Here’s The List Of The Books Elon Musk Read That Inspired Him To Launch SpaceX

Elon Musk – The real world Tony Stark!  Even the sky is not the limit for the guy, as the man started from his own cash payment system, Paypal to creating world’s most famous electric car solution by the name of Tesla. But probably his greatest accomplishment is creating, SpaceX, a company that is the frontrunner in avenues of space exploration.

So all the success begs the question, what made Elon Musk the genius he is today? While such a glorious and illustrious story would take ages to tell, today we are going to reveal a very small yet interesting part of it.

Looking at a success story, one can easily forget how much hard work, grit, and determination it takes to get there, and Musk’s story was certainly no different.

Pic Credits: iThemes

One Quora user was inquisitive about the same thing, so he posed the question asking for the list of books Musk had gone through before he started SpaceX. Interestingly, Jim Cantrell, who was one of SpaceX’s founding members, answered the question, humorously indicating that Musk took the following books without ever returning them.

Jim Cantrell also talked about the same question in an interview, where he points towards Elon Musk’s early passion for books related to rocket science:

He showed Cantrell the spreadsheet he’d been working on. “I looked at it and said, I’ll be damned — that’s why he’s been borrowing all my books. He’d been borrowing all my college textbooks on rocketry and propulsion. You know, whenever anybody asks Elon how he learned to build rockets, he says, ‘I read books.’ Well, it’s true. He devoured those books. He knew everything. He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met, and he’d been planning to build a rocket all along.”

Pic Credits: says

The June 2012 Time.com article describes a few books that can be found on his desk:

Musk also keeps a small collection of books on his desk–a sort of autodidact’s guide on how to build rockets: Huzel and Huang on the fundamentals of liquid propellants, Sutton and Biblarz on propulsion elements, J.E. Gordon’s Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. Next to them is one other book: Einstein, by Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson. It’s not clear which, if either, of Isaacson’s subjects Musk sees himself in. Maybe both.

Here are links to the books being mentioned in the article:

It is also worth noting that Elon Musk also has a bachelor’s degree in Physics, so he didn’t quite start learning rocket science entirely from scratch. But it’s still a source of inspiration for millions, who wish of only they had such amazing autodidactic abilities along with the vision and determination of the man!

Elon also has released a list of books he recommends everyone must read! I guess I won’t have to work on my “must read list” for 2017!

Pic Credits: customonit

Here are 15 books publicly recommended by Elon Musk

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
  4. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
  5. Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon
  6. Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Clark
  7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
  8. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
  9. Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness by Donald Barlett and James Steele
  10. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway
  11. The Foundation of Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
  12. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Roberta Heinlein
  13. Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks
  14. Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Eraby James Barrat
  15. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

Already read any of these books? Have any of your own recommendations?

Comment below!

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