Time Magazine has chosen Elon Musk as person of the year for 2021.
Time's choice tends to be based on having a big impact, not necessarily virtue.
Musk is now richest person in the world and one thing I will say in his favor, he isn't just parking his money in a safe haven. He's investing it in things that could be transforming society. Electric cars, batteries and pushing private enterprise to space.
If it wasn't for government and NASA, however, private enterprise wouldn't be into space as much. NASA could still be Musk's most lucrative customer for putting payloads into space.
Yes, accomplishments like reusable rocket boosters are valuable for improving access to space with it's scientific and economic value.
I still wonder about the goal of colonizing Mars, however. At least in the foreseeable future.
Mars is still only 1/3rd the size of Earth. By comparison, it's a poor substitute.
In our solar system, for the time being, there's no place like home - Planet Earth, but science and discovery can help us preserve and live better on Earth.
Earth. By NASA/Apollo 17 crew; taken by either Harrison Schmitt or Ron Evans - https://web.archive.org/web/20160112123725/http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001138.html (image link); see also https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_329.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43894484