Tesla could continue its international expansion; a former Musk collaborator backs a Neuralink rival; SpaceX is tasked with a Moon mission. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #248 — subscribe now to receive two more editions later this week!
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Musk quote of the week
“I think it’s important for the future of civilization that we become a multi-planet civilization.” — Elon Musk, addressing a group of Russian students on May 21.
Musk has advocated for multi-planet living for years, but not everyone is a fan of the idea. Read more.
Tesla: Musk might open factories in Russia
In a Kremlin-sponsored forum with Russian students last week, Musk mentioned the possibility of Tesla continuing to expand internationally.
"I think we're close to establishing Tesla presence in Russia and that would be great. And more broadly, also in Kazakhstan and neighboring regions,” he said to a student.
Here’s what the potential expansion could mean:
It would grow the list of four existing Tesla “gigafactories” (California, Nevada, New York, and Shanghai) and two planned gigafactories (Berlin and Austin).
It could lead to exciting new projects. Musk often interacts with these locations beyond the factory, like when The Boring Company set up its first tunnel in Nevada or Tesla’s recent installation of Tesla Semi “Megachargers” at a California FritoLay warehouse.
As Russia and China are both heavily involved with the modern space race, Musk’s presence in both could further international collaboration.
As for the event, the entire 40-minute forum is available to watch on YouTube. But the bulk of it, of course, is in Russian. Musk answered questions on a range of topics like artificial intelligence, his predictions for the next 50 years, and what he would say to Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.
“I haven’t really thought about that. I guess I would ask, ‘What was it like?’” Musk replied to that last question, smiling. “Being in orbit… that must have been a hell of an experience.”
In other Tesla news…
Tesla will hand over the first Model S Plaid vehicles at a company event on June 3. Read more.
The Tesla Roadster will be a “better” design when it launches, Musk wrote in response to a prototype model that appeared at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Read more.
Neuralink: Paypal Co-Founder Peter Thiel backs Neuralink rival
These devices include brain-computer interfaces (BCI), Neuralink’s intended area of production. But unlike Neuralink, which, although ambitious in its goals, hasn’t yet made it past monkey brains, Blackrock Neurotech already has technology cleared for humans. According to their website, 28 of the 30 BCI implanted in living humans use technology made by Blackrock.
So far, neither Musk nor Thiel have publicly commented on the investment.
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In other Musk news…
SpaceX chosen to send Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost Lander to the Moon.
“I won’t sell” Dogecoin — Tesla billionaire Elon Musk reveals where he stands in “the true battle” between the dollar and crypto.
In other Musk-related news…
T-minus the internet
A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.
10. Hoping to follow the Billionaire Boyz to Mars? You better pack a sweater. Read more.
9. The price of Bitcoin continues its descent, but maybe that’s not so bad. Crypto trader Sam Trabucco wrote a detailed Twitter thread on the crash’s “lemons and lemonade.” Read more.
8. And anyway, you shouldn’t worry. Investor Anthony Pompliano has announced his benefit “Bitcoin Pizza” service that will make deliveries through May 29. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use bitcoin as payment. Bummer!
7. In “shitcoin” news, the biggest proponents of obscure, half-joking currencies like $ASS coin and TacoCat stand by their crypto. But getting excited about a currency isn’t enough — one subject’s $500 $ASS coin buy (20,000,000,000 ASS coins) has turned into $200 at the time of writing this newsletter. Read more.
6. This Washington mechanic is the world’s go-to guy for the rare, first generation Tesla Roadster. Read more.
5. Widespread use of A.I. is the future. Will the future be sustainable? Read more.
4. Neuralink technology could help a lot of people, but they should know their “neuro-rights” first. Read more.
3. Video footage of China’s Mars rover (named Zhurong) was made public on May 22, the day it touched down. This mission makes China the second country in the world to land a rover on Mars.Watch now
2. Car leasing service Leasing Options UK created a game where players must spend Musk’s $166 billion net worth in 30 seconds. Good luck.
1. And a piece of Musk history: In 1999, Musk was featured in a CNN special on the “Silicon Valley Gold Rush.” The special shows him working on PayPal’s precursor site, X.com, as well as driving the McClaren F1 he never insured and later wrecked. Billionaires, they're just like us.
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #248, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads. I’ll be taking over the Monday newsletter for the summer.
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