Wernher von Braun, a pioneering aerospace engineer and science-fiction writer may have anticipated Elon Musk’s plot to colonize other worlds nearly 70 years ago when he portrayed a man called “Elon” ruling over Mars, according to the New York Post.
“Destiny, destiny. There is no escape for me,” Elon Musk posted on Twitter last year. But what drew the attention was the response that Twitter user Toby Li gave him.
“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,” Li retweeted.
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
Von Braun was a German-American rocket physicist and space architect who was a key figure in the advancement of rocket technology.
After World War II, Von Braun, a lead inventor of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket, was among a group of German scientists who were secretly relocated to the United States and worked on space exploration at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Elon Musk, CEO and co-founder of SpaceX, revealed last October that his company planned to send a manned spacecraft to Mars in 2024.
Given that Musk has proposed that space colonization was the only way to save life on Earth, the Red Planet has been a part of Musk’s dreams for a long time. The SpaceX CEO has even mentioned that he wished to be buried on Mars.
Von Braun described in his sci-fi book what a trip to Mars would have been like in the midst of the Cold War. Human colonists on Mars, he imagined, would be led by a man named “Elon.” However, as another Twitter user pointed out last year, “Elon” was merely a title in Von Braun’s novel, 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 connection between Von Braun’s novel and the creator of SpaceX was most likely coincidental. Still, it was intriguing to think that some people were born with a predetermined destiny, particularly given Musk’s recent claim to be the Emperor of Mars.