Starlink enters its next phase; Tesla settles; and Neuralink raises $200 million. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #258 — subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week!
Last week, Musk Reads+ subscribers received an exclusive transcript and summary of Tesla’s second quarter 2021 earnings call. This week, subscribers will hear from an analyst who explains what it all means.
Musk quote of the week
SpaceX: Starlink prepares for the next chapter
Get excited, Starlink fans: There’s a new update from the company that has been frustrating users everywhere with its inconsistent beta coverage. Starlink will begin launching its second shell in August — meaning more satellites in orbit and broader coverage for Starlink kit owners.
Currently, Starlink’s first shell sits at around 1,500 satellites, just a shallow scoop of the 12,000 satellite total the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allotted Starlink. (A number that is also three times the amount of satellites currently floating above Earth.) Although 12,000 satellites would be able to deliver high-speed internet to even the most remote, isolated parts of the world — as Starlink’s existing satellites have already started doing — they also contribute to our growing space trash issue, clogging up the cosmos and changing the shape of low-Earth orbit. But for customers who have little choice but to rely on Starlink to get connected to the rest of the world, it could be hard to care about that.
Regardless, SpaceX is going forward with expanding coverage, with Elon Musk most recently claiming that everyone except North and South Pole users (apologies to Santa) will have coverage by August. And just this weekend, news broke that Starlink obtained a license to provide “blanket coverage” to Great Britain. Finally, Love Island live streams for everyone.
Tesla: A humble payout
Tesla has been receiving a lot of buzz over its batteries lately, and for plaintiffs receiving a $1.5 million settlement from Tesla, that’s a good thing. The settlement will cap an ongoing lawsuit alleging that Tesla “temporarily reduced maximum battery voltage in 1,743 Model S sedans,” limiting users in how high their battery could be charged. In response to the quickly spreading news that each Tesla owner involved in the suit would receive $625, Elon Musk admitted on Twitter that, in this case, Tesla was “wrong.”
In other Tesla news, a Megapack, Tesla’s “densest battery system,” as per its website, caught on fire this weekend in Australia. There were no injuries and, as of writing, the reason for the fire has not been publicly disclosed. The new mystery joins the tragic Tesla battery fire that made headlines this spring in unaddressed Tesla battery issues.
More happily, Tesla’s Autopilot allegedly detected its driver as unconscious and helped him safely stop to receive medical attention last week. Tesla’s Autopilot also sometimes thinks the Burger King sign is a traffic light.
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In other Musk news…
Elon Musk's Neuralink raises over $200 million from Google Ventures, others
Elon Musk: “I don't want to be CEO of anything”
T-minus the internet
A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.
10. YouTuber AI Addict has been regularly uploading videos of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving updates, which Musk says will be released biweekly. Watch now.
9. The United Kingdom will put regulations on Starlink. Read more.
8. While Starlink works on upgrading its satellites, it’s telling subscribers in an email that new satellites will be equipped with “space lasers” enabling the “the fastest data transfer options.” Okay!
7. Tesla drivers at The Boring Company’s only operational Loop, the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, receive a script on how to talk about Elon Musk and his company. Musk is “inspiring/motivating/etc.”
6. Neuralink’s fundraiser went well, but its competitor, Synchron, which wants to help paralyzed patients use computers through thought, will beat it to beginning FDA trials. Read more.
5. Still, Neuralink is looking towards the future, posting a number of open job positions on its official Twitter. Read more.
4. Rockets are becoming the latest rich person must-have, with the families behind Volkswagen most recently entering the race to develop citizen space travel. Where would we be without an Audi in space?
2. NASA has denied Blue Origin’s appeal to the Moon landing contract the government agency awarded SpaceX. Sorry, Bezos.
1. And a piece of Musk history: Time asked Elon Musk 10 fan questions in July of 2010, covering his thoughts on when humanity will become “spacefaring,” his timetable for the world’s conversion to all-electric cars, and his “Libertarian views.” Do aliens like Ron Paul?
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #258, 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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