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Category Archives: Elon Musk

Elon Musk is tech Covidiot No. 1 during coronavirus pandemic

Posted: June 1, 2020 at 3:06 am

After working as a journalist for over 20 years, much of it in the celebrity world, I have found that whatever age a person becomes famous is the age when his or her maturity (usually) stops.

But something a little different happens in the tech industry: Tech bros, it seems, develop a Jesus complex right after their first big deal believing they (and only they) can save the world because, as their acolytes and mothers have told them, they are just that brilliant.

See: Ubers Travis Kalanick, Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg, Amazons Jeff Bezos and, most especially, Elon Musk.

The guy behind Tesla, The Boring Company and Space X the one who is convinced he can make Mars inhabitable has been showing off his arrogance to dangerous effect during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Heres a rundown of recent examples of him wildly throwing his opinions out there.

March 6: the coronavirus panic is dumb, Musk tweeted to his 32 million followers.

March 16: maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19, he tweeted. (In some cases, this treatment has produced frightening side effects, and a small study testing it as a cure was halted due to risk of fatal heart complications.)

March 16: Musks Tesla defied a California shelter-in-place order and kept its Silicon Valley factory open, with workers saying it was business as usual. Several Tesla workers have since tested positive for COVID-19. Alameda County, Calif., officials said on March 18 that the factory had reduced its workforce but that 2,500 would still report to the factory.

March 17: According to the BBC, Musk proclaimed that Kids are essentially immune to the virus. This is demonstrably false: In an early April report, the CDC confirmed coronavirus contagion in children in all 50 states.

March 28: Many doctors are not treating patients due to fear of giving or receiving C19, he claimed.

March 31: Musk tweeted that he was rushing to the rescue! We have extra FDA approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping costs are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in [a] warehouse. Turns out, what he actually sent was five-year-old BiPAP sleep apnea machines that cant be used to treat coronavirus victims in the ICU.

April 5: He retweets engineering update on the Tesla ventilator from Tesla is Musk now making his own medical equipment?

April 16: Musk tweets out a partial list of hospitals to which Tesla sent ventilators. A day later,CNN contacts hospitals on the list that confirm they were not sent ventilators, but BiPAP apnea machines.

This is not the first time hes promised to step in and be a hero, only to flail. Remember his bid to save the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave in 2018? Musk offered up a kid-size submarine via his Boring Company, which experts said would not work and which showed up after the actual rescue was in process.

When British diver Vern Unsworth, who actually was heroic in helping save the team, criticized Musk claiming that the tech bro was using the opportunity for public relations Musk accused Unsworth of being a pedo guy. Only after Unsworth threatened to sue did Musk issue a rare apology. A nasty libel lawsuit followed that Musk eventually won.

A year later, Vanity Fair published a piece titled Hes Full of St: How Elon Musk Fooled Investors, Bilked Taxpayers, and Gambled Tesla to Save Solar City.

It outlined how New York taxpayers funded almost a billion dollars for Musks dream of SolarCity a solar factory that was part of Gov. Andrew Cuomos controversial Buffalo Billion program that was supposed to revive the upstate economy. In the end, just 750 jobs were created at the plant and the project was embroiled in a massive federal bid-rigging scandal that led to the downfall of top Cuomo advisers and donor contractors.

In November 2019, the Buffalo News reported that Tesla was getting an $854 million write-down on the plant: New York State spent $958.6 million to build Tesla Inc.s solar panel factory in South Buffalo and buy a big chunk of the equipment inside. Now, auditors are saying the building and all that equipment is worth just under $75 million or just 8 percent of what the state put into the RiverBend factory. As of mid-February, the plant, now called Gigafactory2, still needed to hire 360 people to meet its employment quota of 1,460 by April 30, or face paying a $41.2 million penalty to the state for each year it falls short, according to the Albany Business Review.

Elon, its time to take a breath and think and possibly research work that may not have been done by you before you speak. Take a page from the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and put your money where your big mouth is (without constantly crowing about it). Dorsey, who has teamed up with Rihanna and Jay-Z to donate $6.2 million to CoVID-19 relief funds, recently announced the creation of Start Small LLC, using $1 billion of his own equity to disarm this pandemic. After that, the fund will shift to health and education for girls.

Now that is a hero.

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Elon Musk is tech Covidiot No. 1 during coronavirus pandemic

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Elon Musk: Enduring Truths And New Lessons From An American Pioneer – Forbes

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SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Walkout at Kennedy Space Center

Twenty years from now, Elon Musks spectacular launch of his Crew Dragon capsule yesterday will barely merit a single page in a history of the modern space era. Notwithstanding his sophomoric antics and questionable judgement that sometimes casts doubt on his ability to be a responsible CEO, we eagerly anticipate more from him and his company SpaceX in the coming years. Even Neil Armstrong, the enduring icon of the first space race and the most famous naysayer of NASAs Commercial Crew Program, would probably reluctantly admit that Elon's unrelenting passion, talent, and drive will get him to his ultimate destinationMars.

Yesterdays remarkable achievement, including the picture-perfect landing of the Falcon 9 rocket for reuse, should also be remembered as the mic drop moment proving the superiority of a free market space industry. When the last of the doubting policymakers in Washington finally wake up to the deeper meaning of SpaceXs most recent victory, the full weight of the American free market economy will be unleashed to enable new paths for NASA, the U.S. Space Force and open new business areas for the growing commercial space industry. To do so, these leaders will have to reinterpret two enduring truths in addition to embracing two new ones.

