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posted by martyb on Wednesday November 21 2018, @12:41PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the up-in-the-air dept.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's use of cannabis during an interview with Joe Rogan has led to safety reviews at both SpaceX and Boeing:

In addition to spurring problems for the car company Tesla, Elon Musk's puff of marijuana in September will also have consequences for SpaceX. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that NASA will conduct a "safety review" of both of its commercial crew companies, SpaceX and Boeing. The review was prompted, sources told the paper, because of recent behavior by Musk, including smoking marijuana on a podcast.

According to William Gerstenmaier, NASA's chief human spaceflight official, the review will be "pretty invasive" and involve interviews with hundreds of employees at various levels of the companies, across multiple worksites. The review will begin next year, and interviews will examine "everything and anything that could impact safety," Gerstenmaier told the Post.

[...] One source familiar with NASA's motivations said the agency has grown weary of addressing questions about SpaceX's workplace culture, from the long hours its employees work to Musk's behaviors on social media. "SpaceX is the frat house," this source said. "And NASA is the old white guy across the street yelling at them to 'Get off my lawn.'"

The "Big Falcon/Fucking Rocket" (BFR) has been renamed. The upper stage will be called Starship, while the booster will be called Super Heavy:

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted late Monday night that he has renamed the company's largest (and yet to be built) BFR rocket to Starship. Or more precisely, the spaceship portion will be called Starship. The rocket booster used to propel Starship from Earth's gravitational grasp will be called Super Heavy.

Plans to add a "mini-BFS" second stage to the Falcon 9 were scrapped less than 2 weeks after they were announced. Yet another design change for the BFR/Starship was also hinted at:

In a series of tweets Nov. 17, Musk said that SpaceX was no longer pursuing an upgrade to its existing Falcon 9 vehicle that would make the vehicle's second stage reusable. The company's focus, he said, would instead be on speeding up work on SpaceX's heavy-lift reusable launch vehicle formally known as Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR. "Accelerating BFR instead," Musk said. "New design is very exciting! Delightfully counter-intuitive." [...] Musk, in his latest tweets, said no major changes to the Falcon 9 were now on the table. "Yes, no upgrades planned for F9," he wrote. "Minor tweaks to improve reliability only, provided NASA & USAF are supportive."

Incidentally, SpaceX raised $250 million with its first loan instead of the $500-750 million the company previously sought.

Finally, NASA's associate administrator Stephen Jurczyk told Business Insider that the Space Launch System (SLS) would eventually be retired in favor of SpaceX's upcoming rocket (formerly known as BFR) and Blue Origin's New Glenn (Blue Origin is also planning an successor called New Armstrong, but no further details have been announced about the rocket). However, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine denied that SLS would be cancelled in 2022 "or any foreseeable date":

NASA 'will eventually retire' its new mega-rocket if SpaceX, Blue Origin can safely launch their own powerful rockets

NASA is building a giant rocket ship to return astronauts to the moon and, later on, ferry the first crews to and from Mars. But agency leaders are already contemplating the retirement of the Space Launch System (SLS), as the towering and yet-to-fly government rocket is called, and the Orion space capsule that'll ride on top. NASA is anticipating the emergence of two reusable and presumably more affordable mega-rockets that private aerospace companies are creating. Those systems are the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is being built by Elon Musk's SpaceX; and the New Glenn, a launcher being built by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

"I think our view is that if those commercial capabilities come online, we will eventually retire the government system, and just move to a buying launch capacity on those [rockets]," Stephen Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator, told Business Insider at The Economist Space Summit on November 1.

However, Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, appears to have publicly denied his colleague's statement. "In case there is any confusion, @NASA will NOT be retiring @NASA_SLS in 2022 or any foreseeable date. It is the backbone of America's return to the Moon with international and commercial partners," Bridenstine tweeted on Monday, following the initial publication of this story on Saturday.

Musk cannabis story also at Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Verge. BFR name change story also at BBC. Falcon 9 reusability story also at Ars Technica, Bloomberg, and Engadget.


