Elon Musk, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln: SpaceX Roars Back to Life as We Celebrate Famous Presidential Birthdays

Over the President’s Day weekend, that is the holiday celebrating the birthdays of General George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the most exciting event was the successful launch of SpaceX’s CRS-10 (Commercial Resupply Services mission) and recovery of the first stage rocket. The launch was delayed one-day from the historic Apollo 11 pad at the Kennedy Space Center and now the Dragon Spacecraft is en-route to the International Space Station with 5,500 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments. The last 18-months have been one of ups and downs for SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk, from a fantastic week in April 2016 to a launch pad disaster six-months later, also at Kennedy Space Center, that severely damaged the Cape Canaveral Air Force Launch Complex 40. It is being rebuilt by SpaceX for future use.

Elon Musk has become the face of private space endeavor in an industry that is certainly become exciting and fun for fans of adventure and exploration. He has also become someone whose perseverance and vision in the face of daunting odds has come to be admired around the world. Musk displays that rare gift of an extraordinary capacity to push harder when everyone tells him it is a crazy notion; that rare ability to work 100 hours a week in pursuit of something he imagines entirely possible that is widely considered impossible; that special quality of irrational pursuit that is a mix of passion, insight and ambition.

Setbacks, failures and near defeat haunt and pursue but don’t conquer people like Elon Musk.

Now to General George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two of the most important figures in American history whose lives are filled with success, failure, sacrifice and, yes, suffering. After eight years commanding the armed forces during the American Revolution, the only thing Washington wanted was to return to Mount Vernon and become a full-time farmer. But his nation called on him and he reluctantly accepted the role of the First President of the United States with all the stress and strain that would entail. The great general set many of the precedents of American presidential leadership, such as stepping down after two-terms, that are still connected with the office today. He was truly “the indispensable man” during the American Revolution and beyond.

Total power was his for the asking, but that he didn’t ask for it because that was not what the Revolution was all about. This was truly one of the most unselfish political acts in human history.   

In contrast to George Washington we have Abraham Lincoln, an ambitious man with a keen political mind helped by a razor-sharp wit that could cut opponents to the bone. But it was a split convention of the new Republican Party, built on the ashes of the Whig Party, which brought Lincoln to the role of Commander in Chief during the most cataclysmic time in American history. Technological change ushered in changes in war that resulted in a blood bath no one could have imagined, and Lincoln suffered under the strain of it that none of us can imagine going through. Brother against brother, friend against friend, indeed the country is still dealing with the fallout from that conflict in a thousand different ways. At the same time, Lincoln suffered personally with a host of family problems that tested his resolve as a father and husband.

Elon Musk celebrated a success this President’s Day Weekend that is great step for SpaceX and the American private space game, and the citizens of the United States must be thankful to General George Washington and Abraham Lincoln for their gallant service in the name of liberty.

God Bless the United States of America.
Brad Butler
Global High Seas Marine Preserve

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