Only in America can something like this happen. There are plenty of space companies scattered around the world, but their government created most of them in some fashion. Yet when someone has a bold new idea to change the world, whether its an Afrikaner like Elon Musk or an expat Brit like Sir Richard Branson, they come to America to make their dreams reality. Ensuring leaders with hunger and drive they have the liberty to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams is the uniquely American answer to almost everything. It was our answer to the space doldrums we were in a decade agoshuttle aging out, Russia leading the world in manned spaceflightand it worked.

One person with a vision (and help) can change history. In fact, for better and for worse, it is often the only thing that ever does. Elon certainly didnt accomplish this latest feat alone, but it would not exist without his vision, initiative and perseverance. No government committee instructed its creationhe was the spearhead. Talking about great things is what philosophers and government officials do; doing great things is what engineers do every dayand were all glad that its finally being recognized again. Heck, Elon never even had any formal business training and wasnt considered a real CEO before SpaceX.

As the hundreds of private space companies around the world are reinvigorated by and learn from yesterdays events, they will further revolutionize the rest of the space economy in the coming decades. Two new lessons that culminated in yesterdays success have been debated for the last decade and have now been demonstrated to be true.

The complex and often incomprehensible government-led space industry is no longer impervious to the benefits of private commercial companies. Elons bold spirit and resourceful instincts in Washington have paved a path for the next 50 years of likeminded engineersif our government will encourage them to compete. Real competition does reveal the better athlete, even for the most ambitious endeavors man has ever undertaken, like human space travel. Only time will tell when Boeing will finish this race and we are all still cheering for them. But to all of the Pentagon naysayers who said ten years ago he wouldnt last another six months, Elon has proven them wrong time and time again. SpaceX, the undisputed king of commercial contracts, has won this latest race with competitive fixed price contracts combined with private capital to develop a breathtaking American capability.

The space sector of the U.S. economy no longer needs a maternal government bureaucracy to coddle, raise, praise and protect it. Perhaps the most important takeaway of yesterdays victory is positive proof that the American space economy can finally stand on its own two feet. When a company is independently founded and exists for the express purpose of achieving its own goals, it began with enough expertise to conceive, develop, produce or operate its product or service. What it doesnt initially have, it acquires over time through growth and experience.

Into the future, the government must more aggressively seek to procure goods or services that are also offered by commercial companies. As it does this, it should consider competing in much the same way businesses buy other capital equipment: with concise, performance-oriented work statements, clear delivery timelines and fixed price bids. If these companies raison dtre is to thrive, their ambition will propel them to even greater heights, perhaps greater than they imagined. We are long overdue to smile kindly at last centurys necessary model of enticing the ambivalent with cost-plus contracts but look to a future of even greater promise. Much like what was done with the computer and communication industries before it, we must now shift from a government policy of coddling to one that forges independence and resilience through commercial competition and collaboration.

Wisdom comes from experience and the most valuable experience comes from failure. To learn and become wise, our government must continue to dare the bold to reach a little beyond their current grasp much like Elon Musk has. By nourishing these entrepreneurial mavericks and scoring better value for the taxpayer, we will continue expanding the boundary of human advancement. Todays history making endeavor, SpaceXs privately owned and operated rocket and spaceship successfully launching astronauts into Earths orbit, should remind all of us whats possible by the private sector. And what is that? Virtually everything.

There is still ample reason to worry about Americas competitiveness in the second Space Race, but clearly it's not for the reasons that Neil Armstrong worried about. NASAs SpaceX experiment definitively proves that even with imperfect corporate leadership and significant development risk, the cost-plus contracting method with associated government nannying, is not always necessary and in fact may be counterproductive to rapid progress. For all of the armchair rocket scientists in the Pentagon who said SpaceX wouldnt last another six months, this certainly proves each and every one of them wrong. A competitive, highly competent private space industry led by hundreds of companies like SpaceX ten years ago is achieving the unthinkable and will continue to raise the bar on each other.

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Elon Musk: Enduring Truths And New Lessons From An American Pioneer - Forbes

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How Elon Musk took SpaceX from an idea to the cusp of making history – USA TODAY

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Under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, the Demo-2 mission is a milestone aimed at proving SpaceX can send humans safely to space. USA TODAY

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. On Wednesday, SpaceX, Elon Musk'snearly 20-year-old company, is slated to fulfill its most important mission to date.

Two astronauts are scheduled to board a Crew Dragon capsule and launch from Florida on a trajectory toward the International Space Station. Itll mark the first time the company has launched humans, as well as the first time in nearly a decade that astronauts take flight from American soil on American rockets.

To succeed, everything launch, orbit, docking, then departure and splashdown will have to be perfect. Astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley depend on it.

That Musk built this kind of high-risk, high-reward scenario isnt by chance. For decades, the 48-year-old entrepreneur has used his business acumen to break into entrenched industries ranging from finance to launch services to transportation. Its no secret that he knows the hustle and embraces it.