Original Submission

Related Stories

SpaceX Seeks Loan From Bank of America; Falcon 9 Upper Stage to be Turned Into a Mini-BFR for Tests 11 comments

After Goldman Balks, Musk Turns to BofA to Handle SpaceX Loan

Elon Musk frequently makes outrageous requests of his staff in his quest to remake global transportation and colonize Mars. But the terms he wanted on a loan for SpaceX were too much even for his closest ally on Wall Street. As recently as last week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had been canvassing investors for interest in $500 million of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. debt. By the time interested parties showed up Wednesday at the Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan for a breakfast meeting, Bank of America Corp. was running the show for a $750 million deal.

The switch surprised bankers and investors, as Goldman is widely viewed as the Wall Street firm with the closest relationship to Musk. It helped take Tesla Inc. public in 2010, led a $1.8 billion bond sale last year and advised on his short-lived attempt to take the electric carmaker private for $420 a share. While Bank of America has a lending relationship with SpaceX, it has been shying away from some of the riskiest corners of the corporate-debt market.

Goldman balked when SpaceX, a first-time issuer, wanted wide latitude to raise additional debt in the future, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. The hesitation highlights uneasiness among banks that have been challenged by regulators over the risks they're taking in the $1.3 trillion leveraged-loan market. Insatiable investor appetite for floating-rate debt has allowed heavily indebted companies to extract more concessions from lenders.

Also at Reuters and Axios.

SpaceX plans to build a "mini-BFR ship" to replace the usual second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, ahead of late 2019 testing of the actual BFR/BFS. For now, this is intended only to test technologies for the BFR, such as the heat shield and "mach control surfaces". The new second stage will not be able to land propulsively, may not carry any payloads, and may only be used for a single test:

The goal for the modification is June 2019, Musk said in a follow up tweet. [...] [In September], SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said she expected the BFS to begin short, unmanned "hopping" tests in late 2019. This new timeline for a mini-BFR would fit perfectly with these tests.

In a follow up tweet, Musk said the tests would specifically look at how the mini-BFR's heat shield and mach control surfaces will hold up under the duress of launch and flight, elements that are difficult to test without actually escaping the Earth's orbit.

Also at Space News.


Original Submission

SpaceX's Starship Will Now be Made of Stainless Steel, With Tests Still Scheduled for Early 2019 13 comments

SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy (formerly Big Falcon Spaceship and Big Falcon Booster, or Big Falcon Rocket) have undergone further changes following a "final" iteration of the design in September. Elon Musk also said that a downscaled Starship hopper (for vertical takeoffs and landings) will "hopefully" be tested starting in March or April 2019, which is months sooner than a "late 2019" estimate made by SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell in September.

Recent photos taken of SpaceX's operation in Boca Chica, Texas have shown a stainless steel nose cone being built. The new stainless steel design was confirmed by Elon Musk, along with numerous other details. Musk said that stainless steel can beat carbon fiber composites due to its superior strength-to-mass ratio and "mirror-like" thermal reflectivity. SpaceX is using an on-site foundry to create its own steel "superalloy", although some steel parts will be made by a supplier. Finally, the test hopper will feature three "radically redesigned" Raptor engines while being slightly shorter than the full-scale Starship, although it will share the same 9-meter diameter:

While the suggestion that Raptor's turbopumps (basically fuel pumps) would need at least 100,000 HP per engine seems to indicate that the flight design's thrust has been appreciably uprated, a past figure of ~2000 kN (450,000 lbf) per engine suggests that Starship V0.1 could weigh as much as an entire Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket (~1.2 million pounds, 550,000 kg) and still having a solid 80-100% of Falcon 9's liftoff thrust. Put simply, the rocket that appears to be coming together in the boonies of South Texas could rival almost any other liquid fuel rocket booster in service, while still being the testbed for BFR's upper stage alone.

While it's ambiguous if several additional comments applied to the Starship prototype, the final product, or both, Musk also indicated that some of the biggest benefits of a shift away from carbon composites to stainless steel would be relative ease with which the material handles extreme heating. Thanks to the fact that stainless steel can ultimately be polished to mirror-like levels of reflectivity and that mirrors are some of the most efficient reflectors of thermal energy (heat), shiny and unpainted steel would ultimately perform far better than carbon composites and could end up requiring "much less" heat shielding for the same performance.

