Getting a job at Elon Musk’s amazing private space company isn’t easy. The latest biography of Elon Musk, by technology journalist Ashlee Vance, has already made controversial headlines.
One thing is for certain – engineers and rocket scientists don’t get into SpaceX easily. There’s a rigorous interview and testing process. And just to make things harder, candidates in key roles are put through a short interview with Musk himself.
During that interview, Musk reportedly asks candidates a brainteaser.
It goes like this: “You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?”
If you can answer that riddle intelligently, as well as pass all the other of SpaceX’s tests, you might just have a chance at becoming one of around 3500 employees since the company was founded in 2002.
Want an answer? Ok, but let’s first give you a chance to figure it out. Don’t scroll down yet!
Don’t give up!
Need a clue?
Clue 1: It doesn’t matter if you walk west or east. The same principle applies.
No more clues!
Ok, look. The answer is actually quite tricky. Last chance – the answer(s) is/are next…
Answer: If you blurted out ‘North Pole’, you’re kinda right.
First – the North Pole is right. But it’s only one answer in a set of answers. As you’re at the North Pole, the three different directions are in clear perpendicular. You actually walk in a triangle. (Any direction from the North pole is South, at least initially.)
The other answer is what separates the SpaceX rocket engineers from the pretenders. It’s also an infinite set of certain positions near the South Pole. Confused? Well, what if your path around the Earth is one mile long? Meaning you circle the globe in a one mile walk.
We’ll leave it to Preshtal Walker from Mind Your Decisions to explain how this doozy is actually infinite: