Categories
aerospace astronomy elon musk Energy Featured News spacex Tesla

Elon Musk announces $30M donation to Cameron County, TX schools, City of Brownsville

Elon Musk has announced he will donate $30 million to Cameron County Schools and the City of Brownsville, Texas. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO announced that additional details would come next week.

“Am donating $20M to Cameron County schools & $10M to City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization,” Musk Tweeted Tuesday morning. “Details to follow next week.”

The area is home to SpaceX’s South Texas launch site, often referred to as “Starbase” or the “Boca Chica Launch Site.” The private facility is home to SpaceX’s rocket production facility and spaceport and is located in Texas’s southernmost region near the U.S.-Mexico border. It has been the home of eight SpaceX launches, with the first coming in April 2019 and the most recent on March 3rd, 2021.

Additionally, Musk plans to alleviate some energy concerns in the area by partnering with Magic Valley Utility, which will supply the area with clean, wind power. Musk also said that Tesla and SpaceX are attempting to increase solar power by ten-fold. “We’re also aiming to increase solar power from 1MW to 10MW, paired with Tesla Megapacks, for continuous power,” he said.

In early March, Musk indicated that SpaceX would be “creating the city of Starbase, Texas” by incorporating the village of Boca Chica to the Starship production complex. The two areas together would be called, Starbase, Texas, and Cameron Country Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr., said he has been in contact with SpaceX. Elon Musk’s rocket-building entity contacted Judge Trevino Jr. just days before Musk’s tweet, he said.

“If SpaceX and Elon Musk would like to pursue down this path, they must abide by all state incorporation statutes. Cameron County will process any appropriate petitions in conformity with applicable law,” Trevino said in a statement.

Musk also said that he hopes that his Boring Company can install a loop from Brownsville International Airport to South Padre Island and Starbase, based on a suggestion from a Twitter follower.

Musk has donated millions of dollars to notable causes over the past several years. Most recently, donations to the Khan Academy, the Barstool Fund for Small Businesses, and to Boston researchers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted Musk’s extensive list of charitable causes. He has also pledged a $100M reward to carbon capture development, a project that he announced earlier this year.

The post Elon Musk announces $30M donation to Cameron County, TX schools, City of Brownsville appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy News spacex Starship Tesla Top Story

SpaceX Starship factory battles Texas power outages with Tesla solar and storage

A major cold snap and the ineptitude of state governance have combined to throw millions of Texans into darkness as freezing temperatures sweep through the state.

At the southernmost fringes of Texas, SpaceX’s Boca Chica Starship factory hasn’t been insulated from the chaos, though a large Tesla Solar and Energy installation has almost certainly lessened the blow. Highly cognizant of Boca Chica’s shortcomings for industrial-grade power needs, SpaceX installed that solar array and Tesla-made Powerpacks almost three years ago and substantially expanded it in 2020.

As a result, despite major issues posed by freezing weather and power grid instability, SpaceX has managed to keep the lights on and continue work at its Starship factory, while also slowly but surely preparing Starship serial number 10 (SN10) for its first static fire and high-altitude launch.

High winds and cold temperatures have prevented the company from making as much progress as it would like but “alert” notices distributed to Boca Chica Village residents on Tuesday evening suggest that SpaceX hopes to have Starship ready for a crucial static fire test as early as 9 am to 6 pm CST (UTC-6) on Wednesday, February 17th.

Weather and general Texas-wide industrial disruption are not working in SpaceX’s favor, though. Winds are forecast to remain high over the next week, making a launch attempt highly unlikely even if SpaceX is somehow able to thread the needle between gusts and fire up Starship SN10 before the weekend.

However, it could certainly be worse. The few local residents that remain in the Village have been subject to multi-hour power outages over the last 48 hours, a trend that inept Texas power grid manager ERCOT says could continue more or less indefinitely. SpaceX, meanwhile, is likely taking full advantage of the independent power generation and storage capabilities its Tesla installation provides.

A rough estimate suggests that SpaceX’s Boca Chica installation features a ~1.7-acre (~7000 m^2) solar array and 11 Powerpacks, likely offering up to ~1.5 MW of energy production and 2.5 MWh of storage. While that is a pittance in the face of SpaceX’s industrial needs, it’s likely more than enough to keep basic operations up and running and ensure that the residents of its growing ‘company town’ have power and running water.

