Entrepreneur, visionary, engineer, and entrepreneur Elon Musk are another example of an American Master Mind. In fact he has been described as such by many people including: Kevin Keller, author of 'The Short Road of Mastery', Geoff Barker, author of 'The Invent Help Long Tail', and Jerry Segal, founder and president of The Weather Network. It is interesting to note that all these people have described Mr. Musk as an individual with a great personality, intelligence and creativity.
From his childhood days in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Musk spent much of his time working on projects in the Model-Sonic, a scaled-down but fun version of the original Model-S aircraft, as well as working on at least one other project. It was also in high school, when he joined Invent Help the Model-Sonic club and created some of the earliest designs, such as the very first flying wing model. In fact, he designed and built the first "model rocket" in grade school. But it was at that young age that he decided to take his passion for architecture and design to a new level.
As a teenager, he got interested in aerospace engineering and applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy, believing that he would be a pilot someday. But while in college he was more interested in flying and studying aerodynamics and also became fascinated with space and the potential for human exploration. Eventually he received a B.A.E from Harvard in Engineering, concentrating in mechanical engineering. After that he enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in Aeronautics and Systems Biology. And he did graduate work in both the United States and Japan studying astronautical design.
When he completed his degree, he was hired by NASA as a Research scientist concentrating in astronautical design. During this time, he designed the inflatable airbag system used on the Columbia Space Shuttle. Later, after retirement, Musk formed a company called PayPal with the goal of making space travel a reality. However, the ultimate test of his design genius came when he began working on the development of the Hyperrophy, a life-size, inflatable robot which would use carbon nanotubes to power its moves.
Since that time, he has continued to work on innovative design projects Invent Help and has developed several companies, notably, Solar Future, Hawthorn Homes, and The Space Foundation. His work as a principal investigator for PayPal gave him the opportunity to collaborate with well-known scientists and engineers, developing a long list of clients. For example, he designed the interior layout of the International Space Station. His contributions were responsible for the design of the habitats and systems that will be installed on the station. All of his efforts have led to a unique vision of how to utilize available resources in order to create a base on which to live and explore the universe.
Musk is not the only creative mind that has taken a shot at designing a permanent space habitat. NASA is also in the process of designing a permanent facility; however, funding is still an issue. In addition to private funds, NASA is also in need of a number of high-tech and expensive technologies to manufacture, install, and maintain the facility. One of the innovative minds behind this effort is NASA Spaceflight Engineer Jim Green, who designed a concept called the "Prodigy". It involves six modular habitats, each of which is constructed of a different material such as aluminum, carbon nanotubes, or lithium metal.
Perhaps the most influential force behind Musk's designs is his partner, Bill Gee, who serves as chief financial officer of Musk's SpaceX. Gee has also served as the CEO of Plexus Online, a successful online marketing firm. Together, they have overseen the development of the revolutionary Hypergobic Habitat, an inflatable shell that reduces the weight and volume of a module to less than two-thirds. The company has also designed and manufactured a number of different satellites for use in both communications and weather monitoring. These include the technology developer Skybox, which constructs extremely lightweight, fully functioning satellites that can be launched into orbit on a commercial reusable launch vehicle.
What does all this technology have to do with helping us to colonize the moon? Well, proponents of this concept believe that it will allow humans to live comfortably within their star system, if they were to do so. However, that's a bit of a stretch, as far as whether humans will be able to colonize other worlds in the near future. Some claim that this will allow humans to colonize Mars and do away with the problem of long-term stays on Earth. However, colonizing Mars is still largely a theoretical idea, one that NASA is very interested in, and one that they'll likely fund for further study in the coming years. The other way to colonize the moon is by using its own resources, such as hydrogen peroxide.