Musk Reads

No unions, big problem: Why Biden might leave Tesla behind

Inspiration4 gets ready for takeoff; Tesla gets left out; Elon Musk loves tea.

BROWNSVILLE, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gives a presentation on his Starship rocket at ...
The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Inspiration4 gets ready for takeoff; Tesla gets left out; Elon Musk loves tea. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #264subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week!

Last week, Musk Reads+ subscribers discovered how Inspiration4 will go somewhere only Hubble astronauts have gone before. This week, subscribers will learn more about how (and why) the flight’s accompanying Netflix docuseries was made.

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

Musk quote of the week

“Am I a yoke to you? 😢” — Elon Musk tweeted September 9, referencing the Model S Plaid’s controversial u-shaped wheel. Poor guy.

SpaceX: The countdown really begins

After a successful Falcon 9 static firing, the Inspiration4 crew is set to blast off this Wednesday, September 5, in the five hours after their launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. EDT.

Falcon 9 lying in wait for its upcoming flight.

The anticipated flight comes after months of training for the first-time space crew, comprised of billionaire and flight sponsor Jared Isaacman, cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, geoscientist Dr. Sian proctor, and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski. Read more on Inverse.

The Inspiration4 crew beams.

The impressive civilian crew isn’t the only noteworthy aspect of Inspiration4, though. The flight will orbit for three days, longer than those sort of civilian Branson and Bezos flights, and float higher than the ISS at an altitude of 335 miles instead of 254.

In other SpaceX news…

  • Elon Musk clarified some aspects of Starship and how they might change.
  • SpaceX is set to deploy another round of Starlink satellites today, Monday, September 13, at 8:55 p.m. PDT. These satellites mark a new generation, V1.5, which includes “inter-satellite links” for “high latitudes and mid-ocean coverage.”
  • Musk replied “yeah” to a Twitter user wondering if Starlink will be used “to improve communication for Starship” between Mars and Earth. No word on whether Starlink will be used to improve internet service for the beta users still waiting for their kits (we see your emails, and we’re sorry!)

Tesla: Left out of the Biden administration

In an effort to boost American car manufacturing and union jobs, U.S. Democrats have proposed an expanded tax credit for electric vehicle manufacturers. According to a Reuters report, the proposal will include a tax credit for “up to $12,500 per vehicle for U.S.-made union-made zero-emission models” and “a $7,500 incentive for most other electric cars.”

Despite being a leading EV manufacturer in the U.S., Tesla does not support union workers and, as a result, was left out of a White House EV event this August and will not be able to claim the proposed $12,500 tax credit. Musk is frustrated by this, but unions are good, BTW.

Meanwhile, FSD Beta 10 is on the road (thank you, Tesla workers!), and drivers seem to be enjoying it and the way it creeps. Germany is enjoying the Model S Plaid.

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In other Musk-related news…

T-minus the internet

A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.

10. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s space chief, loves Elon Musk so much, he says he has already set “the teakettle on heat” in anticipation of a visit. “Thanks!” Musk responded on Twitter, “What is your favorite tea?” I like slippery elm.

9. In a leaked email, Elon Musk requested that Tesla employees “go super hardcore.” You’re not hardcore (unless you live hardcore).

8. After iRobot announced its Roomba would use A.I. to avoid pet poop, I saw more than one headline make a poop pun. And now you can too.

7. We know as much about Starlink rollout as you do; head on over to Reddit for a constantly updating, user-operated thread listing the latest availability. Post here.

6. Canadian company dcbel is creating a product that combines “EV supercharging, blackout power, and solar charging.” Connection to the grid is necessary, though. Sorry, off-grid.

5. Meanwhile, Tesla seems to have discontinued its solar subscription service. Read more.

4. Some (relatively) good brain implant news — a recently published 12-patient study indicated that, although repetitive nerve stimulation “affected patients’ experiences and conceptions of illness,” a brain implant generally did not alter personalities. Read more.

3. Animation YouTube channel Flatlife posted a delightful cartoon depicting Starship’s evolution. Watch now.

2. NASA’s Mars rover found some old water. And Martian salt!

1. And a piece of Musk history: On April 10, 2012, Evening Standard posted a profile of actress and Musk’s twice ex-wife Talulah Riley titled “How to Marry a Billionaire.” Hey, you never know when you might need it. She used to dress him … great!

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads #264, 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.

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