SpaceX substantially upgraded its Tesla solar and storage capabilities in 2019 and 2020. (NASASpaceflight – Nomadd)

As of Tuesday, February 16th, SpaceX has yet to submit road closure plans with Cameron County, lowering the odds that Starship will actually be able to attempt its first triple-engine static fire test on Wednesday. SpaceX would not distribute ‘alerts’ to local residents if there wasn’t at least chance, though, so stay tuned for updates.

The post SpaceX Starship factory battles Texas power outages with Tesla solar and storage appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy elon musk Featured News spacex starlink Tesla Tesla Cybertruck Tesla Roadster Video

Elon Musk and Joe Rogan go Round 3 in new podcast interview

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined Joe Rogan for round 3 in a new episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. The third interview between Musk and Rogan was uploaded to Spotify on Thursday.

Musk and Rogan covered a variety of topics, all of which were related to the development of the CEO’s numerous projects that are aimed toward developing sustainable energy, revolutionizing passenger transportation, and the prospect of providing humans the option of life on other planets.

In the previous episodes, Rogan and Musk talked about a wide variety of subjects, and the third appearance was no different. Rogan seemed extremely interested in getting information from Musk regarding Tesla’s upcoming product launches, including the next-gen Roadster and Cybertruck. Additionally, the two also talked about SpaceX, Starlink, and some of Musk’s other projects outside of electric vehicle development.

SpaceX

Interestingly, Rogan indicated that he has never watched a SpaceX rocket land and has relatively no knowledge of what goes into Musk’s company’s development of rockets. However, Musk did cover some tidbits related to the design and development of SpaceX rockets, including the fact that he requested Starship’s tip be pointy because of the Sasha Baron Cohen film, The Dictator.

Musk also detailed SpaceX’s mission to Rogan, along with the need to constantly retrieve data from the company’s frequent launches.

“We’re trying to make life multi-planetary. We’re trying to extend life beyond Earth. In order to do that, you have to have high tonnage to Mars. That means you need a big rocket, and you need to fly a lot.”

Tesla

Musk detailed the upcoming release of the Roadster, along with the possibility of it hovering when the car is paired with the SpaceX package. The current issue is that figuring out how to make the vehicle hover is not easy, obviously. However, Tesla may need to limit the height at which the vehicle can hover, along with the duration of time it can remain off of the ground. Safety is of utmost importance to Musk as he indicated it would be most responsible to limit the altitude and duration of time spent above the ground.

“I want it to hover. I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover, without, you know, killing people. I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high. So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So, if you plummet, you blow out the suspension, but you’re not going to die. Maybe, I don’t know, six feet. If we put a height limit on it, it will probably be fine.”

Musk acknowledges that this may ultimately not be possible, but there will be cold-gas thrusters located behind the license plate for some of the fastest acceleration rates ever available on a vehicle.

Musk said:

“At a minimum, I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there would be a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tons of thrust.”

Elon Musk details Tesla Roadster hovering capability with Joe Rogan

Additionally, details regarding the Cybertruck’s design revisions were also offered by the Tesla CEO during the interview. Musk already indicated that the Cybertruck design has been finalized during the Q4 2020 Earnings Call. However, the car was subjected to size reductions of “around 3%.”

Musk said:

“That’s pretty much what it [the Cybertruck] will look like, with very small differences. You know, we adjusted the size a few percent. Like around 3% or smaller. You don’t want it to be a couple of inches too big for the tunnel.”

Production is expected to begin in limited quantities later this year, with volume production beginning “hopefully” in 2022, Musk said.

Tesla’s Elon Musk details Cybertruck design adjustments with Joe Rogan

Musk also detailed some early design ideas that could be applied to the Tesla electric van, if it eventually becomes a produced vehicle. Musk stated during the recent Earnings Call that Tesla would likely produce one in the future. Tesla could also equip the van with solar panels due to a van’s flat and large surface area. Musk estimates that 30 additional miles of range could be given every day with the design, if it ever comes to fruition.

Musk told Rogan:

“Now, a van, because you have a big, flat area, that’s actually where solar could start to make a little more sense. You know, because you have a lot of area. You could also have, maybe, a roof where it is solar, and then, when it is stationary, [the roof] goes out and provides shade, and maybe triples your area or something like that. Now, you triple the area, and you have a big, flat surface, you could maybe start charging enough where you start getting like 30 miles a day.”

Elon Musk says Tesla’s electric van could have solar panels

The full episode of Musk’s third interview with Joe Rogan is available on Spotify here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan)

The post Elon Musk and Joe Rogan go Round 3 in new podcast interview appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy elon musk Featured News spacex Tesla Tesla Roadster Video

Elon Musk details how high the next-gen Roadster will hover with Joe Rogan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast for the third time, with the episode releasing earlier today. In the episode, Musk detailed some more specifics regarding the production of the next-gen Roadster, shedding more light on Tesla’s incomplete but highly-anticipated project. Musk dove into the possibility of the Roadster’s ability to hover with Rogan, indicating it could be limited to reduce the risk of injury.

