1948 Book Predicts Someone Called “Elon” Will Take Humans to Mars

One of billionaire Elon Musk’s greatest ambitions is to colonize Mars . The businessman intends to send a manned mission there in 2024 and dreams of establishing a colony on the Red Planet around 2050. The most curious thing is that a science fiction book from the 1940s mentions that someone called “Elon” would take humans to the ground martian .

Elon: predestined to colonize Mars?

The book, called Das Marsprojekt (“Project Mars” in German), was written between 1948 and 1949 by the famous engineer Wernher von Braun. The scientist is one of the most important names in aerospace engineering. After helping to develop bombs for the Nazis during World War II, he was taken to the United States, where he played a decisive role in consolidating that country’s space project.

Von Braun’s science fiction work is about the first human mission to Mars. There is a passage in the book that says: “The Martian government was led by ten men, whose leader was elected by universal suffrage for a term of five years under the title of Elon. Two Houses of Parliament enacted the laws which would be administered by Elon and his cabinet”. “Elon”, therefore, would be a title equivalent to president (and not a proper name).

Yet Elon Musk was stunned when someone pointed out the coincidence to him on Twitter. “Are you sure this is real?” he asked. Despite being written in the late 1940s, Von Braun’s book was only published in full in 2006, under the title Project Mars: A Technical Tale (“Project Mars: A Technical Tale”, in free translation). 

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