Musk Reads

Elon Musk will break SpaceX’s silence on Starship this week

SpaceX sets records, Tesla makes a change, Elon Musk prepares for liftoff.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2022/01/27: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands ready for launc...
SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

SpaceX sets records... Tesla makes a change… Elon Musk prepares for liftoff. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #284subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.

Last week, Musk Reads+ members heard from astronaut Ron Garan about how art is helping to spread the overview effect. This week, members will hear from Valentina Contini, founder of the Innovation Lab at Porsche Engineering, about how flying cars could help us reach zero emissions.

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Musk quote of the week: “Becoming multiplanetary is essential to extending dramatically the probable lifespan of civilization” — Elon Musk tweeted on February 3, repeating his favorite claim. He’s probably right, but do we really want Jeff Bezos to live forever?

SpaceX: Congrats, SpaceX

Ars Technica reported on February 3 that SpaceX has “completed a record-setting run of 111 successful Falcon 9 missions in a row,” possibly making the Falcon 9 the “safest rocket ever launched.”

“What seems remarkable about all of this is that the Falcon 9 amassed this safety record at the very same time SpaceX was experimenting with and demonstrating reuse,” wrote senior editor Eric Berger. That same day, the Falcon 9 launched a new assortment of 49 Starlink satellites to space, keeping the momentum of SpaceX’s busy new year rolling.

Blast off.

And it’s rolling, all right. Also on February 3, Elon Musk announced that he would conduct a Starship presentation on Thursday, February 10 at 9 p.m. Eastern. This Starship presentation will be the first since 2019, and since Musk said that Starship “aspires to be [...] the holy grail of rocketry,” it’s sure to be a good one.

Tesla: Goodbye rolling stops

While I’m using the word “rolling,” I might as well use it in one more, slightly more controversial context: rolling stop. Call it what you want — the “California roll,” the “no cop, no stop,” “illegal,” Tesla has allowed its vehicles equipped with Full-Self Driving to breeze through stop signs since 2020. As fans of this feature like to say, the automated rolling stop made FSD software more human, but lawmakers aren’t convinced. Read more on Inverse.

On February 3, Tesla began removing the rolling stop with the Beta 10.10 software update. Do you think the company should have fought to keep it?

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10. Elon Musk has big plans, on and off Twitter. On February 3, he wrote that “Falcon will launch about once a week on average in 2022, delivering ~2/3 of all Earth payload to orbit.” Let’s go!

9. In his YouTube video series exploring the tricked-out innards of the Tesla Model S Plaid, engineer Sandy Munro likes what he sees. You might, too.

8. Indie video game site agrees with Musk — “NFTS are a scam,” the company wrote on Twitter. “If you think they are legitimately useful for anything other than the exploitation of creators, [...] we ask that please reevaluate your life choices.” Okay, but what about this one?

7. Outside the Metaverse, the amateur spaceflight group Copenhagen Suborbitals is making moves in their goal to launch a completely DIY rocket. Mads Stenfatt, skydiver and Copenhagen Suborbitals volunteer, talked to Futurism about building a rocket on a tiny budget and why you probably shouldn’t do it. “You’re going to break your neck in no time,” Stenfatt said.

6. Maybe, instead, you should work for Blue Origin, which is now hiring in Denver. I hear Jeff Bezos is great at maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

5. We could escape the neverending crush of Amazon’s warehouses in an electric plane, which might eventually exist with a new battery. Lithium-ion won’t cut it.

4. But sometimes lithium-ion is just good enough. Recently, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized electric vehicle owner Wayne Gerdes’ fantastic journey from New York to Los Angeles; Gerdes made the cross-country trip in an electric Porsche, spending just under two-and-a-half hours charging it. This is the future Cars 2 wants.

3. SpaceX is attempting to restore volcano-wrecked Tonga’s internet using Starlink. “Any improvement in communications is likely to be a relief for Tongans,” writes Reuters.

2. Nuclear power is perhaps the most contentious form of clean energy. In any case, the European Union is ready to call it “green.” Some countries are considering legal action.

1. And a piece of Musk history: Ahead of this week’s Starship presentation, revisit November 2018, when Musk announced SpaceX was renaming its “Big Falcon Rocket” (or “BFR”) to “Starship.” A Starship by any other name, etc.

The ultra-fine print — This has been Musk Reads #284, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, newsletter writer at Inverse.

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