Musk’s third appearance with Joe Rogan

Musk joined Joe Rogan once again for his third appearance on the JRE Podcast. Rogan tweeted the podcast episode’s release on February 11th, available exclusively on Spotify, which Rogan signed a massive contract with in 2020.

Musk has joined Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast on two previous occasions: once on September 7th, 2018, and another on May 7th, 2020. The first appearance in 2018 is Rogan’s most viewed podcast episode on YouTube with over 40.7 million views. The second appearance from Musk yielded slightly fewer views at 20.5 million but still stands at the fourth-most popular episode in the history of the JRE Podcast.

Musk and Rogan skimmed over various important topics in the latest episode. One of the most notable was Musk’s comments regarding the next-generation Tesla Roadster, which has been in development for several years.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan)

Next-Gen Tesla Roadster Hovering Ability

Musk told Rogan that Tesla is “finishing the engineering of the Roadster this year” and will “hopefully” begin shipping the car sometime next year. “We’re going to throw some rocket technology in that car,” Musk stated, speaking of the speculative SpaceX package that is expected to be released. Musk and Tesla plan to put cold-gas SpaceX thrusters on the car, giving it improved acceleration (as if it needed any). The CEO also stated that he would like to put thrusters underneath the car for hovering capabilities, but it hasn’t been figured out yet.

Musk said:

“I want it to hover. I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover, without, you know, killing people. I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high. So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So, if you plummet, you blow out the suspension, but you’re not going to die. Maybe, I don’t know, six feet. If we put a height limit on it, it will probably be fine.”

ALSO READ:

Tesla Roadster will be “part rocket” to beat Model S Plaid+ specs

Rogan then asked if the Roadster will be able to travel while it is suspended in mid-air. Musk simply replied, “Yeah.”

Musk told Rogan that the rate of travel while hovering will be “pretty fast,” but that it would be subjected to time limits to restrict operators from being off of the ground for too long. However, it comes with some catches.

If a Roadster owner wants the SpaceX package, it will remove the back two passenger seats, meaning only two people will be able to sit in the car at one time. Instead, the rear seats will be replaced by a high-pressure carbon overwrap pressure vessel, which would be “around 10,000 PSI,” Musk says. A series of thrusters will join the vessel.

Musk acknowledges that this may not be possible, though. He talked about what could be released instead.

“At a minimum, I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there would be a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tons of thrust.”

Roadster Production and Release

Musk plans to have engineering finished on the Roadster this year, a detail he released after the 2020 Q4 Earnings Call in late January.

Additionally, Roadster release candidates could be on the road this Summer. “Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors,” Musk also said. Now, the work could turn to whether Tesla engineers can figure out how to make the next-gen Roadster hover and travel at the same time, a far cry from the vehicle Tesla released initially in 2008.

Musk’s full interview with Rogan is available here.

The post Elon Musk details how high the next-gen Roadster will hover with Joe Rogan appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy elon musk Featured Lifestyle News spacex Tesla

Elon Musk announces he is writing a book about Tesla and SpaceX

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter that he will be writing a book about the two companies’ stories. The long and tumultuous story of Musk’s endeavor of running an automaker and a space program at the same time will be told by the man who experienced it himself.

Up until now, only one book has been written about Musk’s story with his consent: a biography composed by Ashlee Vance, published in 2015. The book, titled “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” tells the story of Musk’s life from his childhood, through the Zip2 and PayPal days, and continuing to the early success and trials of the entrepreneur at Tesla and SpaceX.

Interestingly, Musk sat down with Vance to discuss the book prior to writing. Vance said that he shared a meal with Musk to talk about what portions of Musk’s life would be included in the book. Ultimately, Vance wanted to write the story with no interruptions or gaps in space, and Musk allowed it.

However, Musk has some knowledge that many of us have likely never heard. The early days of Tesla and SpaceX were likely the hardest of his life as he tried to balance finances and projects to make both companies successful. It was an endeavor that nearly drove Musk to a “nervous breakdown,” he said in an interview with 60 Minutes.

While many Musk interviews have been open about the prospect of what he experienced during those days, lengthy interviews regarding his personal life and the trying times of 2008 are hard to come by. Condensed versions of the story can be found in many places, but Musk himself is ready to detail it in his own book.

