martedì 5 luglio 2016

Elon Musk News - Issue 21

"I think sometimes the stock moves for random reasons. If [TSLA] ends up being a mood barometer, then it's not a happy life." - Elon Musk

Elon Musk News

ISSUE 21  July 1st 2016

Here are the top 3 stories in this issue of Elon Musk News:
  1. 'Tesla Solar' Wants to Be the Apple Store for Electricity
  2. Paying for the road to Mars
  3. Elon Musk's Favorite Animal Is From 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'

This week Elon Musk tweeted a Bloomberg article which discusses the implications of a Tesla - SolarCity merger. There have been dozens of articles written about this, however the article on 'Tesla Solar' becoming the Apple store for electricity is by far the most nuanced.
Another article I want to highlight is Space News's titled 'Paying for the road to Mars'. It discuses the financial and strategic plans needed to make Mars travel possible, and is full of juicy details.
I also have a big announcement coming up - something that I'll need your help with. So stay tuned!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the 21st issue!
Zachary K.D.

Featured Quote

"I think sometimes the stock moves for random reasons. If [TSLA] ends up being a mood barometer, then it's not a happy life."

— Elon Musk
Quote from Money Morning | Photo from Nasa Johnson

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Elon Musk News

Elon Musk's Favorite Animal Is From 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'

According to Musk, his favorite animal is the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, a creature found in Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which, according to the Hitchhiker wiki, is "a wild animal from the planet of Traal, known for its never-ending hunger and its mind-boggling stupidity."
Per Adams himself, you can use a trusty towel to "avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you)."


Paying for the Road to Mars [In Depth Article]

On Dec. 21, 2015, SpaceX did what most had considered impractical, if not impossible: the first stage of an orbital launch vehicle returned to its launch site and landed. This success followed a five year, mostly privately-funded "trial-and-error" development effort, featuring multiple spectacular failures. Less than four months later and after more crash landings, on April 8, 2016, they achieved an even greater improbability: successfully landing on a wave-tossed barge on the open ocean. Since then, they've executed more landings, and sustained one more failure.
Today is a time of relentless budget deficits, and Brexit is causing further financial and political turmoil. The United States and the Western world are engaged in expensive military campaigns against multiple ruthless and hard-to-find enemies with no end in sight. An aging population is increasingly in need of long-term care. This is not a time to propose expensive, decades-long adventures on Mars funded solely by taxpayers. By sharing costs with commercial markets in space, and paying as they go, Musk... might yet find a road to Mars and the inner Solar System that has a chance of success.

NASA negotiated discounts after SpaceX launch failure [In Depth Article]

NASA received discounted prices for future cargo missions and other "significant consideration" from SpaceX in the aftermath of the loss of a Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station, according to a NASA report.
The report, issued by the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) June 28, the one year anniversary of the Falcon 9 launch failure that destroyed the Dragon spacecraft bound for the ISS on a mission designated SpX-7, also raised questions about how NASA handles launch failure investigations, manages risk for cargo flights and assigns cargo for those missions.
The Falcon 9 failure, about two minutes after liftoff, resulted in the loss of cargo valued at $112 million, according to NASA. That included the first of two new docking adapters designed to allow future commercial crew vehicles to dock with the ISS. The lost cargo also included supplies that reduced the reserves of food, water and oxygen for the ISS, but did not pose an immediate danger for the station's crew.
The report indicates that, to compensate NASA for the lost cargo, SpaceX agreed to lower its prices for several later missions. In December 2015, NASA modified SpaceX's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract to add five additional missions, designated SpX-16 through 20. Those additional missions will be flown at "discounted prices," the report stated, "to help compensate for the SpX-7 failure."

NASA Hard at Work Torturing SpaceX's Crew Dragon Capsule

NASA and SpaceX are collaborating again, as the government agency tests pressure vessels the SpaceX wishes to incorporate into its Crew Dragon family of spacecraft. The Crew Dragon has been a long-time project for SpaceX, announced back in 2006.
At the time, SpaceX CEO referred to the Dragon as a "mix between Apollo and Soyuz," implying that the ship would have the crew-carrying components of the American Apollo shuttles and the ability to act as a cargo freighter for the International Space Station, like the Soviet Soyuz. It's reached the latter goal first, with several successful launches and one notable failure in 2015. Now it's setting sights on manned travel.
While NASA did not reveal what specific tests the Crew Dragon is running through, the Administration's Johnson Space Center (JSC) notes that structural testing can include "cyclic testing up to 100 Hz," temperatures ranging from -300 °F to 800 °F, load capacities of up to 220,000 pounds, and actuator capacities of up to 150,00 pounds. The JSC also notes that "nondestructive" testing components are crucial as well, including x-rays and evaluations of tech inside the ship.
Read the full article | Photo from SpaceX