His hard-work-pays-off attitude has elevated him and his employees to run business worth billions. SpaceX, traded privately, passed a $30 billion valuation, and Tesla became the most valuable American carmaker this year, eclipsing veterans such as Ford and General Motors.

Musk's hard-charging ways have sometimes landed him in hot water. Hestepped down as Tesla's chairman over government concerns sparked by tweets he made about taking the company private.

How did Musk, worth about $35 billion, get to the point of putting humans on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center? And what does he want in the long run?

To understand, well need to start about 8,000 miles away in South Africa.

'Looks better tbh': Grimes and Elon Musk slightly change baby's name to comply with state law

Elon Musk: A space taxi is just the first step for life on Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, left, speaks with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and astronauts Victor Glover, Doug Hurley, Robert Behnken and Mike Hopkins. The group met at pad 39A's crew access arm March 1, 2019, as it was connected to Crew Dragon.(Photo: NASA / Joel Kowsky))

Born to a model mother and engineer father in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk grew up with a voracious appetite for reading, technology, and computers. Those interests became particularly important when he was bullied in school, he has said during interviews, and they helped form the basis for his technicaldisposition.

Before his teenage years, he had started writing computer software.

Hes a guy with unlimited ambition, his brother, Kimbal Musk, said during a "60 Minutes" interview in 2014. Its not a typical type of ambition. His mind just needs to be constantly fulfilled, and the problems that he takes on therefore need to be more and more complex over time in order to keep him interested.

He found more complex problems to solve in North America, where he had ties through his Canada-born mother and American grandparents. Degrees in physics and economics from the University of Pennsylvaniapaved the way for him to pursue graduate school at Stanford, but he left before earning a degree. Business ideas dominated his mind.

It seemed like the vast majority of such things came from the United States, Musk told "60 Minutes,"speaking on the topic ofSilicon Valley-produced software. I also read a lot of comic books, and they all seemed to be set in the United States.So its like, Well, Im going to go to this place.

His first major business venture was Zip2, a kind of online directory founded in 1995 that included maps a major feature considering digital directions wouldnt become ubiquitous until smartphones came along more than a decade later. The company developed online city guides for The New York Times, which reported in 1999 thatZip2 was sold to Compaq Computer for $300 million.

In 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, one of the first online financial services companies. After a series of mergers and transitions, it was renamed to something more familiar to todays users: PayPal.

When the company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002, Musk made about $160 million from the deal, setting him up to personally invest inhis long-forming dream of starting Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

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To get his spaceflight ambitions primarilytaking payloads and humans to Mars off the ground, Musk attempted to buy refurbished Russian ballistic missiles. That proved to be too expensive, and working with Russian officials was difficult.

After my second or third trip back from Russia, I was like, Whoa, theres got to be a better way to solve this rocket problem, Musk said at the 2018 South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. So we embarked on that journey to create SpaceX in 2002.

Musk knew he was entering an entrenched, high-risk industry: In the beginning, I actually wouldnt even let my friends invest because everyone would lose their money. I thought Id rather lose my own money.

Musk was convinced he could bring down the cost of access to space. Enter Falcon 1.

Over the years, Musk has been clear:NASA saved SpaceX. After Falcon 1 failed to reach orbit three times but succeeded on the fourth try, his upstart company was strapped for cash and turning the page to its final chapter. Two days before Christmas 2008, NASA announced SpaceX had been awarded a $1.6 billion contract to fly supplies to the International Space Station, a program now known as Commercial Resupply Services.

Since 2012, SpaceX has flown Dragon to the ISS 20 times on newer Falcon 9 rockets. Its Crew Dragon capsule has flownto the station once and is slated for a second trip withBehnken and Hurley.

Along the way, his company staged coup after coup. In 2007, it acquiredthe rights to lease Cape Canaveral Air Force Stations Launch Complex 40, which hosted Titan rockets.

He was most impressive in cobbling together what was needed for a successful launch site with scraps and whatever was available, said Dale Ketcham, Space Florida vice president of government and external relations. Some of his most impressive achievements were based on his ability to make stuff happen by using what was available and using simple physics to get done what needed to get done.

That was contrary to how things had been done up until thatpoint, Ketcham said.

These 7 milestones were key leading up to the first SpaceX crewed launch as Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley prepare to fly to the ISS. Florida Today

Aside from Mars, one of Musks primary goals is reusability. An airline doesnt discard a Boeing 747 after each flight; similarly, Musk wants rockets to be reused.

More than 50 SpaceX boosters have flown back to Earth either to Florida, Californiaor an offshore drone ship where somewere refurbished for future flights.

The launch provider's pricing supports Musk's belief that reusability will bringdown the cost of flying people and cargo to orbit. A typical Falcon 9 launch costs $50 million to $60 million, which is significantlycheaper than other orbital vehicles in its class.

With Starlink, the companys constellation of low-orbit satellites that beam internet connectivity to the ground, Musk is building the revenue streams necessary to fund his desire to build a vehicle capable of going to Mars. That vehicle, known as Starship, is a massive rocket in prototype form at SpaceX's remote facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Garrett Reisman, a space shuttle astronaut and engineer who joined SpaceX in 2011 and consults for the company, said a portion of Musks success is driven by his fascination with engineering and technology.

I first met Elon for my job interview, Reisman told the USA TODAY Network's Florida Today. All he wanted to talk about were technical things. We talked a lot about different main propulsion system design architectures.