Additionally, Tesla and SpaceX have both grown considerably since the Vance biography was released in 2015. Tesla has released two new mass-market cars, with the Model 3’s early manufacturing days being described as “production hell” by Musk. Additionally, SpaceX has launched a variety of new products and projects, like Starlink, a worldwide internet service that aims to be affordable for everyone on the planet.

The stories Musk will tell in his new book will likely be some of the most interesting the Tesla community has ever heard, and the world will likely read as well. Vance’s biography of Musk was declared one of the best books of 2015 by numerous outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com. It spent several months on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 40 different languages.

The post Elon Musk announces he is writing a book about Tesla and SpaceX appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
$TSLA aerospace astronomy elon musk Featured Investor's Corner News spacex Tesla

Ron Baron doesn’t want TSLA investors to forget about SpaceX

Many Tesla investors are in it for the long haul, not looking to let go of even a fraction of their holdings for several years based on increased demand expectations. However, other opportunities to invest in hot companies are still available, and new companies will come out with IPOs in the future. One of them is another Elon Musk-headed entity called SpaceX, which Ron Baron, a legendary investor and TSLA shareholder, doesn’t want to get swept under the rug.

Despite Tesla’s overwhelming success in the market, which has made Baron a substantial $1.5 billion sum, other investments will be available. SpaceX, while not publicly traded at the current time, could be eventually. Baron believes that the aerospace company, which has massive financial backing and support from NASA and works directly with the American space administration, could be as big as the electric automaker eventually.

“In SpaceX, I think that has a chance to be just as large as Tesla. We’ll see,” Baron said during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box on October 14th. Baron used the interview also to outline Tesla’s path to a $2 trillion market cap.

But SpaceX also holds a substantial place in Baron’s investment-savvy mind. While Tesla remains a primary focus because it is currently traded, Baron is looking for other opportunities to increase his portfolio’s value.

SpaceX is the answer to expanded the valuation of Baron’s massive holdings.

Baron is currently a private investor in SpaceX and explained that he could not talk much about its future plans. He did state that he has “probably a 1%” stake in the company. However, he is bullish on SpaceX, too, and wants investors to recognize that he is not only a “Tesla guy.”

“When I go to restaurants, we sit on terraces. People will comment to me, ‘Oh, there’s the Tesla guy.’ What I want to be known as, ultimately, is not just the Tesla guy, but also the SpaceX guy,” Baron said.

In terms of future outlook, Baron doesn’t believe that SpaceX will be a minuscule company compared to Tesla.

“In SpaceX, I think that has a chance to be just as large as Tesla. We’ll see,” he added.

Nobody, not even Elon Musk, knows when or if SpaceX will become a publicly-traded company. Nevertheless, on September 28th, Musk stated that the company would likely “IPO Starlink, but only several years in the future when revenue growth is smooth and predictable.”

Starlink’s public beta is set to begin when the most recent batch of satellites reach their target position, Musk also said in a tweet in early October. Once the internet service has a few years of consistent and reliable operation, it will likely become another publicly-traded company that Musk fans will throw their money toward in hopes of expanding their portfolio.

Disclaimer: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

The post Ron Baron doesn’t want TSLA investors to forget about SpaceX appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy Featured News spacex Tesla

Tesla hints that Senior Vehicle Designer will help with SpaceX projects

Tesla is looking to hire a new Senior Vehicle Designer at its company’s Design Center in Hawthorne, California. However, whoever assumes the role may be required to expand their design ideas outside of the electric automaker’s realm and into SpaceX territory.

The Senior Vehicle Designer position will require the employee to help with the design development of the company’s future vehicles. The job description indicates that the position will require the employee to be instrumental in the creation of the world-class cars that Tesla has manufactured since 2008.

However, the job description also indicates that whoever is hired may be responsible for helping design other projects with other companies—specifically, Elon Musk’s aerospace exploration company, SpaceX.

“Using your considerable production design experience and innovative thinking, you will primarily be tasked with creating designs for future cars, but may also be called upon for other design tasks (product design, spaceship design, etc.) based on your skillset,” the description states.

The fact that the job is located in Hawthorne also indicates that the person who takes the job could be required to venture to SpaceX headquarters from Tesla’s Design Center. Both buildings are located next to each other in Hawthorne.

The combination of the two companies being able to use a designer to revolutionize each entity’s own products is a significant advantage. While Tesla and SpaceX ultimately are building two different types of transportation devices, the general goal between the two companies is the same: sustainability.

