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The ongoing joke is that Elon Musk is a real life Tony Stark. I mean, he really is a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” and he’s definitely more eccentric and ambitious than most. As it turns out, he might also have a touch of Charles Xavier coursing through his veins too, because his Ad Astra is really like Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Mutant powers notwithstanding.

As if Elon Musk isn’t busy enough trying to figure out how to blast people off into space, bore tunnels through major cities, outfit homes with solar power, and throw us all into electric cars, he’s got another pet project on his plate.

It’s called Ad Astra and it’s his not so humble foray into education. The Ad Astra campus, if you want to call it that, is located at the headquarters for SpaceX in Hawthorne, California. About a total of 40 students, aged 7 to 14, are enrolled there.

In addition to Elon’s own children, the rest of the student body is made up of the kids of other SpaceX employees, plus “a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles.” The curriculum is anything but traditional, getting rid of sports and music in favor of ethics and innovation. There are no grades and the atmosphere is more like “a venture capital incubator than a traditional school.” The kids work in teams on a variety of innovative projects and trade using their own currency.


And even though Ad Astra actually started up in 2014 — Elon Musk donated $475,000 in each of 2014 and 2015 to fund the project, and likely more now that enrollment is up — it’s been a very quiet and very exclusive operation. Even so, they unsurprisingly get flooded with applications all the time. I mean, wouldn’t you want your kids to go to Elon Musk’s School for Gifted Youngsters? They could be X-Men trainees one day!

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