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Quora精选:真人版钢铁侠Elon Musk火箭般成功的秘诀是什么 2014年12月03日 17:34:47

Q: How did Elon Musk learn enough about rockets to run SpaceX?

问:Elon Musk 究竟怎么学了那么多火箭知识来运营SpaceX这家公司的?

I know he has a Bachelor’s in Physics, but there’s a LOT more to it than that. How did he learn it all?

我知道他本科读物理,但是这远远不够。他究竟怎么学会那么多东西的?


Answered by Erik Nordeus

Erik Nordeus的回答
(译注:Erik Nordeus为Elon Musk传记的作者)

From books

Before Elon Musk founded SpaceX, he and his friend Adeo Ressi wanted to send plants or rodents to Mars. To help them they contacted the aerospace consultant Jim Cantrell. The three of them traveled around the world to find the rockets needed. While they traveled around, Elon Musk borrowed Jim Cantrell’s books on rocket technology.

从书里学。

Elon Musk 创办SpaceX之前,他和朋友Adeo Ressi 希望把植物或者啮齿动物发送到火星去。他们找了航天咨询师Jim Cantrell帮忙。他们仨满世界跑去找能满足需求的火箭。在旅途中,Elon Musk问Jim Cantrell借了火箭技术相关的书。

“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.”

“他一直从我这里借大学的火箭和推进教科书。你知道,不论什么时候别人问起Elon他究竟怎么学习制造火箭的,他都会说从书上学的啊,没错,真的是这样。”

From school

“It is not like I [Elon Musk] ever worked for Boeing or Lockheed. But I do have an understanding of how things work in physics and engineering.”

从学校里学。

“我(即Elon Musk本人)虽然没有在波音或者洛克希德干过一天活,但是我了解物理和工程学里的东西。”

From his employees

“I’d never seen anything like it,” an employee said. “He was the quickest learner I’ve ever come across. You had this guy who knew everything from a business point of view, but who was also clearly capable of knowing everything from a technical point of view – and the place he was creating was a blank sheet of paper.”

从他的雇员那儿学。

“我从没见过这种人”,一位雇员说。“他是我见过学东西最快的人。这家伙可以从商业角度理解所有的事情,但同时又完全能够从技术角度来理解——他从一张白纸从无到有开始创造。”

In total, it took Elon Musk two years to learn what he needed to know about rockets.

Elon Musk总共花了两年时间来学习所需的火箭知识。

“I [Elon Musk] know my rocket inside out and backward. I can tell you the heat treating temper of the skin material, where it changes, why we chose that material, the welding technique … down to the gnat’s ass.”

“我(Elon Musk) 对我自己的火箭里里外外彻头彻尾都很了解。我可以告诉你表面材料的热处理温度是多少,何处开始改变,还有我们为啥要选这个材料,或那个焊接工艺……等等各种细枝末节。


Answered by Jim Cantrell

Jim Cantrell的回答
(译注:Jim Cantrell是SpaceX的联合创始人,就是上一篇回答中借书给Elon Musk的航天咨询师)

I helped Elon start the company and all of these answers are spot on. He still has my book on rocket propulsion…..

Elon创办公司时我出过力,这些答案都完全正确。我那些火箭推进的书还在他那儿……

What I found from working with Elon is that he starts by defining a goal and he puts a lot of effort into understanding what that goal is and why it is a good and valid goal. His goal, as I see it, has not changed form the day he first called me in August of 2001. I still hear it in his speeches. His goal was to make mankind a multi planetary species and to do that he had to first solve the transportation problem.

据我跟Elon共事中对他的了解,他一开始就会设立目标,会花大力气想明白究竟该设立什么为目标,为什么这个目标美好并且能够成立。以我看,他的目标从他2001年8月第一次给我打电话起至今都没有变过,在他的演讲中我依然能听到——让人类成为跨行星的生物,而为了达到这一步,他必须先解决运输问题。

Once he has a goal, his next step is to learn as much about the topic at hand as possible from as many sources as possible. He is by far the single smartest person that I have ever worked with … period. I can’t estimate his IQ but he is very very intelligent. And not the typical egg head kind of smart. He has a real applied mind. He literally sucks the knowledge and experience out of people that he is around. He borrowed all of my college texts on rocket propulsion when we first started working together in 2001. We also hired as many of my colleagues in the rocket and spacecraft business that were willing to consult with him. It was like a gigantic spaceapalooza. At that point we were not talking about building a rocket ourselves, only launching a privately funded mission to Mars. I found out later that he was talking to a bunch of other people about rocket designs and collaborating on some spreadsheet level systems designs for launchers. Once our dealings with the Russians fell apart, he decided to build his own rocket and this was the genesis of SpaceX.

一旦他的目标设立好了,他紧接着就是尽一切可能从各种来源渠道学习这个领域的相关知识。至今为止他是我共事过的最聪明的人,没有之一。我没法估测他的IQ,但是他真的非常,非常聪明。他也不是那种通常意义上的书呆子式的聪明,他的思维极其实用。毫不夸张的说,他从周边的人那里榨取知识和经验。从2001年我们开始一起工作起,他就从我这里借走了所有和火箭推进相关的大学课本。我们也尽力从我的火箭和飞船行业的同事里找人给他做咨询,这感觉就像一个巨型的太空主题狂欢派对。那时候我们还没有谈过要自己制造火箭,只是想成立一个飞往火星的私人项目。后来我发现他和一些人聊火箭设计,并且在一些细节层面开始合作发射台的系统设计。我们和俄罗斯的合作崩了那刻起,他就决定制造自己的火箭,这也就是SpaceX的开端。

So I am going to suggest that he is successful not because his visions are grand, not because he is extraordinarily smart and not because he works incredibly hard. All of those things are true. The one major important distinction that sets him apart is his inabi

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