At the end of my interview, I said, Hey, are you sure you want to hire me? Youve already got an astronaut, so are you sure you need two around here? Reisman asked. He looked at me and said, Im not hiring you because youre an astronaut. Im hiring you because youre a good engineer.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has ambitions of sending flights to Mars.(Photo: NASA / Aubrey Gemignani)

Musks tech and engineering involvement doesnt stop at SpaceX.

Electric car and solarenergycompany Tesla fits into his overall vision of colonizing Mars while making Earth more habitable. Muskinvested in the fledglingcompany in 2004 and ascended to its leadership position, though he often works on the factory floor.

TheluxuryModel S sedan helped pave the way for newer, more affordable vehicles such as the Model 3 and Model Y. Tesla heavily markets energy options such as solar roof tiles and battery-supported grids that can help power entire communities.

Despite heavy fluctuations on Wall Street, the company routinely speeds past valuations in excess of $100 billion, fighting for top spots among the most valuable automakers in the world.

Managing SpaceX and Tesla, building out new businessesand maintaining relationships with his family makes Musk a busy billionaire.

Hes obviously skilled at all those different functions, but certainly what really drives him and where his passion really is, is his role as CTO, or chief technology officer, Reisman said. Basically his role as chief designer and chief engineer. Thats the part of the job that really plays to his strengths."

Having Musk's personality intertwined with his companies comes with drawbacks. He's no stranger to controversy.

In July 2018, he took to Twitter his most consistent means of communicating with the outside world and slammed a British diver who criticized Musk'sattempt at rescuing a Thai soccer team stuck in a cave. Musk calledthe diver a "pedo guy," which caused considerable backlash and a lawsuit, but Musk was cleared by a jury.

A few months later, the Securities and Exchange Commission set its sights on the billionaire, who had tweetedprivate funding was secured to buy all the company's outstanding shares and make it private. When the claim about financing didnt prove true, the SEC sued, claiming that his tweets misled investors and stockholders.

Musk settledwith the SEC. Aside from fines, he was forcedto step down as Tesla chairman but continued as CEO. He agreed to have his tweets monitored and cleared by higher-ups in the company.

More recently, hes found himself in the crosshairs of medical professionals and government officials around the world. His tweetclaiming that the coronavirus pandemic would involve close to zero new cases in the U.S. by the end of April proved to be false, and he reopened a Tesla factory in California before officials gave the go-ahead.

Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules, he tweetedMay 11. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.

The controversies havent slowed SpaceX and Tesla.

Hes a guy thats brilliant, successfuland has more irons in the fire than almost any human on the planet, Ketcham said. Hes under a lot of pressure and is doing what he thinks is right. When he thinks hes on the right path, hes not afraid to tell people. But thats worked for him, and that will work for him until it doesnt.

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How Elon Musk took SpaceX from an idea to the cusp of making history - USA TODAY

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Who is Elon Musk, and what made him big? – DW (English)

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Born in 1971 in South Africa of a model and dietitian, Maye Musk, and an electromechanical engineer, Errol Musk, whom Elon has described as "a terrible human being," Elon Reeve Musk is the eldest of his parents' three children, and a citizen of three countries: South Africa, Canada, and the US.

Musk spent his childhood with his nose in books and computers. A small, introverted boy, he was ostracized by his schoolmates and regularly beaten up by class bullies, until he became big enough to defend himself after a growth spurt in his teens.

First companies

Musk moved to Silicon Valley in summer 1995. He registered in a PhD program in applied physics at Stanford University but withdrew after only two days. His brother Kimball Musk, who is 15 months younger than Elon, had just graduated from Queen's University with a business degree and come to join him in California.The early Internet was heating up, and the brothers decided to launch a startup they called Zip2, an online business directory equipped with maps.

In due course, the brothers found angel investors for Zip2 and built it into a successful company. In 1999, the brothers sold Zip2 to computer maker Compaq for $307 million (280 million).

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a delivery ceremony for the first Tesla Model 3 cars made at Tesla's Shanghai factory in Shanghai in January 2020

Elon then founded an online financial services company, X.com, on his own. Its main rival was a company called Confinity, founded by Peter Thiel and two others just months after X.com, with offices in the same building. The two companies mergedin March 2000 and took on the name of their main product, PayPal, a person-to-person online money transfer service.

Ebay, the online auction service, bought PayPal in October 2002 for $1.5 billion worth of Ebay shares. At the age of 31, Elon Musk, who had been the largest shareholder in PayPal with 11.7% of its equity shares, found himself holding $165 million worth of Ebay stock.

Three missions

The companies he has founded, co-founded, and/or led since leaving PayPal two of which, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, he risked his entire early fortune to build are all focused onaddressing three distinct existential risks to the long-term survival of humanity: Climate risk, single-planet dependency risk, and human species obsolescence risk.

Climate risk

Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and The Boring Company are aimed at addressing climate risk by accelerating the transition to clean electricity and electricity-powered transportation.

Single-planet dependency risk

According to Musk, humanity's long-term survival is at risk if it stays limited to just this one planet. Sooner or later, some disaster maybe an asteroid, supervolcano, or nuclear war will end our tenure here. Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, in May 2002, to get us off the planet.