Perhaps most unintuitive is the fact that steel can apparently beat carbon composites when it comes to usable strength-to-weight ratios at supercool temperatures. According to Musk, steel also performs "vastly better" at high temperatures and appreciably better at room temperatures. A comment made on Saturday may lend additional credence to what seems at face value to contradict basic material intuition – at least some of the stainless steel SpaceX is examing would be a special (presumably SpaceX-engineered) alloy that has undergone what is known as cryogenic treatment, in which metals are subjected to extremely cold conditions to create some seriously unintuitive properties. Ultimately, cold-formed/worked or cryo-treated steel can be dramatically lighter and more wear-resistant than traditional hot-rolled steel.

Elon Musk hinted at a "delightfully counter-intuitive" redesign in November, which was almost certainly a reference to the use of stainless steel instead of carbon fiber composites. Here's a video (10m14s) which offers some speculation about how a steel Starship could effectively conduct and radiate away heat.

Also at Business Insider.


Original Submission

SpaceX Protests NASA's Award of "Lucy" Launch Contract to ULA 16 comments

SpaceX protests NASA launch contract award

SpaceX has filed a protest over the award of a launch contract to United Launch Alliance for a NASA planetary science mission, claiming it could carry out the mission for significantly less money.

The protest, filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Feb. 11, is regarding a NASA procurement formally known as RLSP-35. That contract is for the launch of the Lucy mission to the Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, awarded by NASA to ULA Jan. 31 at a total cost to the agency of $148.3 million. The GAO documents did not disclose additional information about the protest, other than the office has until May 22 to render a decision. NASA said that, as a result of the protest, it's halted work on the ULA contract.

[...] SpaceX confirmed that the company was protesting the contract. "Since SpaceX has started launching missions for NASA, this is the first time the company has challenged one of the agency's award decisions," a company spokesperson said in a statement to SpaceNews. "SpaceX offered a solution with extraordinarily high confidence of mission success at a price dramatically lower than the award amount, so we believe the decision to pay vastly more to Boeing and Lockheed for the same mission was therefore not in the best interest of the agency or the American taxpayers," the spokesperson added. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

[...] A key factor in the decision to award the contract to ULA was schedule certainty. Lucy has a complex mission profile with a series of flybys in order to visit several asteroid either leading or following Jupiter in its orbit around the sun. That results in a launch window that is open for only about 20 days in October 2021. Should the launch miss that window, the mission cannot be flown as currently planned.

Could it be retaliation for recent audits? Still, a matter of ±$70 million or so is almost nothing compared to the billions being spent annually on the Space Launch System.

Lucy (spacecraft) and trojans.

Also at Ars Technica and Teslarati.

Previously: NASA Selects Two Missions to Visit Asteroids


Original Submission

SpaceX Seeks Approval for 1 Million Starlink Ground Stations, Faces Pentagon Audit 15 comments

SpaceX seeks FCC OK for 1 million satellite broadband Earth stations

SpaceX is seeking US approval to deploy up to 1 million Earth stations to receive transmissions from its planned satellite broadband constellation.

The Federal Communications Commission last year gave SpaceX permission to deploy 11,943 low-Earth orbit satellites for the planned Starlink system. A new application from SpaceX Services, a sister company, asks the FCC for "a blanket license authorizing operation of up to 1,000,000 Earth stations that end-user customers will utilize to communicate with SpaceX's NGSO [non-geostationary orbit] constellation."

The application was published by FCC.report, a third-party site that tracks FCC filings. GeekWire reported the news on Friday. An FCC spokesperson confirmed to Ars today that SpaceX filed the application on February 1, 2019.

If each end-user Earth station provides Internet service to one building, SpaceX could eventually need authorization for more than 1 million stations in the US. SpaceX job listings describe the user terminal as "a high-volume manufactured product customers will have in their homes."

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @12:45PM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @12:45PM (#764681) Journal

    https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/9yv62r/nasa_to_launch_safety_review_of_spacex_and_boeing/ [reddit.com]

    Best conspiracy theory I saw is that the safety review is meant to create an artificial delay so that Boeing can catch up with Starliner [wikipedia.org].

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Touché) by DannyB on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:32PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:32PM (#764721) Journal

      Boeing should be investigated. Allow me to explain: if Boeing thinks they can catch up to SpaceX . . . what are they smoking?

