Elon Musk -- the brilliant engineer, industrial designer, industrial engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, CEO of Tesla Motors -- and Grimes, his musician girlfriend, had a baby boy on May 4. They didn’t want to name him Elon Jr. so they named him X AE A-12.
They petitioned the State of California to issue a birth certificate under that name. California refused, citing a law that prohibited numbers or symbols in a name.
Asked to explain the name, Grimes said that X is for an unknown variable, AE is her “alfin” spelling of AI (for artificial intelligence) and A-12 is the precursor of her favorite aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird. She pronounced the name “ecks aye eye.” Musk pronounced it “X Arc Angel.” Was that to punish the kid before he could even talk? What would his teachers and classmates call him when he started school? What they will name him on the second run against the California regulation, I wouldn’t guess, but what would be wrong with Bill?
Perhaps you’d care to sign up for Musk’s proposed shot into outer space: establishing a colony for human beings on Mars before 2050. The genius is worth $36.5 billion and plans to spend some of it on his Mars One project which would send up 100 spaceships to Mars with 100,000 people to establish a new city. The spaceships would run for 20-30 years and would make round-trip flights at the rate of three every day or 1,000 per year.
The settlers on Mars would be governed by “direct democracy.” They would not have representative government, but all citizens would have a direct vote on every issue. Apparently, Musk intends to set up the government as well as the colony. The reasons for the colony would be scientific curiosity and to continue mankind in case human beings on earth would become extinct.
Now Mars is different from Earth in many ways. The atmospheric pressure there is such that human beings would need pressurized spacesuits and live in pressurized living spaces. Earth plants and animals would not survive on the Mars surface. That’s right, no puppies on Mars.
Mars has only 30% of Earth’s gravity which would create problems with our bodies − muscle loss and bone weakness. The climate on Mars is much colder than Earth. I can’t compute the chilling degrees for you, but they are significant. Mars has less water than the driest desert on Earth and its soil is toxic. What would you grow there? There are no clouds and no rain. Mars has global dust storms that cover the planet for weeks like volcano dust. So solar panels would not generate electricity during the blackouts.
These are just a few of the problems. For human beings to survive on Mars, artificial habitats and life-support systems would need to be developed. People have to be extensively tested physically and psychologically before going to Mars.
Look, Elon Musk may be a genius, but he is serious. If you are interested in going new places and the survival of mankind, you might look into his Space X program.
But before you buy a ticket on one of his flights to Mars, consider this: He just named his son X AE A-12 and there will be no puppies on Mars.
Why am I telling you all this? There are more scams every day and I think any scheme to colonize Mars is a scam. We are screwing up the Earth and should not be permitted to start spoiling another planet. And if you’re worried about the human race becoming extinct, Elon Musk is more likely to be a cause than a solution.
I promise you this: if Mars is colonized by 2050, I will eat this column.