Musk Reads: Starlink could lead to a 'Wild West'

Starship Mk.4 may be delayed; the next resupply mission approaches; could Tesla have gone by another name?

Starship Mk.4 may be delayed; the next resupply mission approaches; could Tesla have gone by another name? It’s Musk Reads: SpaceX Edition #126.

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

Musk quote of the week

“We sent the nicest person in the company to sit on his doorstep until he at least talked to us & then he said yes”

SpaceX

Musk is trying to “colonize” low-Earth orbit with Starlink, the CEO of Arianespace said last week. Stéphane Israël told France Inter that the plan to send up to 42,000 satellites into space is a plan that will involve “monopolizing this sector.” Israël’s primary concern is that the satellites properly disintegrate, avoiding a “Wild West” of crafts in space. The comments come as astronomers object to Starlink disrupting their view of the night sky, after 120 launched this year over two separate launches.

SpaceX’s next launch is almost here. The 19th Commercial Resupply Mission, also known as CRS-19, was completed December 4 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission, which has become a regular feature of SpaceX’s launch schedule, will send a series of experiments to the International Space Station for further research. This is expected to send up beer seeds, ultra-cooled atoms, 40 mice to study muscle degradation, and more.

What’s next for SpaceX: SpaceX is set to launch the CRS-19 mission at 12:51 p.m. Eastern time on December 4 from Cape Canaveral. The booster is expected to land after the launch on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

In other Musk news…

Tesla, Musk’s electric car firm, nearly received a completely different name. On Twitter Sunday, Musk explained that the car company was almost called “Faraday,” as the original holder of the Tesla trademark refused to sell it to the fledgeling firm. Similar to how “Tesla” refers back to scientist Nikola Tesla, “Faraday” would have likely referred to Michael Faraday. Perhaps just as best the team managed to get their preferred name — Faraday Future has lost more than $2 billion since its 2014 founding and has yet to release a vehicle for the general market.

Musk Reads mailroom

Jayson Haggard writes:

When will there [be] information on connectivity of mobile devices to Starlink?

The initial design for Starlink may not be an ideal setup for mobile devices. Starlink is designed to use a receiver about the size of a pizza box, establishing a connection to the satellite and using that to provide internet access to phones in the vicinity. Users may still have to depend on alternatives like Iridium NEXT for now.

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to muskreads@inverse.com.

Video of the week

Will there be delays to the Starship Mk.4? The prototype ship was spotted at the Florida shipyard under construction in October, but YouTube channel “What About It” cites sources that state the Florida facility is closing down and moving operations to the Kennedy Space Center. Components have been spotted leaving Florida by boat.

The Elonporium

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The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: SpaceX Edition #126, 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.