      --
      This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:06PM

      by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:06PM (#764748)

      Actually, that sounds legit. Because taken at face value, the alternative is so insane everyone involved in the safety audit decisions should be immediately fired.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:10PM (23 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:10PM (#764688)

    Elon Musk's Use of Cannabis to Blame for NASA Safety Review at SpaceX and Boeing

    An executive smokes a doobie? An executive who is not actually designing or building anything? That is cause for safety concerns? What about the countless executives who are getting drunk off their asses on a regular basis? For that matter, the government employees - say, at NASA - who drink or partake in cannabis?

    FFS, people, keep your eyes on the prize. NASA hasn't been able to manage the development of a feasible (or cost effective) new rocket. Let the creative people feed their muses and drag the rest of us into the 21st century.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Nuke on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:33PM (14 children)

      by Nuke (3162) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:33PM (#764695)

      An executive smokes a doobie? An executive who is not actually designing or building anything? That is cause for safety concerns?

      Yes it is. In fact Musk does not design or build anything, he directs people who do, and is the company figurehead and main representative; that is the nature of his job. Therefore in a public interview he is at work, he is supposed to be doing his job.

      As for people who work for NASA, government etc, getting drunk, it does not matter if it is in their own time. OTOH if they are drunk/stoned/high at work they should indeed be sacked, I'd have no sympathy. In fact in my own industry we do have blood tests for drink and drugs at work.

      Whether his judgement was affected or not, his attitude stinks and public judgement of the man matters anyway. His behaviour is on a level with Richard Stallman's picking at his feet and eating it during a televised interview. We are now in an era where even smoking tobacco in a working environment has become unacceptable. The man stinks. I have a senior engineering post in the nuclear industry, and I would not now place a contract with his company.

      • (Score: 4, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:51PM (5 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @01:51PM (#764702) Homepage Journal

        All I can say is, lighten up Francis. This isn't the 1930's and that movie isn't playing anywhere anymore. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028346/ [imdb.com]

        --
        The only reason for not believing in it (Marxism) is that it doesn't work. - Thomas Sowell
        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:03PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:03PM (#764776)

          Good. Then your doc can do all the drugs he wants to, also. As can your airline pilot. As can your nuclear power plant control engineer.

          Glad we got that settled.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:28PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:28PM (#764792)

            Oh thanks, you solved the problem. You just mentioned those that should have special ethical rules. Luckily Elon and Stallman is neither.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:55PM

              by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:55PM (#764803) Journal

              Alternatively, the surgeon or airline pilot can smoke a fat blunt while on a podcast or in their own free time, but not during surgery or when flying a plane.

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:58PM (1 child)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:58PM (#764849) Homepage Journal

              "special ethical rules"

              Why? The ethics should be the same for everyone. Don't report for duty impaired. That's really pretty simple, isn't it? People who have a problem with that simple rule aren't going to find themselves in responsible positions. Seriously - you can look around any town, and find some number of people who are known to be "good workers", but never get ahead because they show up drunk, high, or whatever. Or, they just miss days, because they are hungover. No one is going to put a scalpel in their hands, and ask them to perform brain surgery on you.

              Somehow, I don't see an occasional toke impairing Musk's performance.

              --
              The only reason for not believing in it (Marxism) is that it doesn't work. - Thomas Sowell
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23 2018, @03:44AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23 2018, @03:44AM (#765427)

                Okay fine, I'm smart enough to make rules that apply to everyone: DON'T ENDANGER OTHER PEOPLES LIVES!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:02PM (#764709)

        This. This is why people freaked out over it. About time they and others get an actual safety review.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:03PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:03PM (#764710) Journal

        Musk has the Bill Clinton defense, puffed but didn't really inhale.

        The cannabis issue is obviously... overblown.

        Also, the U.S. Air Force apparently decided that they don't care [thehill.com]. But NASA wants to dredge this up? Something stinks, and it's not the Musk.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:11PM

        by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:11PM (#764753)

        Actually, everything you wrote is fairly ridiculous. Musk gets it done. Maybe stop wailing and gnashing your teeth and start emulating him. If people work very, very hard they might aspire to become a somewhat pale shadow of him. Which, on the whole, would be an amazing boon to our country.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:44PM (#764760)

        You sure you wanna go with the Homer Simpson credibility?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:49PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:49PM (#764797)

        you're what's wrong with this country.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:47PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:47PM (#764879) Journal

          Do you really want an answer?
          Do you think SN's servers could handle it?

