Tesla’s Model S Plaid continues to beguile; SpaceX has a nominal weekend; the SEC isn’t done with Musk. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #250 — subscribe now to receive two more editions later this week!
Last week, Musk Reads+ subscribers learned about electric powerwall company Span.IO and what Tesla’s Solar Roof gets wrong. This week, readers will hear from the creator of the Where is Roadster? website about charting SpaceX’s most bizarre mission, and from analyst Sam Abuelsamid about this week’s Model S Plaid news.
For a limited time, we are opening up the Musk Reads comment section to all our readers. Leave your thoughts in the comment section at the end!
Musk quote of the week
“Canada USA Mexico” — Elon “Read the First Three Letters” Musk wrote June 3 as part of his meme-laden Twitter weekend spent breaking Tesla news and making crypto investors very, very angry.
Elon Musk has always used Twitter for announcements and, sometimes relatedly, as a place to be a public menace. Read more.
Tesla: Tesla Model S Plaid+ is canceled, and for good reason
Big Tesla news was broken on Twitter June 6, when Musk announced release of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ had been canceled because there was “no need, as Plaid is just so good.”
CNET reported in late May that the Tesla site had grayed out the Plaid’s “+” option, barring people from placing more orders, but the most recent version of the site indicates the Plaid+ will be “available in mid-2022.” For this reason, it isn’t totally clear if Musk is joking about the cancellation, trying to generate excitement for the delayed Plaid, or perhaps looking to trigger premature hair loss in those who preordered the $149k car.
According to Musk, the standard Plaid will be able to go “0 to 60 mph in under two [seconds],” a specification he has proudly been sharing this year. Musk, however, did not comment on the standard Plaid’s 390 mile range, which, although a solid range for an electric car, is not quite as majestic as the Plaid+’s promised 520 miles. Read more.
Musk claimed the Plaid will be the “quickest production car… of any kind” and that it “has to be felt to be believed.” The same goes for seeing.
SpaceX: Back-to-back launches show SpaceX is only getting better
SpaceX had a busy week, using Falcon 9 to shoot up a Cargo Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 3 and a different Falcon 9 to launch a satellite for broadcasting company SiriusXM on June 6.
The NASA-sponsored Dragon flight is notable for its unique payload. In addition to supplies, the rocket carried tardigrades and glow-in-the-dark baby squid to help researchers understand the effects of space flight on animals. It’s also a continuation of the contractual relationship between SpaceX and NASA, which first entered an agreement for resupplying the ISS in 2008.
Falcon 9’s flight for SiriusXM is a newer relationship. SiriusXM started working with SpaceX to switch out old satellites with an updated pair, SXM-7 and SXM-8, in 2020. Although SXM-7 failed in orbit after being successfully launched from Falcon 9 December 2020, SXM-8’s launch, so far, seems to have gone exactly as intended. After the launch, Falcon 9 enjoyed a clean landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship, poised on top of the midnight Atlantic Ocean.
Government and commercial entities continuing to outsource missions to SpaceX is a good sign for a company that has interplanetary living built into its foundation. Creating an actual civilization on Mars would require heaps of government, commercial, and civilian cooperation. SpaceX could be at the start of that.
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In other Musk news…
SEC watchdog says two Elon Musk tweets violated settlement deal.
Tesla recalls nearly 6,000 U.S. cars over potentially loose bolts.
Axiom Space expands SpaceX private crew launch deal, with four total missions to the space station.
In other Musk-related news…
T-minus the internet
A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.
10. Grimes, the musician and mother of Elon Musk’s latest baby, drew criticism with her TikTok antics last week. With eyeliner circles drawn on her face in Technoqueen/fourth grader-with-access-to-Crayola fashion, Grimes managed to misunderstand artificial intelligence and communism, presenting a half-baked simulation theory in just under two minutes. Good for her.
9. Although it’s easy to goof on the idea that A.I. could beget communism, experts have been considering it for years. Writer Matt Colquhoun defended Grimes from a philosophical perspective on his blog June 3. Read more.
7. Today, NASA’s Juno spacecraft came closer to Jupiter’s moon Ganymede than any spacecraft has in 20 years. Read more.
6. Speaking of coming close, Musk’s Twitter shenanigans bumped cryptocurrency CumRocket up 350 percent. I’m sorry, I didn’t name it that.
5. Neuralink podcast Neura Pod posted an interview with neuroscientist Dr. John Donoghue to YouTube June 4. They discussed the business of neuroscience in a thought-provoking 51-minute video. Watch now.
3. Self-driving car engineer Vladimir Haltakov explained how “track loss” is responsible for the glitch in an easy-to-understand Twitter thread. Read more.
2. Elon Musk was threatened by international hacktivist groupAnonymous on June 4. In a YouTube video, an Anonymous spokesperson decried Musk’s dodgy labor practices and alleged the billionaire “destroyed lives” of working class investors. The video ended with a chilly “expect us.” Uh oh.
1. And a piece of Musk history: The SEC and Elon Musk have been embroiled in a bitter battle for years. This, for us spectators, is sometimes funny. Revisit August 2018, when rapper Azealia Banks’ Instagram story contributed to the SEC suing and eventually settling with Musk over his Tweets. “He has a fake, made-up accent.”
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #250, 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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