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posted by chromas on Thursday November 01 2018, @10:59PM   Printer-friendly

Elon Musk went on firing spree over slow satellite broadband progress

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently "fired at least seven" managers in order to speed up development and testing of satellites that could provide broadband around the world, Reuters reported today.

SpaceX denied parts of the story, saying that some of those managers left of their own accord and that the firings happened over a longer period of time than Reuters claimed.

[...] Among the fired employees were SpaceX VP of Satellites Rajeev Badyal and top designer Mark Krebs, Reuters wrote. "Rajeev wanted three more iterations of test satellites," Reuters quoted one of its sources as saying. "Elon thinks we can do the job with cheaper and simpler satellites, sooner."

Reuters described a culture clash between Musk and employees hired from Microsoft, "where workers were more accustomed to longer development schedules than Musk's famously short deadlines." Badyal is a former Microsoft employee, while Krebs previously worked for Google."

Apparently, the test satellites work:

"We're using the Tintins to explore that modification," one of the SpaceX employee sources said. "They're happy and healthy and we're talking with them every time they pass a ground station, dozens of times a day."

SpaceX engineers have used the two test satellites to play online video games at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California and the Redmond office, the source said. "We were streaming 4k YouTube and playing 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' from Hawthorne to Redmond in the first week," the person added.

Also at SpaceNews and TechCrunch.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by KilroySmith on Friday November 02 2018, @12:26AM (1 child)

    by KilroySmith (2113) on Friday November 02 2018, @12:26AM (#756680)

    When your resume includes:
    1. Building a new car company from the ground up that's expected to build half-a-million cars next year
        a. Which are, by the way, all electric
        b. And have kick ass performance As in, out accelerate every other production vehicle.
        c. And building a Battery Factory that builds as many batteries as the rest of the world combined
        d. And placing 1200 superchargers around the US to make high-speed charging ubiquitous (50 hours from LA to NY).
    2. Simultaneously, building a military/commercial rocket and launch services company that has obsoleted every existing space-going rocket worldwide.
        a. And building reusable boosters that turn around in months, intending to reduce that to days.
        b. And soft-landing those reusable boosters next to the launch pad
        c. And taking the most spectacular photo of a car ever seen.
        d. And being in the running to beat every other country in the world to send a human to Mars.

    At that point, I think his concept of "impossible" is more realistic and most....

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  • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday November 02 2018, @04:58PM

    by Sulla (5173) on Friday November 02 2018, @04:58PM (#756924) Journal

    I wasn't complaining. One of the articles I was reading on the subject was from a guy who told Musk something was impossible within the deadline, so Musk fired the guy and then did it himself ahead of schedule and under budget. If Civ IV was being made a decade from now I think they might have a hard time deciding what kind of great person to make musk.

    Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam