SpaceX Stories June 7
SpaceX Stories December 8, 2020
Elon Musk confirmed that he personally moved to Texas full time and revealed that the reason is to focus on Tesla Gigafactory Texas in Austin and SpaceX’s Starship development in south Texas.
As for the future of the electric automaker and rocket company in California, it is still unclear.
SpaceX Stories August 10, 2020
Tesla hints at more SpaceX collaboration as it adds “spaceship” to future potential products to work on for its future designers.
SpaceX Stories May 29, 2020
Tesla and SpaceX are ramping up their synergy effort with workers moving between Elon Musk’s two companies, battery purchases, and more. expand full story
SpaceX Stories September 24, 2019
In the latest example of cooperation between Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tesla, the former appears to be using battery packs from the latter in their “Starship” prototype, a vehicle they hope will help humanity get to Mars. expand full story
SpaceX Stories August 28, 2018
SpaceX is preparing to make its first demo launches for NASA’s commercial crew mission program, which aims to bring back the capability for U.S. spacecraft to fly astronauts to space.
The rocket company plans to use Tesla Model X vehicles to bring the first astronauts flying in the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the launch pad. expand full story
SpaceX Stories July 22, 2018
Electrek (Seth and myself) are in Hawthorne today for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition where teams of engineers and students are going to try to break some speed records with prototype pods of this new mode of transportation.
We are going to bring you as much as possible through our social media platforms and this post is going to be the hub for the event.
SpaceX Stories June 9, 2018
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the automaker’s next-gen Roadster will have a ‘SpaceX package’, which will include “~10 small rocket thrusters.”
While it sounds like a joke, Musk has made other comments hinting at the plan actually being real. expand full story
SpaceX Stories May 22, 2018
SpaceX started building a satellite constellation for a space-based broadband internet service and there has been some speculation about Tesla using the network.
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s President and COO, now contributes to that speculation by saying that ‘Tesla could use the network’ in a new interview. expand full story
SpaceX Stories May 16, 2018
Elon Musk’s vision for the Boring Company becomes clearer as the CEO reveals that he plans on combining the startup’s hyperloop technology with SpaceX’s plan to use its latest rocket program to create a transportation system to get anywhere on earth in less than an hour. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 13, 2018
After the highly publicized Tesla Roadster launch on a Falcon Heavy, it looks like there’s going to be again some synergy between Elon Musk’s two main companies.
SpaceX is about to launch the first two prototypes for its satellite constellation to provide internet broadband services and Tesla is getting a ground station. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 9, 2018
Astronomers spot Starman and his Tesla Roadster floating through space
After this week’s planned Falcon Heavy test launch with a Tesla Roadster as ballast, the world was treated to some incredible images of the car, with driver, orbiting the Earth. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had the good sense to attach multiple cameras to the car so everyone could see what was happening up there, and the images did not disappoint.
Now, a couple days later, astronomers at an observatory on the ground have given us a different view of Starman and his Tesla Roadster – a tiny dot speeding along amongst the stars on its journey towards the asteroid belt.
SpaceX Stories February 6, 2018
Ahead of the launch, Elon Musk said that many unknown factors result in “about a 50% chance” that the Falcon Heavy demonstration flight fails and destroys his Tesla Roadster in the process.
Yet, the launch was actually successful and all three first stage boosters separated to propel the second stage with the Tesla Roadster into space. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 5, 2018
Elon Musk shares simulation video of Tesla Roadster going to Mars on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy
A day ahead of the planned demonstration launch of SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket, CEO Elon Musk released a simulation video of a Tesla Roadster, the demonstration payload, going to Mars.
SpaceX Stories January 27, 2018
Elon Musk’s unbelievable plan to use his own Tesla Roadster as the demonstration payload for the inaugural test launch of SpaceX’s new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is reportedly set to happen on February 6. expand full story
SpaceX Stories January 24, 2018
Tesla has delivered yet another Powerpack project and this time, it’s a lot closer to home and yet it could help send things far away from earth.
SpaceX’s new rocket launch site in Texas is getting a new energy storage system from Tesla. expand full story
SpaceX Stories December 5, 2017
We have recently seen increasing numbers of collaborations between Tesla and SpaceX, two companies co-founded and led by Elon Musk.
Now an analyst suggests that the two companies could nurture an even closer relationship over time, including “possible strategic partnerships, technology transfer, co-investment and potentially a combination.” expand full story
SpaceX Stories December 2, 2017
Elon Musk says he is launching a Tesla Roadster into space. Really? (update: yes, really)
In today’s installment of “is Elon Musk actually a crazy person,” he has announced on Twitter that the payload of the first SpaceX falcon heavy rocket will be his personal “midnight cherry” Tesla Roadster.
