First Look: Elon Musk Teases SpaceX’s Bold New Raptor Rocket

Elon Musk posted four tweets last night demonstrating the new Raptor rocket engine. SpaceX engineers have been hard at work finalizing the next-generation rocket technology that will eventually power trips for the exploration of Mars.

Musk Tweets Proof of Rocketry

While most of America was focused on the Super Bowl, Musk was in Texas at the SpaceX testing site. The rockets had recently been shipped from California to the testing site near McGregor, Texas. Musk and his team were up late preparing for the first test late Sunday night. A few hours later, the first video went live on Twitter.

Viewed more than a million times by press time, the 4-second video shows an extremely long flame shooting out of the Raptor. A second video went shortly thereafter, twice as long and loud:

Local Civilian Spots Reusable Rocket Test at SpaceX Facility

A Central Texas local reportedly noticed what was going on at SpaceX and tweeted about it:

Intended to be reusable, the engines use cryogenic liquid methane and liquid oxygen. Previous SpaceX rockets used RP-1 Kerosene and liquid oxygen. Developing the rockets in-house was part of Musk’s business plan from the start, according to an early SpaceX investor.

When the rockets were first shipped from California to Texas, Musk noted that the company is working hard to get a moon-worthy rocket to ready. The ultimate goal of the Raptor rockets is still for Mars exploration. The Raptor is intended to replace existing rockets already in production, the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon.

The Raptor product is currently on track. Musk has previously tweeted that the company will attempt a moon trip first.

SpaceX: Mars Exploration is the Goal

While SpaceX keeps its eyes on human exploration of Mars, heavily developing the Raptor, it is under financial pressure to actually develop revenues. The company is good at winning open contracts from governments and large companies around the world, but recently suffered a spate of layoffs. Musk blamed these layoffs on the “absolutely insane”  Starlink global high-speed internet project as well as a co-existing Mars rocket project.

Musk says the company needs to be “spartan” in its expenditures. The revamped approach to Raptor appears to be an attempt to cut costs by developing the rocket in stages. First it will go to the Moon and potentially function as an orbiting product around Earth. Later it will be further developed and upgraded into a rocket with the potential to explore Mars.

While Musk believes that layoffs at his day job — electric carmaker Tesla — were necessary in order to keep the company’s products relatively affordable, he thinks the SpaceX research projects are costing too much and seems to regret the SpaceX layoffs. He reportedly said during an investor call last week:

“And so, SpaceX has to be incredibly spartan with expenditures until those programs reach fruition.”

When Musk says “insane,” he doesn’t necessarily mean it in a negative way. As a businessman, he’s referring to the fact that his company is engaged in services once only provided by governments with virtually unlimited resources. When SpaceX eventually develops a space highway to Mars for mankind, they will either be the only company doing it or the only one doing it well. Untold fortunes await SpaceX at that point.

SpaceX IPO: Will It Ever Happen?

Still, SpaceX has yet to reach out for public money via an IPO. In 2017, rumors rocked the investor community: SpaceX would be launching an IPO that year. A year later, the company went for more venture capital funding, selling some shares at $135 to Fidelity. Its valuation at that time was $27.5 billion.

While SpaceX could focus on more terrestrial projects like competitive satellites, which they are also into, the company’s true mission is deep space exploration. The potential for profit from space exploration is an unknown quantity, but it could easily go into the trillions. As profit goes, one potential area of investment would be minerals acquisition. The quantities of gold, platinum, and other rare materials in space by definition outsize supplies on earth. Developing a profitable method of extraction from foreign planets and space rocks is but one way that SpaceX could, in the long run, become the most profitable company in history.

Tesla Opens A Chaotic Trading Day After SpaceX Tweets

As for Tesla, trading early this morning showed a big sell-off. Buy orders kicked in and kicked it up momentarily. After an hour or so of trading, things were on a recovery path.

While SpaceX is a separate company from Tesla, its fate is very much tied to Tesla. Good news about SpaceX can reflect well on Tesla, and vice versa.

Certainly the weekend’s activities demonstrate one thing about Musk: he is fully grounded. He understands that SpaceX needs to get realistic in its endeavors, and completion of rockets for near-term use (and potential sale to governments and others) is one of many ways they can do so. As for SpaceX engineers, this was likely not the first or last time they’ll be putting in long weekend hours in pursuit of a noble dream.


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Author: P.H. Madore 
Image Credit: Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from Tradingview.

Elon Musk’s Bad Week Gets Worse as SpaceX Lays off 600 People

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, is laying off 10 percent of its 6,000-employee workforce. The layoffs are part of a move to streamline the business and cut costs.

“SpaceX must become a leaner company,” President Gwynne Shotwell wrote in a Friday email. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

‘Extraordinarily Difficult Challenges Ahead’

Shotwell explained:

This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary.

The company is providing a minimum of eight weeks’ pay and other benefits to the fired workers.

SpaceX is streamlining to prepare for “difficult challenges ahead.” (Twitter)

Investors Dazzled by SpaceX

Elon Musk — the billionaire founder of electric-car company Tesla — launched SpaceX in 2002 to make space travel accessible to everyday people. In addition, SpaceX’s goal is to colonize Mars.

Equidate’s Robert Hilmer says SpaceX is one of the most valuable private companies in the world, with the potential to raise an “unlimited amount” of capital.

“SpaceX is one of [the most] popular pre-IPO tech companies globally,” Hilmer told CNBC.

Everywhere I travel around the world, investors of all types — individuals, family offices, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds or private equity — want to get into SpaceX.

Meanwhile, Musk is taking the downsizing in stride.

