Elon Musk is like a character from a big epic movie, and they probably will make movies about him in the future. Musk is, of course, rich and involved with a variety of major technology projects, but he might go down in history for his contributions to commercial space travel. His Musk Foundation is a mysterious force in the world of high tech philanthropy.
In order to understand the Musk Foundation, you need to know a little bit more about Elon Musk and his greatest projects.
Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa, and he moved to Canada at the age of 17. His first claim to fame was through his company PayPal, which started as his online payment company X.com.
Elon Musk got his bachelor’s degree at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania after transferring from Canada’s Queen’s School of Business. Musk was on track to get a Ph.D. in applied physics at Stanford University, but dropped out to become an entrepreneur.
Tesla: Changing the Game Through Electric Sports Cars
While Elon Musk gained notoriety through PayPal, it was his forays into the world of electric cars that really set him apart as a major thought leader in technology. Musk joined the fledgling Tesla Motors (now Tesla, Inc.) in 2004 as the chairman of the board of directors. It was not until 2008, however, that Musk took an active role in Tesla as CEO and product architect.
Under Musk’s leadership, Tesla launched the first all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, in 2008. Tesla sold approximately 2,500 Roadsters in 31 different countries.
Tesla may not be producing cars that everyday households use just yet, but as a visionary leader in the world of electric cars, Musk has really changed the automotive landscape with Tesla.
SpaceX: Elon Musk’s Dedication to Space Exploration
But, Tesla’s dynamic rise to cultural dominance has been since eclipsed as what may become Musk’s crowning achievement: SpaceX, his company dedicated to space exploration technologies.
While SpaceX was founded in May of 2002, it didn’t really become well known until recently.
SpaceX launched the first privately funded rocket to put a satellite into orbit around Earth in September of 2008. But it wasn’t until 2018, 10 years later, that SpaceX captured the imaginations of people around the world with the launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket on February 6, 2018.
The Falcon Heavy became in 2018 the most powerful rocket still working on the planet and was the fourth-highest capacity rocket ever built.
The reason Falcon Heavy became such an inspiration to so many people was the creative payload. Rather than using some boring object like a cement block for the rocket launch test, Elon Musk had his own Tesla Roadster launched into space as the “dummy payload.”
The Tesla Roadster being shot into space included an actual dummy in a spacesuit, with David Bowie’s iconic space song “Space Oddity” (Major Tom) playing on the radio. On the Tesla dashboard, you could see the words DON’T PANIC from the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. (In “big, friendly letters” of course.)
So, What About the Musk Foundation?
Currently, if you go to the Musk Foundation website at muskfoundation.org, you get a curious, sparse white page with these words:
Grants are made in support of:
You won’t find any contact information. There’s no link to Twitter or a Facebook page. You can find an address for the Musk Foundation if you look elsewhere on the Internet (they apparently have an office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California), but you won’t find an email.
This isn’t to say the Musk Foundation is a scam. Clearly, Musk must not want a lot of people contacting them. If they want to give away money, they will come to you. A few of the things he has funded include donating to rebuild solar power systems hit through natural disasters. The Musk Foundation gave a whopping $250,000 to build a solar power system in Fukushima after the 2011 earthquake.
Some of the current projects he is funding revolve around artificial intelligence and how to integrate it with the human brain.
The Musk Foundation: An Enigmatic Expression of Its Founder
The Musk Foundation is the philanthropic arm of one of the most eccentric genius businessmen to walk the planet, Elon Musk. It currently funds projects related to solar power, space exploration, artificial intelligence, advanced technology, and human longevity. No matter what happens, we can be assured that Elon Musk will go down in history one way or another.