🚀 SpaceX flies Falcon 9 out for Starlink (and lands beautifully)

Musk Reads #247

SpaceX continues Starlink rollout; Musk makes a wild week for crypto; a mystery business made in Musk’s image raises eyebrows in the UK. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #247 — subscribe now to receive two more editions later this week! 

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Musk quote of the week

“It is high time there was a carbon tax!”

  • Musk tweeted May 13, a day after announcing Tesla would no longer accept or sell bitcoin out of concern for its energy usage. 


SpaceX: Falcon 9 flies again, delivering 52 satellites and its first rideshare payload 

On May 15, Falcon 9 made its third flight in three weeks, carrying 52 Starlink satellites and two unrelated customer payloads, a Capella Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite and Tyvak-0130, an “optical spectrum astronomy observation satellite” according to its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) description.This Starlink payload brings it to the home stretch of completing its first orbital shell, pushing its total to 1,567, a stone’s throw from the satellite project’s 1,584 goal.

The partially reusable rocket departed from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beginning its descent after 2 ½ minutes for its eighth successful landing. You can watch as Falcon 9 makes a gorgeous descent on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, which was positioned over the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean:

This Starlink payload brings it to the home stretch of completing its first orbital shell, pushing its total to 1,567, a stone’s throw from the satellite project’s 1,584 goal.


Tesla: Bitcoin gets rebuked, Twitter explodes 

Musk made huge waves with a May 12 declaration that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments for fear of its environmental impact, only three months after Tesla announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin. Read more.

Later, on May 16, Musk was inscrutable on Twitter about whether or not Tesla had sold its Bitcoin holdings. As of Sunday night Eastern Standard Time, his tweet instigated a Bitcoin price drop to around $45,000, its lowest since March. 

This is Musk’s second instance of Twitter-assisted crypto-influencing last week. Dogecoin briefly surged after Musk tweeted on May 13 that he was working with developers to “improve system transaction efficiency.”


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In other Musk news…


In other Musk-related news…

T-minus the internet

A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.  

10. A branch of the Institute of Social and Political Research is hosting an online symposium centered around Sorgner’s “On Transhumanism” at the end of May. Read more.

9. On May 14, five members of the SpaceX software team hit Reddit for an AMA on r/spacex. Read more. 

8. Self-described “King of Tesla TikTok” @modelyflex has been pouring various substances on his seats (like Pepto Bismol, olive oil, and most recently, soy sauce) to demonstrate their stain resistance. Ok, thanks?

7. Marvel.ai is a platform that launched this week with the goal of producing voice deepfakes. It sounds cool, but does your voice really belong to you?  Read more.

6.  Elon Musk has recently been declared a proud stealer of memes. For years, internet denizens have been discussing if meme-stealing is ethical. They can’t seem to agree. Read more.

5. In late April, YouTuber Herr Fuchs created “The Elon Musk Song [OFFICIAL],” which, according to the brackets, is the official theme song for Elon Musk. It’s a sort of tame synth pop track, I’d give it a 5.4/10. But look at those visuals.

4. SpaceX Starlink satellites contribute to the universe’s existing space junk. Climate change might make it worse. Read more.

3. Forget Mars. Is SpaceX taking over Texas? Read more.

2. A paralyzed man with a brain chip implant has challenged Neuralink’s video game monkey to MindPong. Read more.

1. And a piece of Musk history: In 2015, software engineer Tomas Lloret Llinares adapted Musk’s 37-year-old video game, Blastar, to work for HTML5. It’s a charming shoot ‘em up and is still available to play.  Blast off.


The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads #247, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads and mere servant to any potential A.I. overlords. I’m a writer from New York who has covered weird tech for Mel Magazine, the intersection of culture and games for Destructoid, and I’ll be taking over the Monday newsletter for the summer. 

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