Musk Reads: Tesla Roadster 2020 Gets a Hands-On

Plus, an amphibious Tesla and warnings over SpaceX Starlink.

Tesla Roadster at Gigafactory.

Tesla’s second-generation Roadster makes a public appearance; Musk teases an amphibious Tesla; and astronomers sound the alarm over SpaceX’s Starlink. It’s Musk Reads #82.

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

Musk Quote of the Week

“We do actually have a design for a submarine car, like the one from The Spy Who Loved Me — the Lotus that sort of turns into a sub.”

Tesla "Starman"

Tesla

Tesla’s second-generation Roadster made an appearance at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday. Hands-on demonstrations showed the bizarre two-handled steering wheel in action. The $200,000 car is set to hit roads next year, but Musk has been clear that it will be a niche product designed more for a halo effect. The car appeared alongside the upcoming Model Y compact SUV and Semi truck, plus the company’s three existing vehicles — but the mysterious cyberpunk truck was nowhere in sight. Read more.

On the slightly more affordable side, Musk added fuel to the fire about rumors that the company will unveil a car with more than 400 miles of range. Previous rumors suggest an upcoming upgrade to the Tesla Model S will reach this figure just months after the company boosted the sedan to 375 miles of range. Musk stated at the event that, based on EPA miles per kilowatt-hour, the Tesla Model 3 is the most energy-efficient car in the world, with the Model S, Model Y, and Model X taking the other three top spots. This could set the company apart as federal tax credits are halved again next month. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Musk suggested at the event that Tesla hopes to unveil the cyberpunk truck sometime before the end of this summer.

spacex starlink animation

SpaceX

Starlink could disrupt astronomical research, teams of researchers have claimed over the past week. SpaceX launched 60 test satellites last month, but experts are concerned the satellites could cause flaring that disrupts the night sky. The company has promised to investigate the issue and work with the community, but with over 12,000 satellites planned for the complete constellation, these 60 crafts could be a drop in the ocean for the disruption that comes next. For comparison, there are only around 5,000 satellites in orbit in total. Read more.

What’s next for SpaceX: A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT constellation mission on June 12 at 10:17 a.m. Eastern time. The three rhino-sized satellites will be able to help find ships, monitor the natural environment for changes, provide data on climate change, and even help emergency teams during natural disasters.

Video of the Week

Tesla Roadster’s bizarre steering wheel in action:

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #82, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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