'Tesla Solar' Wants to Be the Apple Store for Electricity [In Depth Article]

Elon Musk recently tweeted this article. It does a great job at analyzing why the Tesla-SolarCity merger is so important.
Tesla Motors Inc.'s bid to buy the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer has little to do with selling cars. Rather, it's about solving two of the biggest problems standing in the way of the next solar boom. And perhaps a good deal more. When Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk came out last week with his $2.86 billion plan to acquire SolarCity Inc., it was almost universally derided as a risky financial move that threatens to derail the electric car maker at its most critical moment. That's undoubtedly true. But in the dozens of analyst notes and news stories that picked apart the deal, there's been little attention paid to what we'll call "Tesla Solar" and how it could transform the power sector. It's actually a really big idea.
Is SolarCity a major distraction for Tesla? Probably. Does it add existential risk to both of these long, cash-torching bets? Most likely. Are the conflicts of interest messy? Definitely. But could the deal also result in the world's first clean-energy juggernaut, a company that does for solar power, batteries, and electric cars what Apple did for computers, phones, and software apps? It's worth considering.

Elon Musk Doesn't Care About the Tesla Stock Price - and That's OK

Elon Musk has proven time after time that he does not care about the day-to-day performance of the Tesla stock price. And we've seen that again after the Tesla stock price dropped more than 7% since last week's $2.8 billion offer to buy SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY).
In fact, the CEO and founder of luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) and the pioneering space technology company SpaceX has admitted this exact sentiment to investors before.
"I don't really follow the stock that much," Musk told Bloomberg in October 2014. "I think sometimes the stock moves for random reasons. If [TSLA] ends up being a mood barometer, then it's not a happy life."
He told reporters in October 2013, when TSLA was changing hands at $165, "The stock price that we have is more than we have any right to deserve." The following month the stock slid 26%. It's not the norm for a CEO to talk dismissively about the near-term performance of his company's stock. But Elon Musk is not your normal CEO. For most investors, that is part of Tesla's allure.

Tesla Model 3 exclusive leaked specs: 300kW+ inverter architecture putting its power capacity near Model S

According to the source... the inverter architecture for the Model 3 will have a capacity of "over 300kW", comparable to the Model S' RWD system even though the S is a much higher-end and bigger vehicle.
Our new details on the Model 3 powertrain are in line with these expectations. A main drive unit delivering over 300 kW combined with a similar dual motor as Tesla's current system delivering up to ~250kW could easily achieve supercar-like performance similar to the Model S.
Read the full article | Photo from Tesla

Exclusive on Tesla 8.0 update: new Autopilot features, biggest UI refresh since launch and much more

Tesla is referring internally to the 8.0 software update as the biggest update to the user interface since the launch of the Model S – bigger than the 7.0 update. It's also Tesla's first major UI update since its head of UI/UX left for competitor Faraday Future.

A fatal Tesla Autopilot accident prompts an evaluation by NHTSA

We would like to send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Joshua Brown.
A fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S on Autopilot and a tractor-trailer, which is just now coming to light but happened last month, prompts a preliminary evaluation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Though the Autopilot was indeed on when the crash occurred, it doesn't seem to have much to do with the accident the way Tesla describes it:
"What we know is that the vehicle was on a divided highway with Autopilot engaged when a tractor trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S. Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied. The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S."


Hyperloop One's co-founder and CTO Brogan BamBrogan is out at the company

Brogan BamBrogan, the co-founder and chief technology officer at Hyperloop One has stepped back from his role at the company. The former Vice President of Engineering Josh Giegel will be assuming BamBrogan's role and has been promoted to co-founder and President of engineering.
This wouldn't be the first instance of executive shuffling in the company's short history. As the story goes, Hyperloop One — formerly Hyperloop Technologies — came out of a conversation Shervin Pishevar had with Musk. Pishevar... said Musk mentioned the idea but said he was too busy with SpaceX. So in 2014, Pishevar took on the challenge of creating this new technology but specifically had his eye on transporting cargo. BamBrogan, an early member of SpaceX, later joined Pishevar and served as the interim CEO at the company until 2015 when Hyperloop One brought on ex-Cisco president Rob Lloyd to fill that role on a permanent basis.


SolarCity Explores The Impact Of Its 8 Million Installed Solar Panels

SolarCity has published a report exploring the impact of installing 8 million solar panels across America. For each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted in 2015, the clean energy systems they deployed avoided more than 3 tonnes, therefore "enabling a dramatic net reduction in global carbon emissions." In 2015, this net amount of avoided CO2 amounted to more than 820,000 metric tonnes-equivalent. Even taking into account the company's carbon footprint, the report found that the typical SolarCity system starts delivering net carbon reductions in less than a year.
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