Werner Herzog criticizes Musk and SpaceX prepares to break a rocket reusability record. What’s next for Crew Dragon? It’s Musk Reads: SpaceX Edition #221.
Back in 2013, Elon Musk released the "Hyperloop Alpha" PDF outlining his vision for a space-age styled pod that would speed 700 mph through a vacuum tube. More than seven years later, one company is actually coming close to making it a reality — and we have an exclusive interview with its co-founder and first passenger. You'll only read it in Musk Reads+.
Musk quote of the week
“Tomorrow will be the 7th flight of this rocket, landing on droneship Of Course I Still Love You”
Read more about SpaceX’s record-breaking flight.
SpaceX will enable you to move your Starlink connection to a new address or to no address at all, company engineers confirmed during a Reddit “ask me anything” session over the weekend. The team wrote that “mobility options — including moving your Starlink to different service addresses (or places that don’t even have addresses!) — is coming once we are able to increase our coverage by launching more satellites & rolling out new software.” The reveal means that users of the high-speed, low-latency internet service will be able to take the service to imaginative new places.
The session also revealed:
Starlink has self-heating abilities to deal with a variety of cold climates.
The engineers recommend taking the dish indoors during high-wind events where safety is a concern.
The constellation’s 550-kilometer altitude means light should travel to the ground in 1.8 milliseconds. That means a round trip to a server is four times as much as that at best, and the team is focused on getting latencies down as much as possible.
Starlink engineers are working on “a couple of items” to reduce power consumption, which one user claimed reaches around 100 watts.
What’s next for SpaceX: The company is set to launch the 16th batch of Starlink satellites at 9:34 p.m. Eastern time, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch was delayed from its scheduled Sunday evening liftoff due to “mission assurance.” The mission will be the seventh time SpaceX has used the B1049 Falcon 9 booster, setting a new record for reusing rockets. Read more.
Sponsored by Roborock
This holiday season, defeat dirt for good
Give the gift of clean to everyone on your list this holiday season with the help of our partners at Roborock. The robotic vacuum experts are seriously slashing prices on some of their most sought-after models, making Roborock more affordable than ever before.
First up is the S6 Pure. With precision LiDAR navigation and multi-floor room mapping, the S6 Pure is your go to vacuum for hyper-detailed home-mapping and comprehensive cleaning. Easily navigated through the Roborock app, Siri, and even Alexa voice controls, the S6 Pure gives you the ability to clean your entire house without getting up. With powerful 2000Pa Suction, automatic carpet boosting, and mopping capabilities, the S6 Pure has achieved a coveted status in the robotic vacuum world. Even more, Roborock is seriously slashing the price of the S6 Pure from November 22nd through the 30th, taking the product’s normal $599.99 price tag down to $359.99, a $240 value.
Who couldn’t use a cleaner home with minimal effort? Mark your calendars this November as deals like these don’t come too often.
In other SpaceX news …
Musk’s vision of a city on Mars is a “mistake,” legendary director Werner Herzog told Inverse this month. Herzog said that humans should “not be like the locusts,” and should instead “look to keep our planet habitable.” He also claimed that the 21st century will “quickly” end the “technological utopia like colonizing Mars.” The director has interviewed Musk before for his 2016 documentary Lo and Behold, in which he asked Musk for a one-way ticket to Mars. Read more.
What is Musk’s plan? The CEO explained on Twitter last week that the goal is to establish a city with “life in glass domes at first.” Mars would “eventually” be terraformed to support life. Musk admitted that while the process would be “too slow to be relevant in our lifetime […] we can establish a human base there in our lifetime.” That means, even if terraforming fails, “at least a future spacefaring civilization — discovering our ruins — will be impressed humans got that far.” Musk aims to establish the city as early as 2050. Read more.
What about SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which has completed its first non-test crewed launch? The capsule sent up NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, plus Soichi Noguchi from Japanese space agency JAXA, on November 15. SpaceX plans a slew of missions in the coming months, with reports suggesting Tom Cruise will be among those taking off in the capsule. Read more.
Musk Reads mailroom
We received a number of responses to Herzog’s interview this week. Here’s what readers think about the director’s criticism:
Samuel Coleman writes:
With respect to Werner Herzog’s comment about Elon Musk’s lofty ambitions to build out a Mars City habitation that it would be an obscenity to do so without trying to fix Earth’s problems first. The trouble with people like him is he just uses this generic idea that the planet needs “fixing”. Yet he doesn’t elaborate WHAT needs fixing. The trouble with that idea is that groups of humans can’t agree on that. In the meantime we’re supposed to just sit on our hands until they come up with something? I’m any event, it’s his money and I would posit that his (Musk) vision is more than what Herzog is doing. Let him go back to making movies which is all he is good at.
Why does a film director think people care what he thinks about Elon Musk’s plans? He’s in the entertainment business. His job is to make movies not spaceships. He should stick to what he knows and Elon musk will do what he knows.
Got any comments or queries? Send them over to email@example.com.
Photo of the week
SpaceX’s Sentinel–6 mission, which took off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. The booster successfully landed after the mission.
Got any photos or videos you’d like to share? Feel free to send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads: SpaceX Edition #221, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.
Why subscribe to Musk Reads+? You’ll be supporting in-depth, high-quality journalism about the world’s most ambitious change-maker, Elon Musk. Tesla investors, SpaceX critics, and anyone with an interest will find something they love in our offerings. Independent journalism is important now more than ever, and your contributions will help us continue in our mission to deliver interviews and analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
Make sure you’re seeing all of our emails! Add us to your contact list and move this email to your primary inbox.
What did you think of today’s stories? Hit reply to this email to let us know.
Musk Reads+ is a fully independent operation. We are not Elon Musk, nor are we employed by him. Our job is to report the events we find newsworthy, giving you an inside look at the worlds of space rockets, electric cars, clean energy, and more. It means first-hand accounts of a SpaceX rocket launch, Tesla insights from third-party analysts, and more.
If you want to support us in our mission, and to receive exclusive interviews and analysis, consider contributing with a subscription.