SpaceX launches Crew-3… Tesla crashes… Elon Musk considers selling… again? It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #273 — subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.
Last week, Musk Reads+ members heard from David Anderman about how it's about to get a whole lot easier to go to space. This week, members will hear from journalist Jordan Golson about whether Tesla's brand is still cool and what comes next.
A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.
Musk quote of the week: “Due to inflation 420 has gone up by 69” — Elon Musk tweeted on November 14, delighting this writer with yet another tweet that bellowed “middle school!”.
The commenters loved it, the shareholders cried into their pillows, and Musk took the opportunity to share his political theory that progressives enjoy inflation. It turns out that actually, no one enjoys inflation, but when you tweet “420,” everyone wins.
SpaceX: The I.S.S. and beyond
It’s been a long time coming, Crew-3. SpaceX’s four Crew-3 members finally made it to space after weeks of unfortunate delays, taking off from a dark Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, November 10. The crew successfully docked to and boarded the International Space Station on November 11 and paused before settling in to share a happy hug with their fellow astronauts.
SpaceX also used its Falcon 9 rocket to launch 53 Starlink satellites from blue-skied Cape Canaveral, on Saturday, November 13, pushing Starlink’s total orbiting satellites to around 1,800. The entire beautiful launch is available to watch with commentary on SpaceX’s website and Twitter.
Then, to cap off its busy week, SpaceX conducted the first 6-engine static fire test on its formidable Starship.
Although this was done in preparation for Starship’s intended orbital quest, readers should know that SpaceX is quickly approaching the end of its launch window as the Federal Aviation Administration continues its environmental assessment of the company. Keep your fingers crossed.
Tesla: Baby’s first crash
Let’s all remember that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving is software in its infancy and that real-life drivers are its guinea pigs. Because of this, it's inherently flawed and, yes, even dangerous. That’s why Tesla recalled 11,704 vehicles earlier this November, around the same time that the first recorded FSD-equipped Tesla vehicle crashed.
“The Vehicle was in FSD Beta mode and while taking a left turn the car went into the wrong lane and I was hit by another driver in the lane next to my lane,” says the report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, presumably written by the Tesla’s owner and shared by The Verge. “The car by itself took control and forced itself into the incorrect lane, creating an unsafe maneuver, putting everyone involved at risk.”
And don’t expect too much from other recent Tesla inventions, either. According to Musk, Tesla won’t produce new vehicles like the Cybertruck and second-generation Roadster until the global chip and cell shortages are improved. Makes sense, but understandably difficult to read for those of you waiting years for these releases. Well, there’s always the next chip shortage.
We wanted to give a heartfelt thank you to all of our readers! Let’s welcome some of our newest Musk Reads+ members:
J. Pady, Gerullis, Gerald O., D.J., Pat, L. Levin, Larry W., E.S., S. Gatlin, D. Fulling, Ramey, Tammy B., Jack Y., Lori W., Menendez, Julia K., Jen T., Ryck D., B. Brown, C. Poole, Simona L., R. Poirier, Vitaly, Barbara, Marin P., Carla, Ken J., P. Summers, McPogo, Christian, J.K.
And don’t forget, Musk Reads+ members receive instant access to our ever-expanding archive, premium issues, and much more. Upgrade your membership today!
More stories from Musk’s world...
T-minus the internet
A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.
10. Elon Musk got into a one-sided scuffle with Senator Bernie Sanders this weekend, responding to his tweet about demanding “the extremely wealthy pay their fair share” of taxes with a quip about forgetting that the 80-year-old senator is still alive. Musk then followed up with an, um, threat to sell more Tesla stock if Bernie would only “just say the word…” The word is “pickle.” Just guessing!
9. I personally cannot vouch for this brand as the thought of paying $495 for an “off-black fleece” makes me throw up; however, for the salivating would-be Mars colonists among us, clothing company Vollebak has an entire section on their website dedicated to “Mars gear.” The clothing is “built from a ballistic nylon outer shell” and comes with “a vomit pocket.” Finally. Now I can throw up in peace.
8. Millionaire Democrats, like speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, reportedly privately objected to their party’s proposed billionaire tax, surprising no one. Nevertheless, she tax evaded.
7. If you’re interested in Musk’s downsizing to a small, $50,000 Texas home, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a genre of YouTube videos for that. Although Musk is most likely in a small home and not a tiny home, where’s the novelty in that? Check out this “Beautiful Wagon Style Tiny House Built with Reclaimed Materials” tour. I like it because it looks like a wagon.
6. If you’re really committed, you can take sustainable living one step further — tech YouTuber MegaLag used Starlink and solar power to move his home office to his local park. And it worked!
5. Grimes has created a girl band made up of A.I. called NPC. Are we human or are we NPC?
4. Some Tesla fans have noticed something strange in their new acquisitions. Cars are coming with USB-shaped holes but missing some actual USB-C ports, a fact that Tesla attributes to the chip shortage. Should Tesla share this information with customers before they buy? Probably.
3. This chip shortage and other supply chain issues might inspire your holiday shopping this year. That is, to skip it altogether. Let’s buy less stuff.
2. Maybe then we can avoid more climate change diagnoses. One Canadian woman’s doctor made headlines by attributing her breathing problems to climate change, something we might see more of as the warming globe spurs changes in air quality and land hospitability. I’m getting mosquito bites in November.
1. And a piece of Musk history: While we’re discussing unsavory truths, Musk went long on his own. This weekend, he took to Twitter to share his history with Tesla founder Marin Eberhard, the worst person he’s ever worked with. “I wish I had never met him,” he said.
The ultra-fine print — This has been Musk Reads #273, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads.
Why subscribe to Musk Reads+? You’ll be supporting in-depth, high-quality journalism about the world’s most ambitious change-maker, Elon Musk. Tesla investors, SpaceX critics, and anyone with an interest will find something they love in our offerings. Independent journalism is essential now more than ever, and your contributions will help us continue in our mission to deliver interviews and analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
- Email Ashley directly at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @ashleybardhan.
- Follow Inverse on Twitter at @inversedotcom.
- Have thoughts on today’s newsletter? Send us your questions and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Musk Reads+ is a fully independent operation. We are not Elon Musk, nor are we employed by him. Our job is to report the events we find worthy of a story, giving you an inside look at the worlds of space rockets, electric cars, clean energy, and more. It means firsthand accounts of a SpaceX rocket launch, Tesla insights from third-party analysts, and more.
If you want to support us in our mission, and receive exclusive interviews and analysis, consider contributing with a subscription.