          --
          This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:50PM (#764881)

        Whether his judgement was affected or not, his attitude stinks and public judgement of the man matters anyway

        So you're saying you don't like his attitude, and that how the public feels about an executive warrants a safety inspection? Those things sound more like concerns for shareholders, not the government.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday November 22 2018, @02:28PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 22 2018, @02:28PM (#765191) Journal

        Yes it is. In fact Musk does not design or build anything, he directs people who do, and is the company figurehead and main representative; that is the nature of his job. Therefore in a public interview he is at work, he is supposed to be doing his job.

        So what does that have to do with NASA? Have the SpaceX board of directors give him the slap on the wrist he obviously deserves and get back to work. And if you ever want a long term solution to the alleged safety concerns brought up, just attach massive financial penalties to any frivolous attempts for one aerospace company to use these procedures to obstruct the progress of other aerospace companies' work. This is a thing that has been going on for decades and has nothing to do with legitimate concern for safety.

        Whether his judgement was affected or not, his attitude stinks and public judgement of the man matters anyway. His behaviour is on a level with Richard Stallman's picking at his feet and eating it during a televised interview. We are now in an era where even smoking tobacco in a working environment has become unacceptable. The man stinks. I have a senior engineering post in the nuclear industry, and I would not now place a contract with his company.

        Oh, look, yet another incident I don't care about. There is a solution here - disregard the judgments of people who care that much about foot picking in public that they're willing to make bad decisions.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:12PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:12PM (#764712)

      An executive smokes a doobie?

      During an interview. If he had been drinking alcohol during that interview, I'm sure the same reaction would have happened.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bradley13 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:09PM (6 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:09PM (#764711) Homepage Journal

    M̀usk has done some amazing things, but he was too successful, too young. His money means that he can have almost anything he wants, so he has grown into a man-child.

    Smoking a doobie in a public interview about your business? On the federal level, marijuana is still illegal, so this reeks of some stupid teen daring the cops: "lookie what I can do, lookie, lookie, you can't touch me!"

    Yes, it's stupid to force an extra safety review, because the founder is emotionally immature. On the other hand, Musk is asking for it. Somewhere, there is an prison jumpsuit with his name on it. It damned near got used with the "funding secured" tweet. One of these days, Musk will go too far, and some prosecutor gets to make a name for himself.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:28PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:28PM (#764718) Journal

      The people of several states have taken it upon themselves to "legalize" recreational cannabis because the actual man-children of Congress don't want to do the right thing.

      I doubt anybody was ironing the wrinkles in this supposed prison jumpsuit. The SEC is not known for its harsh punishments.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:37PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:37PM (#764724) Journal

      Musk was merely investigating alternate combustible fuel sources.

      The same could be said if he were drinking alcohol.

      --
      This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:08PM (#764751)

      One of these days, Musk will go too far, and some prosecutor gets to make a name for himself.

      And every Tesla on the road will mysteriously stop and refuse to move until he is released.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:51PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:51PM (#764882)

        Why stop moving, when they have autopilot to go blockade the tribunal ?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:13PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:13PM (#764855) Homepage Journal

      Not sure if you should get an "interesting" or a "touche" mod. You've hit it right there. Musk still has his youth, and he is willing to do daring things. That's all cool and all - he takes his risks, like anyone else who has ever done daring things. But, Musk is at a disadvantage that few of us probably imagine. He IS successful. Because of that, people are jealous, and want to see him fail. And, if he doesn't fail all on his own, they will be happy to become his stumbling stones.

      "Oh, outrageous! Musk touched a doobie! He actually TOOK A PUFF! We have to punish him!"

      Of course, they'll never let on that they are jealous. They wish they had the balls to light up whenever, wherever. But, alas, they have dedicated their lives to mediocre conformity, so they can't do what Musk does. So - Musk must die.

