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Elon Musk is Time's 2021 Person of the Year; here's why

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Musk has been praised for “almost single-handedly” creating the market and seeing long before others the demand for clean-energy transportation that the world’s climate crisis would eventually propel.

Elon Musk is Time's 2021 Person of the Year; here's why
Time Magazine has named Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk as its Person of the Year. The world's richest man was lauded for his role in "solving the globe's most intractable challenges, along the way disrupting multiple industries across two decades".
For nearly a century, Time has chosen a Person of the Year, the individual or group, who most shaped the previous 12 months, for better or for worse.
"Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.
The year so far
In April, NASA picked SpaceX to put American astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972. The exclusive contract took Musk a step ahead of its rival Boeing and brought him closer to his goal of turning humans into a multi-planetary species.
In September, with a net worth of $213 billion Musk pipped Amazon's Jeff Bezos to become world's richest person again, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In October, the 50-year-old's wealth surged after Hertz, a car-rental company, said it was planning to buy 1 lakh Teslas. The buzz sent Tesla stock soaring and the EV company’s valuation past $1 trillion.
Man on a mission
2021 was the year that electric vehicles finally came into the mainstream and that Tesla became a trillion-dollar company, one of only a handful in the world, Felsenthal said. He praised Musk for "almost single-handedly" creating the market and seeing long before others the demand for clean-energy transportation that the world's climate crisis would eventually propel.
While EVs accounted for only 0.43 percent of all vehicles in operation in the US in the first half of 2021, Tesla ruled roughly two-thirds of that market, according to Experian Automotive.
"Had the 800,000 Teslas sold in the last year been gas-powered cars, they would have emitted more than 40 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide over their lifetimes—equivalent to the annual emissions of Finland,” Time magazine wrote in its profile of Musk.
Mars and more
When asked by Time about the timeline for sending people to Mars, Musk responded, "I'll be surprised if we're not landing on Mars within five years."
Musk has also been working with Starlink, a satellite broadband service with nearly 2,000 satellites launched so far. He hopes to launch as many as 42,000 more to provide internet service to developing and rural communities in India and around the world.
Talks are on with the Brazilian government on how Starlink's satellites can help combat the Amazon's deforestation and forest fires.
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