Elon Musk has conquered space, electric cars, and our hearts. But he couldn’t have done it without a bit of help on the way – and that’s never been highlighted better than by his old password.
Over the weekend his company SpaceX launched their latest rocket, the Block 5 variant of their Falcon 9 – billed by ArsTechnica as the “end of the beginning”. And in a press call with reporters, he revealed an interesting little tidbit of information.
“NASA has been an amazing partner for us,” he said. “I love NASA so much that literally my password was ‘ILoveNASA’.
“Just like a friend that really cares, they can be a pain in the ass, but I love NASA so much.”
As Mashable points out, this isn’t the first time Musk has revealed this insight into his younger self. But it is a nice little reminder of how big a part NASA has played in his and SpaceX’s success.
Back in 2008 his fledgling SpaceX company was struggling. With three failed launches of its Falcon 1 rocket, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy.
But then, on September 28, a miracle (and a lot of hard work) happened as the fourth launch of the Falcon 1 was a success. Musk said earlier this year SpaceX survived “by the skin of its teeth”.
From there, things improved dramatically. SpaceX won a number of launch contracts with NASA, and by 2012 it had received up to $500 million from the agency in progress payments. As of today, that figure has risen well into the billions.
SpaceX is now one of two companies – the other being Boeing – working on a crewed capsule for NASA, expected to launch by 2019 at the earliest. And last month it launched its first dedicated science mission for NASA, the TESS exoplanet hunter.
The relationship has not always been rosy. Musk has bemoaned NASA for not having more human exploration missions and criticized their costly contracts. On the flip side Lisa Pratt, NASA’s planetary protection officer, was not too happy he sent his Tesla Roadster into space.
They may not have always seen eye to eye, but it’s fair to say SpaceX would not be where it is today without NASA’s help. For that reason alone, you can probably see why Musk chose the password he did.