SpaceX’s busy year is already ramping up with another Starlink launch
SpaceX launches… Tesla can’t stand the snow… Elon Musk embraces Dogecoin. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #281 — subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.
Last week, Musk Reads+ members heard from Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck about how its unusually-shaped rocket enables new missions. This week, members will hear from the developers of an all-electric Tundra Buggy designed to get up-close with polar bears.
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Musk quote of the week: “The most entertaining outcome is the most likely” — Elon Musk tweeted on January 16 in response to Dogecoin creator Billy Markus’ claim that “something can be a joke and still useful.” If you’re feeling flippant, he’s right.
SpaceX: Falcon 9 has landed
SpaceX’s busy year is well underway. Earlier this week, on January 13, the company launched its Transporter-3 mission from Cape Canaveral at 10:26 a.m. Eastern.
The flight — the 10th for this particular Falcon 9 — landed smoothly shortly after its launch, at 10:35 a.m.
Next on SpaceX’s full list of plans? More Starlink. On January 15, Elon Musk tweeted that there are 1,469 active Starlink satellites (slightly less than the around-1,800 total satellites launched) and 272 satellites “moving to operational orbits,” with the satellites’ new laser links also set to activate soon.
And the network is growing — SpaceX was scheduled to launch its latest 49-strong round of satellites on January 18 at 7:04 p.m. Eastern. But if you’re one of the 145,000 Starlink buyers without service, consider this your reminder that Starlink has (frustratingly!) not provided a concrete coverage start date for its users. Still, you can obtain a full refund at any time.
Tesla: Slip and slide
Recently, the r/TeslaLounge subreddit has been full of Tesla owners sliding on winter’s icy black roads. If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ll see international complaints of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y heat pumps “seizing en-masse,” as one user put it, leaving owners with frozen windows and selves. Can Teslas handle this year’s cold?
Yes — with a bit of help. All cars can be prone to sliding on slick ice, so it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the change in weather and brush up on what to do if weather beats your all-wheel-drive. As for Tesla’s heat pump issue, although the problem might be a hardware defect, Elon Musk announced on January 15 that a software “fix to recalibrate heat pump expansion valve is rolling out now.”
Are you a Tesla owner experiencing issues in the winter? Do you have any handy winter tips and tricks to share with your fellow Musk Reads readers? Let us know in the comments or by responding to this email!
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9. A team of former SpaceX engineers created a robot that makes pizza every 45 seconds. Insider reports that when SpaceX first built the robot, it caused a “cheese explosion” — which is known in the biz to be more delicious than a rocket explosion.
8. We may never get the once-again-delayed Cybertruck, but YouTuber Joshua Chang was able to grab his own $2,000, child-sized Tesla Cyberquad. Real children enjoyed the Cyberquad in his new video, but Chang was less thrilled with the price tag. It’s like a Barbie Jeep. But $2,000.
7. At least the baby Cyberquad has a well-functioning brake, unlike this delivered Model 3, which immediately needed a brake pad. And a new rotor. And a new caliper. Tesla said the screeching brakes were “normal.”
6. As cars get smarter, issues can show up in their software, too. Vice reports that a hacker was able to use a third-party app to remotely access “dozens of Tesla cars all over the world.” But the hacker stresses that the app is the issue, not Tesla.
5. California prosecutors sued a Tesla driver involved in a fatal 2019 crash that involved Autopilot. The defendant is the first “to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system,” reports the Associated Press. Teslas are not autonomous. Stay safe!
4. Up in space, astronauts’ red blood cells are being torn apart. A bad case of space anemia.
3. But that blood isn’t going anywhere — astronauts on the International Space Station are “testing 3D bioprinted bandages made of their own cells.” Can I bioprint an extra thumb?
2. Hey, as long as we’re talking about space-blood, what happens if your bioprinted bandages just don’t cut it and you spontaneously space-die? Well… It’s complicated.
1. And a piece of Musk history: Sorry for all the blood and space guts this Musk Reads; I guess the January weather makes me aware of my mortality. Let’s lighten things up; remember October 2021, when Musk named his dog Floki and drove a cryptocurrency surge? That was fun, right?
The ultra-fine print — This has been Musk Reads #281, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, newsletter writer at Inverse.
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