Elon Musk has always thought out of the box, and that includes making decisions about his company, or at least in this case. Why did the question come about? Well, the U.S. Senate Democrats announced a proposal to tax billionaires’ stocks and other tradable assets that previously allowed them to defer capital gains taxes indefinitely. Musk currently owns 170.5 million shares of Tesla, so 10% would equate to around $21 billion based on Friday’s closing price. Read more for two videos and a bonus.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aiming to launch its first orbital Starship spaceflight by early 2022 and a new “Gateway to Mars” video shows the spacecraft, along with the Super Heavy booster, almost ready to go. Unlike the other Starship test flights, this one will be fueled by a 230-foot tall booster, with the bottom housing up to 33 sea-level optimized Raptor engines that produce 72 MN (16,000,000 lbf) of thrust during liftoff. Read more for the video and additional information.
The quartet of all-civilian astronauts, including billionaire Jared Isaacman, successfully touched down in the Atlantic off Florida’s coast after completing a three-day flight on the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission. Their Crew Dragon capsule, called Resilience, parachuted into calm waters around 7 p.m. ET, shortly before sunset, after an automated re-entry descent. The four were seen emerging from the capsule’s side hatch after the vehicle was hoisted from the ocean onto the deck of a SpaceX recovery vessel. Read more for two videos and additional information.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket whisked Inspiration4, the first all-civilian space crew, into Earth orbit on Wednesday. This marks the very first privately funded, non-government trip to orbit, or more specifically, a three-day flight devoted to raising $200-million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In addition to billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the mission, the crew consisted of Chris Sembroski, an aerospace engineer; Sian Proctor, an artist-educator; and Hayley Arceneaux, a St. Jude cancer survivor who is now employed at the hospital. Read more for two videos and additional information.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is set to get a glass dome ahead of the Inspiration4 mission launch set to take place later this year. This dome, inspired by the International Space Station’s cupola, will be located at the tip of the capsule, hidden beneath a protective section that will lift away once the spacecraft reaches orbit. Since it won’t be docking with the ISS, the installation of the dome is possible due to the lack of a hatch at the top. Read more for a video, additional information and a bonus.
Elon Musk unveiled much more than Tesla’s latest autonomous driving and AI technologies on Thursday, as he announced the company will be debuting a humanoid robot next year. Called Tesla Bot, it is capable of performing repetitive tasks that only humans can do today, thus making it a potential game changer for the world economy by driving labor costs down. The first prototypes won’t be perfect, as they are intended to be just friendly, and navigate through a world of humans. Read more for the full presentation and additional information.
NASA’s current space suit program is being held up on delays and will cost the agency over $1-billion. Today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his company can help make their next-generation space suits for less, as they have already been used by astronauts who launched into orbit in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Unfortunately, this means that having astronauts land on the Moon by 2024 isn’t possible due to these significant delays in developing spacesuits. Read more for a video and additional information.
Elon Musk released a series of pictures today showing the world’s tallest rocket, or to be more specific, the SpaceX Starship prototype stacked atop a Super Heavy booster. Standing nearly 400-feet-tall, the Starship itself is the size of a 16-story building and will eventually launch cargo as well as human astronauts on missions to Mars. The Super Heavy booster is the lower section of the rocket and stands around 230-feet tall. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Elon Musk revealed SpaceX’s new autonomous spaceport drone ship, and it’s called A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG), named after the science fiction series Culture by Scottish writer Iain Banks. This new vessel joins Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) and Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) in recovering rockets at sea, as it just began its first sea trial just outside of Port Fourchon. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Kendall Dirks
Elon Musk’s SpaceX may conduct Starship launches from an ocean spacesport as early as next year, as the company is currently hiring offshore operations engineers to help design its next-gen transportation system designed transport astronauts to the Moon, Mars and even places on Earth. Currently, three locations are being considered: Florida’s Space Coast, the South Texas facility, and dedicated offshore platforms, including one off the Mississippi coast. Read more for a video and additional information.