Elon Musk

by Yuri Milner
Aaron Bernstein—Reuters

Suppose that in the year 3000, TIME publishes the 100 most influential people of the millennium. Who from our generation would make the list?

Elon Musk has a shot. Because he is one of the few people who is not only thinking about the long-term survival of our civilization but also doing something about it: building the conditions for a viable colony on Mars.

That has meant reimagining the private space industry. Through original thinking, technical precision and smart marketing, Elon is making space transport rise up to our biggest ambitions. Along the way he has reinjected the most powerful fuel of all into the mission: public enthusiasm. For the first time since the 1960s, space once again feels like the greatest adventure. That excitement, and that pioneering spirit, will transport us to the next millennium and beyond.

Milner, the founder of DST Global, helped fund the $100 million space-exploration project Breakthrough Starshot

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