Watch CBS News

SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2012: "I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor."

2012: SpaceX: Elon Musk's race to space
2012: SpaceX: Elon Musk's race to space 14:35

Founded in 2002 with a stated mission to "revolutionize space technology," Elon Musk's SpaceX has set out to reach a milestone that the world has been waiting years to see. Originally set to take off and make history on Wednesday, May 27th, SpaceX's launch of two NASA astronauts to outer space was scrubbed less than 20 minutes before liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was postponed due to inclement weather, and has been rescheduled for today. In the wake of this new era of spaceflight, 60 Minutes Overtime takes a look back at Musk's 2012 interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, where the entrepreneur describes his excitement and inspiration in creating SpaceX, and his hopes that it will "push the envelope" and "capture the imagination."

60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley with Elon Musk in 2012 CBS News

Though Musk has a background in physics and business, SpaceX marks his first aerospace based venture. He told us at the time that in the pursuit of getting people interested in space again, he wanted to pour some of his personal fortune into his own company, and to build his own rockets.

"The odds of me coming into the rocket business, not knowing anything about rockets, not having ever built anything, I mean, I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor," Musk told 60 Minutes in 2012.

But Musk explained the importance of dedicating time and effort to space exploration, believing it to be essential for the survival of mankind.

"It is important that humanity become a multi-planet species," Musk said. "I think most people would agree that a future where we are a space-faring civilization is inspiring and exciting compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event. You know, that's really why I started SpaceX."


Though stocked with talented engineers, influential investors and the desire to innovate and explore, SpaceX has dealt with its fair share of obstacles, from disapproving astronauts at NASA and some elected officials, to failed rockets and money lost in personal investments. However, Musk has always believed in his own company, saying "we're a little scrappy company…[but] every now and again, the little scrappy company wins. And I think this'll be one of those times."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.