He has not commented on the layoffs, preferring instead to focus on upcoming space launches.

The South African business mogul is more concerned that SpaceX’s newest test flight rocket has a cool, aerodynamic design.

“Obv must be more pointy tho,” Musk tweeted, in reference to the tip of the rocket.

Musk is an unwitting media darling who generates countless headlines. In August 2018, Musk stirred a volcanic backlash from Tesla investors after tweeting that he might take his car company private.

Weeks later, the SEC sued Musk for securities fraud, claiming his errant tweet caused Tesla stock to spike 6 percent that day. Shareholders were enraged when Tesla shares abruptly tanked in the following days.

The debacle forced Musk to step down as chairman in September 2018 and pay a $20 million fine to the SEC.

Elon Musk: I am Not Satoshi Nakamoto

Despite being a technophile, Elon Musk does not own crypto, as CCN reported.

“I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago,” Musk confessed on Twitter.

In November 2017, Musk denied speculation that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. A former SpaceX intern inadvertently started the rumor with a blog post.

Sahil Gupta wrote at Medium: “Satoshi is probably Elon.”

Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge.

It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin.

Musk responded by denying that he invented Bitcoin. Meanwhile, the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been confirmed.


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Author: Joseph Young
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SpaceX signs first private passenger for lunar mission on futuristic BFR launch vehicle

The first human to fly around the moon since the storied astronauts of the Apollo era will get there on SpaceX’s next-generation Big Falcon Rocket, the company said Thursday night, further teasing an event next week that will reveal details about the launch vehicle and passenger.

“SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle,” the California-based company said via Twitter, adding that it’s “an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.”

SpaceX will announce more details about BFR and the passenger on Monday at 9 p.m. ET.

Thursday night’s tweet, however, did include a teaser image of the rocket, which has long remained under wraps since the company announced it would undergo changes to make its production and deployment more feasible. The released image shows the sleek presence of a seven-engine, triple-fin, white-and-gray crew spacecraft racing around the moon.

Ultimately, SpaceX plans on phasing out its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket in favor of BFR, which the company hopes will not only handle payload delivery and hops to the moon, but the eventual establishment of a self-sustaining colony on Mars. Visiting Earth’s lunar companies, according to recent statements, is a major objective on the path to the red planet.

But this isn’t the first time SpaceX has teased a lunar mission: In 2017, CEO Elon Musk announced that a pair of individuals – who were never named – would orbit the moon in a Crew Dragon spacecraft after liftoff on a Falcon Heavy rocket. Earlier this year, however, Musk said the mission would likely not occur due to BFR taking Falcon Heavy’s place.


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Author: Emre Kelly
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Elon Musk will bring humans to Mars, and cryptocurrencies to the moon

Elon Musk, CEO and co-founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla has posted a series of tweets about his ambitions to start his own confectionery enterprise, adding that he was “super, super serious” about this new venture to spite sceptics.

And he dropped a hint of what his upcoming venture would be called, or maybe what it might involve: cryptocurrencies; specifically, “Cryptocandy.” Whether he was serious or not, we don’t know for sure. Some people suggested his business should be called chocolate bitcoins or moon rocks, while others stretched the connection between crypto and his theoretical candy business even further: “My candy better be airdropped from a space station or I want my money back,” one person wrote.

The tweets gained over 100,000 likes by Saturday and sent the Twitter sphere into a frenzy. People asked when his company was hiring, and how they could buy stock (or tokens?) as part of the possible venture.



Musk’s candy idea seems to have been part of an exchange between Musk and Warren Buffet. It started earlier this week when Musk, as part of Tesla’s earning report call, stated that economic moats were “lame.” The statement takes a jab at Buffet, and he is known to have coined the term to describe a company’s competitive advantage.

Buffet responded to Musk’s reward at his annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting, stating that moats are still a viable idea, and that one can look at his See’s Candies business as a great example.

“Then I’m going to build a moat & fill it w candy,” Musk tweeted in response. “Warren B will not be able to resist investing!” Musk said in another, provoking Buffet further.

Elon Musk is currently ranked as the 53rd richest person in the world according to the Forbes, and 21st on the list of The World’s Most Powerful People.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author:  Matthew North 
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Musk says Tesla will be profitable in third-quarter, fourth-quarter

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will be profitable in the third and fourth quarters of this year and will not have to raise any money from investors, billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, driving shares in the electric car maker up to 3 percent higher.

Tesla has already sought this month to play down Wall Street speculation that it would need to return to capital markets this year to raise more funds as it ramps up production of the Model 3 sedan seen as crucial to its long-term profitability.

The car maker, which has consistently fallen short of promised targets on production and is fighting bad publicity over a crash of a car using its Autopilot system, said 10 days ago it would have positive cash flow from the third quarter.

The Economist recently published a story claiming Tesla would need $2.5 billion to $3 billion this year in additional funding.

Musk took to Twitter to reply, “The Economist used to be boring, but smart with a wicked dry wit. Now it’s just boring (sigh.) Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money.”

Tesla shares, which have gained nearly 10 percent since disclosing the Model 3 production numbers on April 3, gained as much as 3.2 percent in premarket trade on Friday. They were up around 2 percent soon after the opening bell on Wall Street.

Wall Street brokerage Jefferies, which provided the funding estimate cited by The Economist, said in a note last week it expects refinancing risk to remain high for the Silicon Valley venture until it can consistently produce 10,000 Model 3s a week.

The company again missed its own 2,500 target for weekly production at the end of the first quarter, and analysts and fund managers doubt Tesla’s ability to keep production growing to a promised 5,000 Model 3s per week in three months time.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Sonam Rai
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