Musk taught himself the necessary engineering skills to design rockets, and is chief technology officer as well as CEO of SpaceX. A key hire early on was the 11th employee to join:GwynneShotwell, put in charge of business development, soon established herself as Musk's right-hand woman at SpaceX. She has become a legend in the space-tech world, and the company may well havehave failed without her.

Human species obsolescence risk

Musk and other thinkers say that artificial general superintelligences (AGSIs) i.e. machine general intelligences smarter than human beings will present an enormous existential risk to the future of humanity.

That's why, in December 2015, he co-founded the not-for-profit company OpenAI to develop "friendly AI." OpenAI provides free access to its advanced AI research results; the idea is to disseminate techniques for making AGSI safe, and to prevent powerful groups from monopolizing AGSI.

A modified Tesla Model X drives in the tunnel entrance before an unveiling event for the Boring Co. Hawthorne test tunnel in California

Missteps, tough times and controversy

Elon Musk is not a perfect, infallible hero. He is a brilliant creator of extraordinary vision and capability, but he is also, according to some former employees, a very hard man to work for. He works 80-hour weeks, and he expects his engineers to work crazy hours, too.

He is often impatient with co-workers, and when he's under stress, he sometimes fires people on the spot for what he considers displays of incompetence, but others might describe as very minor mistakes.

In his public communications, he has made a number of errors in judgment, sometimes sending out incendiary tweets that he later had to apologize for (he tweets a lot).

In May 2020, Musk weathered a storm of controversy over his decision to reopen his Tesla Motors manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, after a two-month closure, in disobedience to an Alameda County administrator who ruled that Tesla was not an "essential business" and should remain closed due to the region's SARS-CoV-2 pandemic lockdown.

Although there have been controversies and ill-considered public remarks, there have been few major errors in core business execution. With Tesla and SpaceX having weathered their fragile early growth years and now well on the way to becoming massive cash cows, there is now little to slow Elon Musk down as he strives to drive his companies "ad astra" to the stars.

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Who is Elon Musk, and what made him big? - DW (English)

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2012: "I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor." – 60 Minutes – CBS News

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Founded in 2002 with a stated mission to "revolutionize space technology," Elon Musk's SpaceX has set out to reach a milestone that the world has been waiting years to see. Originally set to take off and make history on Wednesday, May 27th, SpaceX's launch of two NASA astronauts to outer space was scrubbed less than 20 minutes before liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was postponed due to inclement weather, and has been rescheduled for today. In the wake of this new era of spaceflight, 60 Minutes Overtime takes a look back at Musk's 2012 interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley, where the entrepreneur describes his excitement and inspiration in creating SpaceX, and his hopes that it will "push the envelope" and "capture the imagination."

Though Musk has a background in physics and business, SpaceX marks his first aerospace based venture. He told us at the time that in the pursuit of getting people interested in space again, he wanted to pour some of his personal fortune into his own company, and to build his own rockets.

"The odds of me coming into the rocket business, not knowing anything about rockets, not having ever built anything, I mean, I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor," Musk told 60 Minutes in 2012.

But Musk explained the importance of dedicating time and effort to space exploration, believing it to be essential for the survival of mankind.

"It is important that humanity become a multi-planet species," Musk said. "I think most people would agree that a future where we are a space-faring civilization is inspiring and exciting compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event. You know, that's really why I started SpaceX."

Though stocked with talented engineers, influential investors and the desire to innovate and explore, SpaceX has dealt with its fair share of obstacles, from disapproving astronauts at NASA and some elected officials, to failed rockets and money lost in personal investments. However, Musk has always believed in his own company, saying "we're a little scrappy company[but] every now and again, the little scrappy company wins. And I think this'll be one of those times."

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2012: "I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor." - 60 Minutes - CBS News

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Elon Musk and Grimes have changed their baby’s name. A bit – CNN