      --
      The only reason for not believing in it (Marxism) is that it doesn't work. - Thomas Sowell
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:51PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @02:51PM (#764735)

    Having watched the interview here is what happened:
    Rogan lights up the and Musk, after confirming that it was legal in the state, tries ONE PUFF, just to try it.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ycPr5-27vSI [youtube.com]
    Also
    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/elon-musk-trying-marijuana-isn-t-shocking-our-hypocritical-response-ncna908321 [nbcnews.com]

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:06PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:06PM (#764747) Journal

      As far as I know, it's something Joe Rogan tries to do with a lot of his guests. I guess he didn't do it with Neil deGrasse Tyson though [inverse.com].

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday November 22 2018, @04:07AM

        by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday November 22 2018, @04:07AM (#765064) Homepage Journal

        Reminds me of Richard Feynman, who said that he wanted to experience the whole thing, but didn't want to actually take something in his body that messes up with the organ that gives him all the importance. (I am paraphrasing, of course.) He eventually spent inordinate amount of time in isolation champers that were being built for research purposes around that time.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by bradley13 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:07PM (6 children)

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:07PM (#764750) Homepage Journal

      ...and he probably didn't inhale, either. Sure. I also have a bridge to sell, if you're in the market.

      Look, I personally have nothing against cannabis, or alcohol, or whatever your poison of choice is. I'm libertarian that way. But it's still a stupid stunt for someone in the public spotlight, representing serious business interests, and yet living in a country with some really uptight conservatives.

      Man-child.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by crafoo on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:16PM (4 children)

        by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:16PM (#764754)

        Why is it a "stupid stunt"? Do you seriously think he gives a shit what uptight children like you think? He shot a car into space. He hires engineers based on merit and ability not their resumes. He's successful where multi-billion dollar companies are regulatory-capturing failures. I think he knows what he is doing and does not give a single fuck for the old, paralyzed failures in the field.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:13PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:13PM (#764784)

          Musk does things. Real man-childs bitches about it.

          Honestly, most people are too stuffy. They use their stuffiness to bully others. They then accuse those who do things of doing the very things they advocate against. It is a form of control and ego protection.

          I hope he does even more amazing things. That hyperloop thing is theoretical garbage (he has to know it at this point). But he is instead pivoting it to fix our infrastructure in interesting ways.

          The real issue is jealousy. They are green with envy that their life is not turning out the same way. This dude is a billionaire who does fun things. He has about 0 effect in my life other than I sometimes see a tesla.

          Boeing, NG, RocketDyne and NASA need a shakeup. They went from putting people on the moon. To companies that are rent seeking and keepers of the regulations. Competition in this area is going to fix a lot of issues with it.

          My guess this set of articles is a hit piece and run through what we call 'news' these days (look at the sources). Which is little more than children copying off of each others homework. Giving it some flowery language and a slick presentation. I have grown weary of dogging them down. But my guess if you dig into the sources you will find a root source that basically all of the others copied from.

          If people still think Musk is not a 'maker of things'. Would *any* of what he made exist today if he had just sat on his money and played VC guy? Probably not. He is causing great things to happen. Is he a 'nice person' who knows, not sure I care. I do not know the guy. He may be a total shitlord or help little old ladies across the street. But he is doing great things. I am not even a 'fan'. I can at least acknowledge him.

          But this quote always sticks with me from a movie "Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:20PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:20PM (#764790)

            "Carla was the prom queen."

            The last film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. Because Simpson died of drug overdose shortly thereafter. Maybe the winners also don't do stupid shit, too.

            But since we have the pussy grabber as President we are indeed in an era where the rich do get to do whatever the fuck they want and get away with it.

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:19PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:19PM (#764860) Homepage Journal

              the rich do get to do whatever the fuck they want and get away with it.

              Imagine that. I do believe, though, that the era began around the time that the first monkey-man staked a claim to the best banana tree. That accomplished, he started fucking every monkey-woman in sight, in exchange for bananas. "Just let me bang you, Baby, and you can have whatever you like!"

              --
              The only reason for not believing in it (Marxism) is that it doesn't work. - Thomas Sowell
          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:04PM

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:04PM (#764812) Journal

            I hope he does even more amazing things. That hyperloop thing is theoretical garbage (he has to know it at this point). But he is instead pivoting it to fix our infrastructure in interesting ways.