In tribute to David Bowie, the plan is for the car to be playing “Space Oddity” on its speakers during the launch.
SpaceX Stories April 14, 2017
Update: the article has been updated to reflect the fact that while Musk’s and the Rive brothers’ solar bonds were discharged like everyone else’s, they were transferred to regular bonds under the same terms.
SolarCity launched a Solar Bond Program in 2014. It was presented as an interesting way for people to invest in solar with minimum cost requirements and without having to install panels on their roof. Elon Musk himself, his cousins and SolarCity co-founders Lyndon and Peter Rive, and Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, ended up being the biggest buyers in the program.
Now we learn that Tesla is discharging most of its solar bonds ahead of the maturity date and paying back all the principal with interests for the life of the bonds – though not for Musk and his cousins. expand full story
SpaceX Stories March 7, 2017
Last year, we reported that Tesla’s Chief Information Officer Jay Vijayan quietly left in January 2016 and his position stayed mostly vacant until now.
Gary Clark, who was IT CTO and Engineering CIO at Juniper until recently, joined Tesla over the last month to take over the automaker’s IT department. expand full story
SpaceX Stories January 29, 2017
SpaceX held a Hyperloop Pod Competition this weekend at their facility in Hawthorne, CA, and earlier today Elon gave the crowd a short speech talking about transportation innovation, efficiency, and his new “boring” company focused on building tunnels to alleviate traffic, showing that his recent focus on tunnels is probably related to how he sees hyperloop developing as underground, rather than overground, transport.
SpaceX Stories January 27, 2017
SpaceX is holding the last phase of its first ‘Hyperloop Pod Competition’ this weekend at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Surprisingly and despite some startups making significant progress, this mostly-student competition could represent the most advanced hyperloop technology demonstration since Elon Musk first published the idea back in 2013. expand full story
SpaceX Stories December 22, 2016
Tesla has hidden some pretty cool Easter Eggs in its software before – from changing your Model S into a James Bond amphibian car to a Mario Kart animation on Autopilot – but the latest Easter Egg on the update Tesla started pushing today is from another planet…. literally.
CEO Elon Musk added an Easter Egg to jokingly ship your car to Mars on SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) – something Musk revealed in September as part of his plans to colonize Mars. expand full story
SpaceX Stories November 22, 2016
A right-wing propaganda group led by one of Donald Trump’s top propagandists recently launched a campaign called ‘Stop Elon From Failing Again’. According to their manifesto, the initiative aims to stop Elon Musk from “defrauding” American taxpayers through his companies, Tesla and SpaceX.
The effort is backed by conservative public relations specialists and Trump insiders that are funded by fossil fuel interests. Unsurprisingly, it is full of misinformation about Tesla, electric vehicles, and solar energy. expand full story
SpaceX Stories November 16, 2016
When Elon Musk promised to back Tesla’s resale value guarantee program with his own fortune or to pay back SolarCity’s debt himself if needs be, some criticized that if it came to it, it would be difficult for him to do so since his fortune is mostly tied to those companies.
There was always his stake in SpaceX, his rocket company, but the value of it and his precise stake in the company was unknown… until today. expand full story
SpaceX Stories October 21, 2016
About 2 dozen teams of students and engineers are creating hyperloop pods to compete and try to achieve the greatest speed and control on the 1-mile track for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition. As we reported earlier this month, the track is quickly taking shape in front of SpaceX’s HQ in Hawthorne, so we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the pods that will compete on it. expand full story
SpaceX Stories October 6, 2016
A little over a month ago, we reported on tubes for SpaceX’s Hyperloop test track starting to show up at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne. Now they already have the entire 1-mile track up along the road ahead of the pod competition. expand full story
SpaceX Stories September 1, 2016
Today is without a doubt a bad day for SpaceX. In preparation for its static fire test, one of its Falcon 9 rockets exploded in Cape Canaveral, Florida, earlier this morning :
The company confirmed the loss of the Falcon 9 rocket and its $200 million payload, the Amos-6 telecom satellite. But at Electrek we don’t really report on spaceflight (even though it’s awesome), we report on electric transport, and there’s actually SpaceX news related to electric transport today. And it’s good news. expand full story
SpaceX Stories June 22, 2016
Yesterday, Elon Musk surprised a lot of people when he announced that Tesla (TSLA) has made an offer to acquire SolarCity (SCTY). The entrepreneur is the largest individual shareholder of both companies – he owns about 21% of Tesla and 22% of SolarCity.