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CNN's Jeanne Moos reports."},{"title":"Video shows bear following boy during a family hike","duration":"01:17","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/26/bear-follows-boy-italy-orig-vstop-bdk.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/26/bear-follows-boy-italy-orig-vstop-bdk.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526063928-04-brown-bear-video-intl-scli-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/26/bear-follows-boy-italy-orig-vstop-bdk.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"An Italian boy named Alessandro was captured on video while he was being followed by a brown bear during a hike with his family.","descriptionText":"An Italian boy named Alessandro was captured on video while he was being followed by a brown bear during a hike with his family."},{"title":"A white woman apologized for calling police on black man","duration":"01:34","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com/","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/26/central-park-dog-dispute-video-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/26/central-park-dog-dispute-video-newday-sot-vpx.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526010817-central-park-nyc-file-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/26/central-park-dog-dispute-video-newday-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"A white woman has apologized for calling police on a black man in Central Park, after the two argued about her unleashed dog. CNN's John Berman explains.","descriptionText":"A white woman has apologized for calling police on a black man in Central Park, after the two argued about her unleashed dog. CNN's John Berman explains."},{"title":"13-year-old boy earns four associate's degrees","duration":"00:42","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/05/26/13-year-old-4-associates-degrees-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/05/26/13-year-old-4-associates-degrees-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200526081027-13-year-old-4-associates-degrees-mxp-vpx-00001114-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/05/26/13-year-old-4-associates-degrees-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"A 13-year-old boy in California has graduated from college with four associate's degrees.","descriptionText":"A 13-year-old boy in California has graduated from college with four associate's degrees."},{"title":"The 100th anniversary of Peggy Lee's birth","duration":"02:44","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/05/26/the-100th-anniversary-of-peggy-lees-birth.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/05/26/the-100th-anniversary-of-peggy-lees-birth.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525172909-peggy-lee-100-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/05/26/the-100th-anniversary-of-peggy-lees-birth.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Peggy Lee's granddaughter talks about the legendary singer and celebrations around the 100th anniversary of her birth. Rick Damigella reports.","descriptionText":"Peggy Lee's granddaughter talks about the legendary singer and celebrations around the 100th anniversary of her birth. Rick Damigella reports."},{"title":"Royal reveals what scares him about being a father","duration":"00:51","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/05/25/prince-william-parenthood-princess-diana-death-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/05/25/prince-william-parenthood-princess-diana-death-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525085507-prince-william-parenthood-princess-diana-death-mxp-vpx-00000222-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/05/25/prince-william-parenthood-princess-diana-death-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Prince William opened up in a new BBC documentary "Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health," about grief over the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, that resurfaced when he became a father. ","descriptionText":"Prince William opened up in a new BBC documentary "Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health," about grief over the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, that resurfaced when he became a father. "},{"title":"Sports star surprises fans with bright new hair","duration":"00:58","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/05/25/dwyane-wade-red-hair-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/05/25/dwyane-wade-red-hair-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200525082058-dwyane-wade-red-hair-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/05/25/dwyane-wade-red-hair-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"NBA star Dwyane Wade surprised his fans by posting pictures and videos of himself with bright red hair.","descriptionText":"NBA star Dwyane Wade surprised his fans by posting pictures and videos of himself with bright red hair."},{"title":"Kendall Jenner's 'twin' steps into spotlight in new show","duration":"02:20","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/05/25/kirby-jenner-kardashian-family-quibi-show-sot-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/05/25/kirby-jenner-kardashian-family-quibi-show-sot-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200524211310-kirby-jenner-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/05/25/kirby-jenner-kardashian-family-quibi-show-sot-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"There's a new reality show from the Kardashian-Jenner family, but it has a twist. The show centers around a 24-year-old performance artist who has risen to fame over the past five years with his parody Instagram account, where he pretends to be the fraternal twin brother of Kendall Jenner.","descriptionText":"There's a new reality show from the Kardashian-Jenner family, but it has a twist. The show centers around a 24-year-old performance artist who has risen to fame over the past five years with his parody Instagram account, where he pretends to be the fraternal twin brother of Kendall Jenner."},{"title":"NBA star reworks lyrics of famous song to be about diapers","duration":"00:49","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/sports/2020/05/22/stephen-curry-dirty-diaper-song-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"sports/2020/05/22/stephen-curry-dirty-diaper-song-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200522083411-stephen-curry-dirty-diaper-song-mxp-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/sports/2020/05/22/stephen-curry-dirty-diaper-song-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"NBA player Stephen Curry posted a video on Youtube singing to his son to the tune of SWV's "Weak," but Curry's version was all about dirty diapers. ","descriptionText":"NBA player Stephen Curry posted a video on Youtube singing to his son to the tune of SWV's "Weak," but Curry's version was all about dirty diapers. "},{"title":"Swim as the shark in 'Maneater'","duration":"01:19","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/05/22/swim-as-the-shark-in-maneater.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/05/22/swim-as-the-shark-in-maneater.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200522085812-swim-as-the-shark-in-maneater-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/05/22/swim-as-the-shark-in-maneater.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"A new video game puts players in the role of a shark capable of some very unusual evolutions. Rick Damigella reports.","descriptionText":"A new video game puts players in the role of a shark capable of some very unusual evolutions. Rick Damigella reports."},{"title":"Kristen Bell gets real about potty training her kids","duration":"00:57","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/05/22/kristen-bell-kids-in-diapers-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/05/22/kristen-bell-kids-in-diapers-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200522082135-kristen-bell-kids-in-diapers-mxp-vpx-00005714-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/05/22/kristen-bell-kids-in-diapers-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Actress Kristen Bell opened up about the differences in potty training her two children on her show "Momsplaining with Kristen Bell." ","descriptionText":"Actress Kristen Bell opened up about the differences in potty training her two children on her show "Momsplaining with Kristen Bell." 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Elon Musk and Grimes have changed their baby's name. A bit - CNN

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Elon Musk’s big day gets scuttled by clouds, and four other business stories you need to read today – CNN

Posted: at 3:06 am

5, 4, 3, 2 ... WAIT!

May 27 was about to be declared Elon Musk Christmas.Now we'll have to wait until at least Saturday.

If there's one thing the SpaceX CEO loves more than stirring up Twitter feuds and cultivating his eccentric-genius persona, it's big, ambitious projects like putting humans into orbit.

The NASA/SpaceX launch, when the weather allows, will mark a triple crown of historic accomplishments, including the first time that astronauts have hitched a ride on a commercial vessel. When the day comes, it will be a huge win for the 18-year-old SpaceX, which isrunning mission control and built the capsule, called Crew Dragon, that will dock with the International Space Station.

Here's hoping for clear skies this Saturday.

