Two great examples of the enormous power of perseverance are the recent landing of the Robotic spacecraft “Perseverance” on a Martian crater and the many accomplishments of Elon Musk.
A major feat was accomplished this past Thursday as a robotic spacecraft made a successful “soft” landing on the surface of Mars. The Rover’s name depicts the mindset of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – Perseverance. Of course, many, if not all human beings are aware of the historical Moon landing in July 1969, but fewer people are aware of the Mars landing that took place this past week.
Reaching Mars is a challenging and unforgiving endeavor, with little room for error. A large proportion of the 50+ missions launched toward Mars since the early 1960s were unsuccessful due to failed components, rocket glitches, or grievous errors that sent probes crashing into the Martian surface or missing the planet altogether.
Landing missions are especially tricky due to the long-time delay between Mars and Earth communications, the thin Martian atmosphere, and the fact that the spacecraft must survive several months in space before making it to the surface.
After making its first successful Mars soft landing in 1976, NASA set out to perfect its robotic aircraft and data-capturing capabilities. Throughout the next 50 years, only ten soft landings made it to the surface of Mars. Well, make that 11 now with the Perseverance Rover touching down on 2/18/21.
Now, as many organizations, individuals, agencies, and businesses know, without perseverance towards a worthy goal, dreams will never be accomplished.
Another superb example of the perseverance mindset is Elon Musk. When he became the world’s wealthiest individual, surpassing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $200 billion, it was not a surprising moment in time. It was the culmination of a long, arduous journey filled with disappointments, setbacks, failures, and ultimate success, an incredible testament to the power of determination and perseverance.
An avid reader and tireless worker, Musk sought the knowledge and experience needed to pursue his ambitions. Given his early fortunes in business, finance, and economics, however, no one would have blamed him had he given up on his ultimate dream.
- 1995: Unsuccessfully applied for a job at Netscape.
- 1996: Ousted as CEO of his own company, ZIP2.
- 1999: First PayPal product voted one of the worst business ideas.
- 1999: Sold ZIP2 for $307 million dollars (though Musk considered it a failure).
- 1999: Crashed his brand-new McLaren F1, worth a million dollars.
- 2000: Ousted from PayPal during his honeymoon.
- 2001: Russians refused to sell him rockets to send mice or plants to Mars.
- 2002: Russians turned him down again in the founding of SpaceX.
- 2002: Sold PayPal to eBay for $1.3 billion, leaving Musk with a $165 million payday.
- 2006: First SpaceX rocket launch — and his first explosion.
- 2007: Second rocket launch and second explosion.
- 2008: Third rocket launch and third failure; this time with NASA satellites onboard.
- 2008: Tesla and SpaceX on the brink of bankruptcy.
- 2013: First rocket failure.
- 2014: Tesla Model S had more than one case of spontaneous battery explosion.
- 2015: Fourth rocket explosion at launch.
- 2016: Tesla Model X production delayed by 18 months.
- 2016: Fifth rocket explosion.
- 2021: SpaceX completed another monster equity funding round of $850 million last week, sending the company’s valuation skyrocketing to about $74 billion.
- 2021: After 18 Years, Tesla finally reaches profitability.
- 2021: Became the richest individual on earth.
Success is almost always correlated with the ability to handle adversity. The key is not how many times you have been knocked down but how fast you can get back up from being knocked down. Whether it’s becoming the wealthiest person in the world or working tirelessly to create the opportunity to safely land a robotic aircraft on the surface of another planet, the difference between history’s boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often the diligent will to persevere.