If Tesla’s “Master Plan” doesn’t work out, SpaceX will ultimately hold the responsibility of transporting humans away from the Earth to avoid the damaging effects of climate change.

This is not the first instance of Tesla using SpaceX strategies or techniques, or vice versa, on a project.

During the production of the Model Y, Tesla used a standard method of welding, known as Friction Stir, on the all-electric crossover to increase the strength of the bond. Friction Stir welding is commonly used in many types of aerospace manufacturing, and SpaceX used the technique when building the Falcon 9‘s second stage.

Whoever assumes the role of the Senior Vehicle Designer will work with Senior Design Executive Franz von Holzhausen, who has designed the Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Semi, next-gen Roadster, and the Cybertruck. The development of future vehicles could help expand Tesla’s fleet and disrupt more sectors of the automotive market.

The post Tesla hints that Senior Vehicle Designer will help with SpaceX projects appeared first on TESLARATI.

Categories
aerospace astronomy elon musk Lifestyle space Space Force spacex Tesla

Tesla and Space Force make comedy gold together in new show

There are so many technology arenas that Elon Musk plays a major role in that mashup potentials are everywhere, especially in pop culture. Space Force, a new Netflix original comedy series poking fun at the United States’ newest military branch, is one of the latest places where the innovative CEO can find his companies being referenced. Surprisingly, it’s not a direct SpaceX plug, but rather the payload the rocket launch provider put into orbit during one of its most famous missions to date: Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster.

In Episode 2 of Space Force, titled “Save Epsilon 6,” a Russian adversary damaged the department’s recently launched satellite. While looking for nearby orbital objects that could provide assistance, “a Tesla” is mentioned along with a subsequent graphic displaying an animated cutout of the original Roadster’s shape. Sadly, Starman didn’t make the silhouette. Also of note was the inaccuracy of the Roadster’s position. According to WhereIsRoaster.com, the electric vehicle is currently some 113 million miles from Earth in orbit around the Sun.

Curiously, and flirting with gossip, another nearby satellite in the image is named “X-12” which, as close followers of Elon Musk would know, is similar to his newborn son’s name, X Æ A-12 (changed to X Æ A-Xii for legal reasons it seems). Admittedly, this reference would be a bit of a stretch, even if it were on purpose. However, being that A-12 was the designation of the SR-71 super spy plane’s predecessor (and the baby’s namesake according to momma Grimes) and NASA’s secret shuttle’s designation is X37, the writers’ naming may not have been so random and semi-coincidental after all. (It probably was.)

(Credit: Netflix)

Musk’s inspiration also seems to have made its way into Episode 3 of Space Force, titled “Mark and Mallory Go to Washington,” wherein the two main characters are called to testify for a congressional committee. During a series of questions regarding the department’s budget request, one member inspires a Musk-like response from General Naird (played by Steve Carrell):

“General Naird, your entire attitude seems to be, “Give us money, and don’t look while we militarize space… Your scientist is nodding,” the member challenges.

“It is a condition…drinking bird syndrome,” Naird first replies, then pauses before making his actual response. “Look, space is hard.”

“Space is hard?” the member retorts. “If you haven’t settled on a motto yet, may I suggest that become the new Space Force motto?”

Quite honestly, it’s not a bad suggestion given the number of times the phrase is uttered by those in the industry. The commander of the real US Space Force has actually repeated this same sentiment on a few occasions, once in reference to an Iranian boast about its satellite imaging capabilities that were later revealed to be a tumbling webcam.

Speaking of the existing Space Force, which Musk has expressed his approval of as a precursor to a Star Trek-style Starfleet, its plans look to be moving along well. Since its establishment on December 20, 2019, with the signing of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the Force has put together its headquarters and begun recruiting from current US Air Force personnel and US Air Force Academy graduates. During May, some 8,000 airmen volunteered to switch their service, and 86 graduates from this year’s Academy class were commissioned into the new branch.

The Space Force has also formalized its customer-provider relationship with SpaceX during the recent GPS III (Vehicle 3) satellite launch aboard a Falcon 9, representing the branch’s third launch mission overall since its establishment. Now that the Air Force Space Command has been redesignated as the US Space Force, the service’s relationship with SpaceX will continue on as launch support with the 45th Space Wing in Florida. The Wing’s first support mission under the Space Force designation was also a SpaceX launch, specifically with a payload of Starlink satellites.

With Space Force already having so many ties to Musk and company, it wouldn’t be surprising to see many more SpaceX-linked references in Season 2 of Netflix’s show.

The post Tesla and Space Force make comedy gold together in new show appeared first on TESLARATI.