Some Tesla shareholders are already calling the deal a “bailout” of SolarCity, especially after Musk bought another $10 million worth of shares last year – before the stock fell 60% in 2016. The deal would allow him to convert his shares of SolarCity to Tesla shares at a favorable rate, but we now learn that the move might not be reactionary and actually long in the making. expand full story
SpaceX Stories June 13, 2016
Following reports of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) probing Tesla over a possible problem with the Model S’ suspension and the automaker’s goodwill agreement, it came to light that several false and/or misleading complaints were filed with NHTSA.
A spokesperson for NHTSA confirmed that the agency has not found any safety issue with Tesla’s suspensions and that the company has clarified the language in its goodwill agreement. It considers the issue resolved, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared on Twitter that something suspicious is going on with the suspension complaints:
It can be difficult to understand why would someone falsify complaints to an official agency, which can be harmful to both the company and time-wasting for the regulators. The most obvious explanation is always money, and Tesla brought it up in a blog post following last week’s events. expand full story
SpaceX Stories June 10, 2016
You might remember Porter Harris from our piece on SpaceX’s battery development ‘Tesla is not Elon Musk’s only company developing high-tech battery packs‘ – and also when covering Faraday Future (FF) since Harris joined the company as ‘Chief Battery Architect’ in November 2014 – and then one more time when he suddenly left the company just before it came out of stealth mode.
Electrek has now learned that he co-founded a new startup to compete with FF and Tesla with new battery pack designs for electric vehicles, and even to compete with ‘Tesla Energy’ in stationary energy storage products. expand full story
SpaceX Stories June 9, 2016
We have often highlighted the importance of the Model 3 reservation process, especially for people in the US because of the federal tax credit, but it’s now also the case for most people worldwide since Tesla received hundreds of thousands of reservations. At this point, it looks like Tesla will have a backlog of over 1 year of production by the time the Model 3 hits the market.
Tesla plans to deliver vehicles in batches based on regions starting with the west coast, closer to the Fremont factory, then expanding east and to other countries. A significant number of the first Model 3 vehicles that will be delivered in California will go to Tesla employees, who have been given priority in the reservation process. expand full story
SpaceX Stories March 25, 2016
The list of people having priority on the Tesla Model 3 reservation queue keeps growing. After Tesla employees, Electrek learned from sources that SpaceX employees can now also reserve Tesla’s upcoming third generation vehicle set to be unveiled on March 31st. Like for most Tesla employees, it appears most SpaceX employees reserving the vehicle are doing so sight unseen.
Beside showing more synergy between Elon Musk’s two companies, it also adds up to now 3 groups of people having priority on the Tesla Model 3 reservation queue: Tesla employees, Tesla owners and SpaceX employees. expand full story
SpaceX Stories March 22, 2016
SolarCity’s Solar Bond Program is looking more and more like SpaceX’s private investment platform. After market close yesterday, SolarCity revealed in a SEC filling that it expects Elon Musk’s rocket company to buy $90 million of the $105 million in new Solar Bonds issued.
Last year, SpaceX already purchased solar bonds from SolarCity on two separate occasions: another $90 million followed by $75 million. SpaceX’s involvement in SolarCity’s Solar Bond Program is set to total around $255 million, which should help finance a lot of solar installations. expand full story
SpaceX Stories March 8, 2016
After SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition last year, hundreds of teams submitted design packages, 124 teams passed the screening round and moved forward to the ‘Design Weekend’, where a panel of judges consisting of Tesla and SpaceX engineers selected 23 winners.
The winning teams shared ~$250,000 in cash to help them build their pod prototypes for the final phase of the competition which will take the form of a race on SpaceX’s upcoming test track, but most teams are also courting sponsors since the cost of a pod prototype is estimated to be well into the 5 figures. expand full story
SpaceX Stories March 7, 2016
A company is only as good as its employees and a new PayScale survey gives us an interesting look into the employee demographic of some of the top tech employers. Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX particularly standout in the survey for ranking at the bottom for their bellow average salaries and at the top for most stressful environments, but also and maybe more importantly, at the top for being the two most meaningful places to work out of the 18 tech firms listed in the survey. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 29, 2016
Elon Musk shines in MIT Technology Review’s recently published top 10 list of technology breakthroughs of 2016. According to the MIT, the list “identifies innovations from the past year that solve difficult problems or create powerful new ways of using technology”.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is directly involved in 3 of the 10 projects identified by the MIT. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 24, 2016
Elon Musk, CEO of both electric automaker Tesla and rocket manufacturer SpaceX, splits his time between his two companies, which he also co-founded and financed with most of his early fortune from Paypal. Now Electrek has learned through sources that Musk will not be the only executive dividing his time between Tesla and SpaceX since the CEO hired Apple’s alloy expert Charles Kuehmann to lead materials engineering at both companies.
