Musk announces SpaceX’s weirdest mission

Musk Reads #246

Tesla Cybertruck spotted; Starship SN15 flies; Starlink orders soar. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #246 — subscribe now to receive two more editions later this week!

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Musk quote of the week

“To the moon!”


SpaceX: Inside the firm’s most ambitiously strange space mission

SpaceX plans to launch a funded, cryptocurrency-themed satellite to the Moon next year, Musk revealed over Twitter Sunday. The Doge-1 mission is themed around Dogecoin, which, at the time of writing, ranks as the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. 

Musk named three key features of the mission and not much else:

  1. The mission will be paid for in dogecoin.

  2. It will be the first cryptocurrency in space.

  3. It will be the first meme-themed space mission.

Little else is known at this time, but it could be SpaceX’s weirdest mission — even weirder than in February 2018, when SpaceX launched Musk’s red Tesla Roadster on a mission around the Solar System.

Watch Musk explain Dogecoin during this week’s Saturday Night Live appearance here: 

The appearance coincided with a huge plummet in its value. The cryptocurrency dropped in value from 71 cents to 49 cents.

SpaceX also successfully cleared a major hurdle this week — the first successful high-altitude launch and landing for Starship. The SN15 flight on May 5 went off almost without a hitch, barring some flames after landing. Read more.

What was it like to witness the SN15 flight in person? Musk Reads+ subscribers last week heard from MaryLiz Bender, co-founder of Cosmic Perspective, about her experience of the iconic event.


Tesla: Cybertruck hits the mean streets of New York City

Dogecoin wasn’t the only feature of Musk’s SNL appearance. Musk also seemingly brought a prototype of the Tesla Cybertruck with him to New York:

The Cybertruck is expected to enter volume production next year.

The truck was also seen around the streets of New York City in a new video:


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In other Musk news…

  • Musk revealed on SNLthat he has Asperger’s. Although he claimed to be the first with the condition to host the show, Dan Aykroyd was diagnosed in the 1980s and hosted the show in 2003. It should be noted Asperger’s syndrome is no longer a separate diagnosis and instead forms part of the wider autism spectrum disorder.

  • How much is a ticket on Blue Origin? Jeff Bezos revealed new details about a flight on New Shepard’s first crewed launch. Read more.

  • SpaceX received more than half a million orders for Starlink, and it could help pay for Musk’s Mars city. Read more.

  • Where does SpaceX go next with Starship? Musk claimed on May 7 that the firm “might try to refly SN15 soon.” 


The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads #246, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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