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Space & Astronomy

1953 von Braun book references 'Elon' on Mars

July 16, 2021 | Comment icon 33 comments

Elon Musk - Imperator of Mars ? Image Credit: SpaceX
A book written 70 years ago by German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun made a rather striking prediction.
Having pioneered Nazi Germany's rocket technology before being recruited to work for the Americans at the end of World War II, Wernher von Braun remains a prominent figure in the history of the space race and the development of the technology that would one day take us to the Moon.

More recently, eagle-eyed space history buffs have noticed some interesting correlations between what he'd written in his 1953 book "Mars Project: A Technical Tale" and the current work by SpaceX and Elon Musk to put humans on Mars.

In response to a Tweet by Musk about destiny, one user - Toby li - noted:

"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."
If we look a bit closer at this claim, while the name Elon is indeed mentioned in the book, it wasn't the name of the person who von Braun had believed would lead humans to Mars but instead the name of the leader of the government that he predicted would be formed to rule Mars.

"The Martian government was directed by ten men, the leader of which was elected by universal suffrage for five years and entitled 'Elon'," the passage reads when translated into English.

"Two houses of Parliament enacted the laws to be administered by the Elon and his cabinet."

Seeing the funny side, Musk responded by Tweeting:

"Technoking of Tesla, Imperator of Mars."

Source: Business Insider | Comments (33)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Desertrat56 6 months ago
I think the book The Martian by Andy Weir is close to how it will be.  We have almost all the technology he describes perfected.   
Comment icon #25 Posted by Manwon Lender 6 months ago
Space X is planning a manned mission to Mars if all go's well between now and 2025. The Chinese are planning their first manned flight and landing on Mars in 2033. My comments on a one flight were kind of a joke, unfortunately it could easily end up that way. Anyway, anyone who would do it are a brave and heroic group of individuals. Jumping out of airplanes and helicopters is the extent of my daring, I would not have the guts to leave the p... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by joc 6 months ago
Getting on the freeway is about the extent of my daring. It takes a special kind of person to jump out of an airplane or helicopter!  You sir, are a special kind of person.  I mean that in a good way!    I have flown on several helicopters...going out to and from various oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico...not really my cup of tea...flying that is.  I likes me feet right down here at ground zero.  But to jump out of one...I am fine leaving that to someone like you!  
Comment icon #27 Posted by Manwon Lender 6 months ago
Special now that's a laugh, when I went to Ft. Benning Georgia to jump school it was the last thing I wanted to do. Up until that point, I was really scared of heights, on my jump the instructor almost had to kick me in the Ass to get me out of the plane. But, it got better with each jump, and now I no longer have a fear of heights. But, the only reason I went to jump school was because it was required for my career progression. I was never stationed with an Airborne Unit, but I did have to maintain jump certification.  I am actually kind of glad I never had a combat jump, I mean your kind of ... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by joc 6 months ago
No room for error at 500 feet!  You brought up something else...Fear.  You faced your fear and overcame it. That is so awesome.  Napoleon Hill said, Fear is the great mind killer.   So, there's this the 82nd Airborne...jumping out of a helicopter at 500 feet...hitting the ground...losing the chute...and engaging the enemy!  There are varying degrees of 'special' my friend.  That guy is definitely a caliber of special that I will never know.  But we are both special, you and I...and so is every other man and woman that served in the military...or puts on a uniform that involves carryin... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by Manwon Lender 6 months ago
Yes like I said I don't have the right stuff to be an Astronaut and make a trip like that. Adrenaline is a good thing though, in tense situations for me, in fact to some degree I am an adrenaline junky. From my experience when thing go Bat Chit Crazy, adrenaline is what I use to function and it has served me very well many times in my life. But I doubt our Astronauts even think of themselves as special, they are destine for what they do and they have trained to do it most of lives.  I remember seeing a young soldier in Afghanistan jump up and run 25 meters to pull a wounder soldier to safety w... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by Golden Duck 6 months ago
Where have I heard that before?
Comment icon #31 Posted by joc 6 months ago
Ha! Yeah...but...and...we do have a lot of things going on right now that we didn't have when you heard that before.  Like SpaceX, like  Virgin Galactica, like a Rover on Mars and all the other successes we have had along the way.  Everyone seems to be in on the 'game' now.  The Chinese are saying they will put the first person on Mars.   So...there is a bit of a race going before it was just the dream of a it is an actual technological advancement race where the goal is the First on Mars.  Consider also the advancements in all other avenues along the last ten year stretch..... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Abramelin 5 months ago
What makes you think he should have used a word from the German language? Just because he was a German? And, as has already been said, 'Elon' means 'oak' in Hebrew. He could have had that Hebrew word for the 'mighty oak' in mind when he wanted to create some sort of title for a leader.  
Comment icon #33 Posted by Horta 5 months ago
Thank you. You expressed my thoughts quite well.  Though I have some doubts that Musk will do it (big talking charlatan).

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