What? Elon Musk May Not Save Us?

The much-revered billionaire of PayPal, electric car, and rocket company fame is having quite a time of it. I figured he was doing great after the recent successes of his rocket launches–especially the giant spectacle made of littering an entire fucking car into the solar system:

Truly a moment to put God in his place.

Littering stunt notwithstanding, I think rockets are cool and space exploration is an admirable (and inexorable) feature of the human mindset. But let’s get one thing clear: Elon Musk is not the man we want shaping the future of space exploration. He can play a part, but the idea that “this guy is innovating” humanity’s march to the stars is kind of stupid but also dangerous. We do not want one person running this operation. We should probably consider having some kind of oversight body regulating how people are sent into space, and what kind of work they must perform while there.

He is using technology (rockets, largely invented by Nazis) to deliver payloads to orbit, in service of various commercial and scientific missions. (He also sent a car towards Mars, not “to” Mars, but, whatever.)

He says he wants people to be on Mars in eight years or something. What do you think they’re going to do there? I wonder if it will be in service of some kind of private, corporate enterprise? Hmmmmmmm…. The frist trillionaire may very well be in the asteroid-mining business.

Surely, a guy that shoots sports cars into space and doesn’t seem to care about the workers building those cars must have a really inclusive plan for the well-being of Earth and the solar system. Sure.

Elon Musk is an interesting character. He’s not building a future with you or your working friends in it. And there are signs that he may not be having quite the time of it that he thought he would.

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