Musk Reads: SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Set to Fly Again

Plus, Tesla reports its earnings and the Crew Dragon gets a launch date.

Tesla hosts its end-of-year earnings call; SpaceX gets ready to fly the Falcon Heavy; and Musk reveals when the Crew Dragon will fly to the International Space Station. It’s Musk Reads #63.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk Quote of the Week

“Host meme review?”

(See Musk’s offer here and learn more about his meme-laden online persona here.)

Flickr / cchana


The company dropped a number of tidbits about its future cars during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday. The Pickup Truck, which Musk once described as having a “cyberpunk” design, could launch as early as this summer. The Model Y compact SUV is also set to reach mass production this year, alongside a series of autonomous car advancements that could lead to full autonomy as early as this year. Read more.

Tesla’s Sentry Mode is almost here. The planned software update for “Hardware 2” cars is expected to enable 360-degree dashcam footage, with a “rough beta” planned in the next two to three weeks. Musk detailed the new upgrade through some very on-brand references to Rick and Morty. It’s one of the biggest changes since “Navigate on Autopilot” launched last year, but analysts may ask Musk during Wednesday’s earnings call about when they can expect full autonomous driving. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to start shipping the Model 3 internationally next month after registering 1,078 identification numbers for European versions of the car.

More Tesla reads from this week:

  • The Tesla Semi Has Almost Arrived: Launch Date, Preorders, and Sightings. Read more.
  • Porsche’s Taycan Electric Car Will Get a 60 Mile Charge in Just 4 Minutes. Read more.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy.



The Falcon Heavy is about to fly again. The world’s most powerful rocket in operation, which launched Musk’s red Tesla Roadster on its inaugural mission last February, is scheduled to launch a Saudi Arabian communications satellite sometime between May and September. SpaceX plans to recover all three cores, akin to attempting to land three Falcon 9 rockets at once. The rocket has been spotted on the move: One passerby told Inverse she saw a cloaked Falcon Heavy-like object leave the Hawthorne campus in November. Read more.

What’s Next for SpaceX: The firm is expected to start “hop tests” with the [test version of its Starship](( in the coming weeks. Musk claims that the new design has enabled a faster launch schedule, with an orbital Starship set for unveiling as early as June.

More Musk reads from this week:

  • SpaceX’s Mr. Steven Giant Mitt Is on a Secret Trip Before Its Next Mission. Read more.
  • Watch SpaceX Team Members Blast the Starship Heat Shield With Flamethrowers. Read more.
  • Elon Musk Reveals Timeline for SpaceX Crew Dragon’s First Human Flight. Read more.
  • Watch Aerial Footage of SpaceX’s Hopper in All of Its Glistening Glory. Read more.
  • Report: Elon Musk Paid for This 2013 Burning Man Temple. Read more.
  • Documents Reveal Elon Musk’s Huge Donation to OpenAI Research. Read more.
  • Air Taxis Are Finally Taking Off, but Are They Right for Urban Travel? Read more.
  • This Hyperloop Firm Is Gearing Up to Build the World’s Longest Test Track. Read more.

Photo of the Week

Jon Favreau, who is currently producing live-action Star Wars series for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, shared this photo Thursday of him alongside Musk. “Discussing hyperdrive technology on set,” is the caption. The pair have worked together before; Musk had a cameo in Iron Man 2, which Favreau directed.

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #63, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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