Musk’s interest in space exploration technology stems from reading science-fiction. In 2013, Musk did an interview with The Guardian, and stated he was influenced by Asimov’s “Foundation” series, which centers on the fall of the Galactic Empire. “The lessons of history would suggest that civilisations move in cycles. You can track that back quite far — the Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China. We’re obviously in a very upward cycle right now and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not. There could be some series of events that cause that technology level to decline. Given that this is the first time in 4.5bn years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.”


Elon Musk was also quoted in an interview with The New Yorker that “the heroes of the books I read always felt a duty to save the world.”


One of the science fiction novels Elon Musk read, “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard is just that—a hero who felt a duty to save the world. It also predicts that not all life beyond our solar system is friendly. In fact, the 1982 novel suggests the Voyager 1 space probe is picked up by a race that will wipe out mankind, just to mine the planet for it’s resources. So much for Voyager 1’s, “Welcome from the children of planet Earth” message of peace.


Then there is “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein, originally published in 1966, which paints the picture of a dystopia not too far in the future. In the book, a group of people have been exiled from earth to the moon, where they have created a libertarian society. In the year 2076, a group of rebels including a supercomputer named Mike and a one-armed computer technician leads the lunar colony’s revolution against its earthbound rulers. Musk said in an interview at MIT’s Aero/Astro Centennial, that it is Heinlein’s best work.


And now, Musk will be sending 2 people to fly around the moon, which was once no more than an idea from an author of science fiction. As L. Ron Hubbard once said, “Science fiction is the herald of possibility.”


So once again, we see science fiction becoming science fact.


Release ID: 174318