Kuehmann is now Vice-President of Materials Engineering at Tesla and SpaceX, where he is responsible for delivering materials innovations, something he is very familiar with after over two decades spent in materials science. expand full story
SpaceX Stories February 1, 2016
SpaceX and Texas A&M University hosted the ‘Design Weekend’ phase of the ‘Hyperloop Pod Competition’ this weekend and a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came in first place for having the best design by a student team, while the rLoop team from Reddit won the best design by a non-student team.
The picture above is rLoop’s trophy and yes, it is signed by Elon Musk. expand full story
SpaceX Stories January 29, 2016
From time to time, Reddit comes together and does something awesome. Whether it be gifting supplies to teachers or sending thousands of letters to a terminally ill man. Although quite different from the previous examples, the rLoop project is undoubtedly Reddit at its best.
Since SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition last year, over 100 teams from universities and other organisations have created and submitted their design to compete for a chance to build and race their pod on SpaceX’s upcoming test track. rLoop is one of those teams. expand full story
SpaceX Stories January 28, 2016
This weekend, Texas A&M University will be hosting SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition’s “Design Weekend”. Over 1,000 students and engineers forming 124 teams are competing for a chance to build their own Hyperloop pod prototypes and race them at SpaceX’s upcoming test track. expand full story
SpaceX Stories January 4, 2016
We recently wrote about Porter Harris for our piece on SpaceX’s battery development – Tesla is not Elon Musk’s only company developing high-tech battery packs – and also when covering Faraday Future since Harris joined the company as ‘Chief Battery Architect’ in November 2014, but today we learn via his LinkedIn profile (first spotted by Bloomberg) that he left the electric car startup just as it’s about to reveal its first concept. expand full story
SpaceX Stories December 30, 2015
The second trial period for Tesla’s referral program will end tomorrow with no word about a possible renewal, although it’s likely considering the success of the program. The top referrer currently has 188 referrals – breaking his own record of 100 during the last period from August to October. expand full story
SpaceX Stories November 26, 2015
SpaceX is moving forward with its Hyperloop prototype test track for its “pod competition”. The company released the revised specifications of the test track (embed below) in which the competing teams will race their pods. The track will be 1-mile long , have a 6-ft diameter and be capable of creating a 99.8% vacuum environment. expand full story
SpaceX Stories November 23, 2015
Between established automakers accelerating their electric vehicle programs and the newcomers in the EV industry – like Apple, Faraday Future or Atieva – engineers with battery experience are not short on employment opportunities. Earlier this year, Apple poached several battery tech experts from A123 Systems and we also reported that about 1 in 8 of Faraday Future’s ~400 employees is formerly from Tesla Motors.
From an executive’s standpoint, retaining talent in a specific field can be challenging on its own, but for Elon Musk, CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, it can be even more complex when both companies he’s managing require talent in the same field… expand full story
SpaceX Stories November 2, 2015
Tesla sent out an email this weekend to Model S owners on the waiting list for a retrofit of their Performance Dual Motor Model S to enable the ‘Ludicrous’ mode. In the email, Tesla explained that due to parts and process improvements, the company is now able to offer the upgrade at a reduced price of $5,000 instead of the previously announced $7,500.
The Ludicrous upgrade consists of two improvements to the electronics of the Model S’ battery pack. The first improvement is the replacement of a standard fuse to an “advanced smart fuse” which enables the monitoring of current to the millisecond, and makes it possible to cut the power with “extreme precision”. expand full story
SpaceX Stories October 26, 2015
The so-called “poaching war” for top automotive engineering talent between Tesla and Apple gathered quite a few headlines in the past months, especially after Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the Cupertino company the “Tesla Graveyard” for hiring people he claimed were “fired” by the company. But after looking closer into the recent hires between the two companies, it looks like Tesla has little to fear from Apple’s recruiting effort, at least if we compare it to Faraday Future’s.
Faraday Future took a small step out of ‘stealth mode’ earlier this summer to announce that it is looking for a location for a manufacturing facility to build an electric vehicle. In the months since, the 1-year old startup ramped up its hiring effort and now has over 400 employees with an impressive percentage coming from Tesla. expand full story
SpaceX Stories October 18, 2015
Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity – three companies influenced by Elon Musk – are currently on a massive hiring spree around the US. They already have a combined headcount of over 32,000 employees and the total is set to increase significantly in the coming months. We learned that Musk’s companies are holding joined private recruiting events, the latest of which held last weekend at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Recruiters from each company select students recommended through university programs and invite them to the relatively secretive events to interview with SolarCity, SpaceX or Tesla. expand full story