Tesla protests… SpaceX faces delays... Elon Musk hates Covid-19. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #283 — subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.
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Musk quote of the week: “Lie back and think of Mars” — Elon Musk tweeted on January 29, a nice, hopeful thought. There’s one problem — every time I try to lie back and think of Mars, I’m interrupted by a montage of Musk’s tweets opposing vaccine mandates, which save lives regardless of how you feel about them. There’s also “Welcome to the Jungle” playing in the background. Really weird!
Tesla: Driving the change
Elon Musk is mad at Joe Biden. Again. This time, it’s because of Biden’s January 26 Twitter declaration that “companies like GM and Ford are building more electric vehicles here at home than ever before.” For reference, GM delivered 26 EVs in the U.S. in its last quarter, and Ford sold 12,284 EVs in 2021. In comparison, Tesla delivered 308,600 EVs in its last quarter.
So now you see why Musk is raging. “Starts with a T, ends with an A, ESL in the middle,” Musk snarked in response to Biden’s initial tweet. It was enough to get everyone really impassioned, so fans did what people do when faced with trouble online — they made a Change.org petition.
As of writing, the petition, which simply asks for President Biden to “acknowledge Tesla’s leadership in regards to electric vehicles” stands at 32,500 signatures. But that number is quickly climbing.
SpaceX: A second generation delay
A series of unfortunate events has delayed SpaceX’s COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2. The launch was first scheduled for January 27, then bumped twice because of “poor weather conditions.” Then, on January 30, weather was “favorable,” but the launch was blocked by a “ship in the hazard area.” Finally, SpaceX launched successfully on, January 31, at 6:11 p.m. Eastern. You know what they say — fourth time’s the charm.
And SpaceX had a successful past week in other ways. The company concluded its 24th resupply mission to the International Space Station on January 24, when the Cargo Dragon capsule made a successful plop back on Earth.
Today, SpaceX is also hoping to launch its latest Starlink crop, and on February 2, the company aims to launch NROL-87. But we’re all at the whim of the weather.
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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 is confused about vaccines. Vaccines offer a level of protection that holistic alternatives can’t.
9. He also promises to eat a Happy Meal on TV if McDonald’s starts accepting Dogecoin as payment. I’m HODLin’ it.
8. The lead artist behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Seneca, didn’t know the project had taken off until she googled it. “Her creativity helped fuel a technological revolution she knew almost nothing about,” writes Rolling Stone.
7. Musk also also offered a 19-year-old college student $5,000 to take down his Twitter account that tracks Musk’s private jet. The student, Jack Sweeney, was unimpressed. This is a lowball-free zone.
6. Need a winter activity? Here’s how you make astronaut pudding. Thank you, mommy bloggers.
5. It’s a tree! It’s a stump! No… it’s an icy crater on Mars. A new image of Mars reveals a ringed crater in Mars’ surface, which looks a lot like a chopped tree. It’s not, but it does reveal something about Mars’ climate history. Seasons of Mars.
4. A component of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is going to crash into the Moon. You can watch it live. Not the Moon! Anything but the Moon!
3. Kyle Hippchen, who won one of the seats on SpaceX’s historic Inspiration4 flight, could have been an astronaut. But he couldn’t meet SpaceX’s weight requirement. He got some other cool things, though.
2. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins will spend 6 months in space, making her the first Black woman “to spend an extended amount of time in space.” Listen to the NPR interview.
1. And a piece of Musk history: Musk has been critical of mask mandates and the restrictions Covid-19 has placed on social gatherings since the virus first shook the world in 2020. That year, he stole a 3-year-old photo of a sundae to make Twitter users think he was defying pandemic restrictions and enjoying a particle-filled dining experience. Yeah.
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #283, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, newsletter writer at Inverse.
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