THE ONE WHERE THE GANG RETURNS TO STREAMING

When "Friends" was streaming on Netflix, people watched nearly 33 billion minutes (that 'b' is not a typo) of reruns in 2018, the second most-watched series after "The Office," according to Nielsen data.

That's 550 million hours in a single year. Or 230,000 days the world spent with the gang in a year.

The show left Netflix on January 1, 2020, which means its legions of fans have been, um, on a break, for half a year. And 2020 hasn't exactly been a cake walk so far.

At a time when people are feeling isolated and scared and nostalgic for when we could dance in water fountains with abandon, "Friends" couldn't return at a better time.

MARKETS KEEP ON PARTYING

Investors kept hitting the punchbowl like there's no tomorrow. The problem is ... there might not be.

Who doesn't love a good old fashioned economic bailout? Not to be the grumpy neighbor across the hall asking you turn the music down but let's take a minute to remember why we're stimulating the economy again. Millions of people lost their jobs in a worldwide pandemic, and that can't be good for the economy (Ron Howard voice: It's not).

On Thursday, the US Labor Department is expected to announce 2.1 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims. But markets are focusing on the positive, even though the positive is a reaction to the (very) negative.

THE FUTURE: BUYING MANOLOS FROM WALMART

It's an interesting tie-up for a few reasons. First, it gives Walmart a chance to bring high fashion labels like "lightly used" Coach and Michael Kors under its retail tent. Those names might seem a bit off brand for a big-box store known for low-cost fast fashion, but given the pandemic's hit to pocketbooks, it may be an opportunity to bring in shoppers who previously wouldn't think to seek out luxury labels on walmart.com.

ThredUp and similar consignment fashion sites like Poshmark also benefit from growing concerns about ethical and environmentally conscious shopping, especially among younger consumers.

DISNEY NEEDS SOME MAGIC

Reopening its premiere park is a big deal, with big risks, for Disney and the tourism industry broadly. If Disney can pull off a safe reopening, it sends a message that travel and fun with face masks and social distancing measures enforced is possible again. But managing the health risks to customers and staff won't be easy.

IN OTHER NEWS

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Elon Musk's big day gets scuttled by clouds, and four other business stories you need to read today - CNN

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Tired of the Mess Earth is in? Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos Are Readying Outer Space for You to Liv… – News18

Posted: at 3:06 am

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Image: AP)

Our apartment is about the same size as our old house on Earth and it has a garden. Alpha was one of the first habitats to be built, so our trees have had the time to grow to a good size. For a town of 10,000 people were in rather good shape for entertainment, four small cinemas, quite a few good restaurants and many amateur theatrical and musical groups. It takes only a few minutes to travel over to neighbouring communities, so we visit them often for movies, concerts or just a change in climate. In Alpha we have our own low-gravity swimming pools. Quite often, Jenny and I climb the path to the North Pole and pedal out along the zero-gravity axis of the sphere for half an hour or so, especially after sunset, when we can see the soft lights from the pathways below.

Its easy to figure out that this passage is from a sci-fi novel. It may be tempting to dismiss such lives lived in space modules orbiting the earth, as too fancy and futuristic. No longer. This extract about spending a whole life orbiting earth is from High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space written by a Princeton physicist Gerard K O Neill in 1976. This novel today stands apart from others in the genre because it is the basis or inspiration of the utopian dream being brought closer to reality by Amazons Jeff Bezoz with his space company Blue Origin.

Bezos got obsessed with the idea of human colonies orbiting in space and leaving the earth behind. According to Franklin Foers writing in The Atlantic in November 2019, a local newspaper reported a speech Bezos made in school in which he said that his intention was to get all people off the Earth and see it turned into a huge national park. Bezoz got the idea from O Neills novel.

Bezos's moon mission is scheduled for 2024 and his larger idea is not to send vehicles to and from the moon but to set up colonies there, which according to various estimates, is just about a 100 years away. But the idea of huge space modules orbiting the earth will be closer in time. Such giant modules can be used by communities to escape viruses like Covid-19 that threaten to wipe out entire populations. Such modules are self-sustained and the atmosphere inside replicates the earth in many ways. The present International Space Station has already spent over 7,800 days in space and more than 230 people have lived in them for various durations so the science and the data for long duration stay is easily available. Clearly, ONeills dream and Bezoss space module project is coming closer to reality.

Along with Bezos on the forefront of such space projects are two other private companies, Virgin Atlantic and Elon Musks Space X. In September 2019, Musk unveiled his latest idea in space travel with the prototype for Space X, a massive reusable launch system: According to Musk, the new version of his Starship will be able to carry up to 100 people to the moon. It will be 387 feet long and will be totally reusable. In its first trip just a couple of years from now, the spaceship will take a few people who have already paid and booked seats for the trip, close to the moon and back.

Starship will allow us to inhabit other worlds. To make life as we know it, interplanetary, Musk wrote on Twitter in September last year. Bezos, Musk and the other space entrepreneur, Virgin Atlantics Richard Branson, have all the money, the dream, and the technology to make possible life beyond Earth and maybe permanent life in modules like O Neill visualised in High Frontiers. Virgin Atlantics commercial space travel programme, Virgin Orbit, did not have a good start when its mighty Launcher One rocket released at 36,000 ft, from its carrier vehicle, a decommissioned Boeing 747, failed to ignite this week on May 25, after take-off from California. But that is not seen as a setback since launching technology has already been perfected.

