What do billionaires do when they get bored? Apparently, they take one billion dollars and send their car into space. That’s what Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and Tesla, did last Tuesday.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy launched from Kennedy Space center and has successfully sent Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster into orbit towards mars. But don’t worry folks, the Roadster is not manned alone. Driving it is a multi-million-dollar dummy named Starman. Starman is clothed in a full space suit as the convertible plays his favorite song, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, through the Bose speakers for the milky way’s enjoyment.
My issue is this: There is more than 3 billion people in our world living on less than $2.50 a day, and more than 1.3 billion living on less than $1.25 a day. Furthermore, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
If Elon Musk is just dying to blow a billion dollars, he should have looked to this planet before looking at Mars, because as far as I know, there isn’t any life there, and if there is, by the time Starman gets there, the life on Mars very well could be died. And even if the life on Mars is not dead by the time Starman gets there, what is he going to do? Give them a free car ride while they listen to David Bowie?
Granted, it is quite an accomplishment that one man can send a car into orbit when whole governments couldn’t pull off such a stunt. However, this money that could have helped bring thousands out of poverty in our world and truly made an impact. How many companies could have been started with a billion dollars? How many jobs could have been created? How many families could have been fed? How much research could have been done towards finding a cure for cancer?
All of these questions and more are ones that we should ask whenever we see something like this in the news. I’ll admit I chuckled when I first heard the story, but then realized the time, energy and money that instead of helping someone was just sent into orbit in outer space.
So congrats Elon, you can pull off a space launch. Let’s do something to help humanity with your next billion that won’t fit in your bank account.