🚙 No unions, big problem: Why Biden might leave Tesla behind
Musk Reads #263
Inspiration4 gets ready for takeoff; Tesla gets left out; Elon Musk loves tea. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #264 — subscribe 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.
Musk quote of the week
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.
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 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…
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.
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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).
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.
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 #263, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads.
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