Our goal is to find ways in which all of humanity can share in the benefits that have come from the rapid expansion of human knowledge and yet present the material aspects of that expansion from fouling the worldwide nest in which we live, O Neill wrote in the forward to his novel. But it almost reads like a present day document. Bezoss large plan or belief is that the Earth must be left alone with no interference from degrading habits of humans.

Never has such a search for living away from earth for long periods sounded so urgent and doable.

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Tired of the Mess Earth is in? Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos Are Readying Outer Space for You to Liv... - News18

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Of course billionaires like Elon Musk love outer space. The Earth is too small for their egos – The Guardian

Posted: at 3:06 am

Here is the bad news: Earth is a bit of a mess at the moment. Here is the good news: there is still an entire universe out there for humans to destroy. And thanks to the ingenuity of a few space-obsessed billionaires, we might be poised to destroy it sooner rather than later.

On Wednesday, Elon Musks SpaceX company will (unless bad weather delays things) launch astronauts into orbit from US soil; the first time that has happened in nine years. Its one small step for man, but one giant leap for the commercial space industry. We are at the beginning of a new era of privatised, and mainly billionaire-backed, space exploration. Musk has SpaceX; Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin; Richard Branson has Virgin Orbit.

There are some people who find billionaires with big rockets very inspirational. Axioss space reporter, for example, opined: If SpaceX can pull it off, its first crewed flight will mark a beacon of hope in an otherwise dark time for the world. Hope for whom, I want to know? The World Bank estimates that between 40 and 60 million people will fall into extreme poverty (earning less than $1.90 a day) in 2020, thanks to Covid-19. What hope, exactly, does a rocket blasting into space provide when you cant put food on your plate?

Of course, space exploration is not a zero-sum game. You can solve problems on Earth while also trying to expand humanitys understanding of the universe. However, a lot of billionaires seem far more interested in colonising and profiting from space than they do in making life more bearable for their workers. Last year, for example, Bezos cut health benefits for 2,000 part-time workers at his grocery store Whole Foods, saving him a few million. He did that after boasting that he is so rich, the only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is space travel.

Seriously, if you think that billionaires are exploring space for the good of humankind then I have a bridge on Mars I can sell you. They are doing it for their ego and the commercial opportunity. They are doing it because they think they, quite literally, are the masters of the universe.

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Of course billionaires like Elon Musk love outer space. The Earth is too small for their egos - The Guardian

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Elon Musk wants you to read this story about one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time – MarketWatch

Posted: at 3:06 am

Tesla boss Elon Musk flagged it to his 35 million Twitter followers. Media mogul Steve Forbes cheered it as an absolute must read. And Fox News analyst Brit Hume is also apparently a fan.

Its the story of what may eventually be known as one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time, according to tech entrepreneur, military vet and bioengineer Yinon Weiss.

What story is that exactly?

The collective failure of every Western nation, except one, to question groupthink will surely be studied by economists, doctors, and psychologists for decades to come.

Thats his take, posted on RealClearPolitics.com last week, with regard to how governments around the world have handled the coronavirus pandemic.

In the face of a novel virus threat, China clamped down on its citizens, he wrote in his intro. Academics used faulty information to build faulty models. Leaders relied on these faulty models. Dissenting views were suppressed. The media flamed fears and the world panicked.

Weisss critique has resonated in recent days with the likes of Musk, who have consistently raged against lockdowns of business and personal activity to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as perhaps causing more damage than the coronavirus itself.

Weiss took shots at the government for taking extreme action when the fatality rate for those under 65 years old is no more dangerous than driving 13 to 101 miles per day. He used this chart to downplay the risks facing those not in the most vulnerable categories:

Even by conservative estimates, the odds of COVID-19 death are roughly in line with existing baseline odds of dying in any given year, Weiss wrote. Yet we put billions of young healthy people under house arrest, stopped cancer screenings, and sunk ourselves into the worst level of unemployment since the Great Depression.

He then hailed Sweden as a laudable blueprint, because it never closed down borders, primary schools, restaurants, or businesses, and never mandated masks, yet 99.998% of all their people under 60 have survived and their hospitals were never overburdened.

So why did the U.S. take the more heavy-handed approach?

Weiss placed some of the blame on the Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson for numbers, later slammed as unreliable, that led to the domino effect of the lockdowns.

But it goes beyond that.

If you are a hammer everything looks like a nail, he wrote. I blame government leaders for failing to surround themselves with diverse viewpoints and to think critically for themselves.

Weiss contends that leaders now know the lockdowns were a mistake but wont admit it. Instead, they will claim the lockdowns are the reason for the lower death rates, even as the results from Sweden, as you can see from this chart, suggests otherwise:

They were predicting what would happen in the next two weeks based on months of data, Weiss explained. Yet the daily death peak was 75% lower than the baseline prediction and 96% lower than the worst-case prediction. Swedens short-term results are worse than Norway, Finland, and Denmark, but better than the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, and Belgium.

Meanwhile, according to Johns Hopkins University, the virus has infected 5.5 million people worldwide, killing close to 350,000. The U.S. has seen nearly 100,000 deaths.

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Elon Musk wants you to read this story about one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time - MarketWatch

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