With such seemingly impossible goals, how does one inspire people to work tirelessly to make it happen?
According to the popular 2015 biography "Elon Musk" by Ashlee Vance, Musk uses a brilliant management trick to get the most out of his people.
After interviewing three dozen SpaceX engineers, Vance discovered that Musk doesn't just set deadlines; he gets people to take ownership over their projects.
"He doesn't say, 'You have to do this by Friday at 2 p.m.,'" early SpaceX engineer Kevin Brogan tells Vance. "He says, 'I need the impossible done by Friday at 2 p.m. Can you do it?'
"Then, when you say yes, you are not working hard because he told you. You're working hard for yourself."
For smart, ambitious people this kind of challenge can be highly motivating, even if it's stressful.