            It might still be applicable to Mars, which has lower gravity and dramatically lower atmospheric pressure. Which should mean less power required to create a partial vacuum, etc.

            Meanwhile, Hyperloop on Titan would suck. But people could get around Titan with little helicopters.

            --
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      • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:37PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:37PM (#764875) Journal

        ...and he probably didn't inhale, either. Sure. I also have a bridge to sell, if you're in the market.

        Instead of throwing shade, you could just watch the clip [youtube.com].

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:31PM (#764756)

    The Worstington Puss is Bezos's personal propaganda rag. This may be him trying to play the other players off each other. Confirmation would be if Blue Origin has a big announcement around the time the investigations start getting a lot of press.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:42PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @03:42PM (#764759)

    to the daily Tesla updates?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:55PM (#764804)

      They have filled all the parking lots of other companies with vehicles off the assembly lines

      There is Tesla security everywhere now.

      Unsurprisingly, the Tesla employees who used to blow joints behind other company's buildings have disappeared.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:04PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:04PM (#764813) Journal

      Tesla stopped sucking so bad and posted a profit.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:56PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:56PM (#764847) Journal

        Thus, no bad news, no news.

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:28PM (4 children)

    by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @04:28PM (#764793) Journal

    Ah, marketing. Is there anything its practitioners cannot mis/maldescribe?

    • Starship - for a ship that will never go to the stars
    • Artificial Intelligence - for systems that have no intelligence
    • 3D Televisions - for televisions that only do flat stereo imaging

    A while back, I wrote a short essay about this [fyngyrz.com] with regard to the misuse of the terms "AI" and "3D television."

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:00PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:00PM (#764809) Journal

      He was called out about the "Starship" on Twitter, and he said that a future version would be able to go interstellar. Big whatever to that answer. However, shouldn't a starship travel into a star, like that one on Stargate Universe?

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      • (Score: 3, Touché) by bob_super on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:57PM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday November 21 2018, @06:57PM (#764888)

        Black paint and black controls with black LEDs are expensive, you know.
        And flying into a star typically hinders reusability.

        • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Thursday November 22 2018, @06:36AM

          by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 22 2018, @06:36AM (#765088)

          And flying into a star typically hinders reusability.

          Yeah, it's like a complete disaster area...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22 2018, @03:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22 2018, @03:18PM (#765223)

          typically? like "we doneit a gazillion times already and it always turned out the same".
          still scratching my head about that (ice)comet that was on camera "seemingly" zipping thru our very own sun and emerging(!) from the other side ...

  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:07PM (2 children)

    by Immerman (3985) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 21 2018, @05:07PM (#764816)

    Correction - the "mini-BFS" test vehicle plan was NOT scrapped, it says as much in the linked article. What was scrapped was the unrelated plans to make the Falcon 9 second stage more reusable. Which is news to me - I thought they had already scrapped that a year or so ago. I guess that was the "planned scrapping of plans", while now the BFS production is presumably going well enough that they're committing to it.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 26 2018, @06:39PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday November 26 2018, @06:39PM (#766538) Journal

      https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/11/elon-musk-accelerating-development-of-the-super-heavy-spaceship.html [nextbigfuture.com]

      I'm not sure, I think it kind of is scrapped.

      What we know there will be is Grasshopper-style vertical take off and landing tests at their Texas facility. They can do that with just the BFS portion, not the booster. The BFS is supposed to be the hardest part to get right.

      --
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      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday November 26 2018, @10:05PM

        by Immerman (3985) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 26 2018, @10:05PM (#766656)

        Dang, can't find it now, but there was a quote in one of those that specifically stated the mini-BFS reentry test craft was still being planned.

        It does rather seem like the complexities of both mechanical and aerodynamic scaling would limit the benefits of building and testing a mini-BFS. To actually do those tests with a full-size production vehicle though? I wonder how just much of that multi-billion price tag will go up in smoke with a failed reentry. If they're confident in their re-usability though, I suppose they could work their way up to it gradually - launch the thing high enough to reenter at mach 1,2,6,15, etc. Such repeated launches and landings would also go a long way to field-testing the engines and building customer confidence.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22 2018, @04:40AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22 2018, @04:40AM (#765067)

    Last I heard (which I'll admit was a long time ago), there was zero tolerance for pot use.

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