Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Few Weeks in Musk World

To me the biggest thing in Musk World these past few weeks has been the unveiling of Neuralink.

I have to admit that a billionaire who can read people's minds through technology and control their vehicles has a bit of a Doctor Who Rise of the Cybermen vibe to it.

Somehow I wasn't even aware of Ad Astra's existence. A minor foray into education by Elon Musk but somehow its now the most sought after and exclusive private school in California. (And what better way for an "evil" billionaire in a science fiction story to groom his technology henchmen? Just saying the narrative is veering scarily close to a decent Terminator, Battlestar Galactica or Borg storyline.) Only partially kidding.

A reminder that Tesla's success selling cars in the US is happening despite anti-free market roadblocks still set up in many states. And despite 68% of respondents to a JD Power survey saying they've had no experience with electric vehicles. So very impressive!

The Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada is bigger than you expect. When it is finally complete it will have the largest footprint of any building in the world!

Some of that space is possibly going to be used to make the Megapack utility scaled battery back-up system which was unveiled last week. I think this is another winner from team Musk. It is tough to keep up with all the technologies they are leapfrogging the competition on.

Elon Musk and SpaceX got some exposure last week on CBS Sunday Morning. A nice dovetail interview to go along with the Apollo 11 anniversary.

Couple of weeks ago SpaceX also successfully launched its 18th commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station on Thursday and successfully docked with the ISS that Saturday.

Also this week SpaceX announced a small sat "rideshare" program for smaller satellites. The pricing on these missions should be much less than traditional satellite launching services.

Musk says that the Starship and Super Heavy (BFR) combo will have 41 Raptor engines. This will give it more than double the thrust capacity of NASA's Saturn V rockets. That much thrust would destroy existing launch pads. So SpaceX will be creating new, better launch pads in Texas and Florida.

NASA selects SpaceX as one of 13 companies they will be working with on their Moon and Mars missions. And Europe admits that the SpaceX model of reusable rockets is the way to go.

And not to forget The Boring Company news - Elon Musk to attend Conference on AI in China at the end of the month where he will also be launching The Boring Company China.

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