Musk Reads

Only SpaceX can meet NASA’s safety requirements, says NASA

SpaceX has work to do, Tesla sells Cyberquad, Elon Musk gets a haircut.

UKRAINE - 2021/04/20: In this photo illustration a SpaceX and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space A...
SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

SpaceX has work to do... Tesla sells Cyberquad... Elon Musk gets a haircut. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #276subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.

Last week, Musk Reads+ members heard from Starlink user Johnny S. about whether SpaceX’s service really can connect homes in rural areas. This week, members will hear from Ryan Tanaka, host and founder of Neuralink podcast Neura Pod, on the future of Neuralink.

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

Musk quote of the week: “Starships to ❤️ Mars ❤️” — You heard the man. Musk tweeted this on December 4 after promising to make his Starship mockups “real.” And since the construction of Starship’s orbital launch pad has just begun, there’s a good chance he’ll follow through.

SpaceX: More and more NASA

Although SpaceX’s future — including the chance of bankruptcy — remains unclear (as far as the public knows), the company will keep trucking along.

In addition to Musk’s announcement that SpaceX is continuing to prepare for Starship’s (possible January) orbital launch, New York Times space reporter, Joey Roulette, shared on Twitter that NASA “plans to award SpaceX three additional commercial crew flights to the ISS under the company's CCtCap contract,” primarily due to interim issueswith the Boeing Starliner.

“After a thorough review of the near-term certified capabilities and responses from American industry,” NASA wrote in a December 3 blog, “NASA’s assessment is that the SpaceX crew transportation system is the only one certified to meet NASA’s safety requirements to transport crew to the space station.”

And Musk is thrilled.

Aw, how sweet.

Tesla: Do you want to drive like a crab?

Musk made some rare Cybertruck updates this week, which is good news for readers particularly curious about how the Cybertruck drives.

According to Musk, Cybertruck’s first iteration will be “4 motor variant, with independent, ultra fast response torque control of each wheel,” and, somewhat terrifyingly, the car will have front and rear wheel steer, allowing it to “drive diagonally like a crab.” Although this has been done before, because of Cybertruck’s unique design, I can’t wait for it to hit the road so I can scream in terror in public.

While you wait for Cybertruck and the big-boy-sized Cyberquad ATV, feel free to ponder the $1,900 little-kid-sized Cyberquad, which Tesla made available for purchase on Thursday and quickly sold out. Read more on Inverse.

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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 a haircut. The haircut immediately became a meme. That’s it, that’s the haircut.

9. Grimes released a new single and reference to Musk’s beloved Culture series, “Player of Games,” where she asks an ex-lover how she could compare to “the adventure out [on Europa]” or “the cold expanse of space.” Well, Elon?! Don’t click if you hate passive voice.

8. Twitter has been buzzing over a TikTok of a man who appears to be a Musk lookalike hanging out in a parking garage and speaking Chinese. Get your deepfake goggles on.

7. I recently discovered the TikTok account heyitselon, which posts short cartoons about Elon and his antics. heyitsacartoon.

6. SpaceX isn’t the only private space company locking down deals with NASA; Bezos’ Blue Origin recently won a NASA contract to create a “mixed-use space business park.” Read more on Inverse.

5. Today, NASA announced its 2021 Class of Astronaut candidates, people who will now be “eligible for a variety of flight assignments including missions on and around the Moon under Artemis.” You can watch the entire announcement on YouTube. Congrats, astronauts!

4. On Twitter, Musk claimed in a little joke that his car is currently orbiting Mars. Well, it’s, um, it’s... um… orbiting the Sun, actually. The Sun is not Mars.

3. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of a rippling Mars crater. The wind, it ripples.

2. Musk thinks that realistic video games are a great source of proof of why we live in a simulation. Mm, I think the BTS meal at McDonald’s is much better proof.

1. And a piece of Musk history: Musk has more than one brush with bankruptcy, even with SpaceX. In the “early days” of SpaceX, Musk was convinced that “both SpaceX & Tesla would be worth $0.” Then, they bounced back.

The ultra-fine print — This has been Musk Reads #276, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads.

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