If all goes well, on May 27th two American astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will take a Tesla electric car to the launch pad in Florida. They would get out of the car and climb into the head of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
They are fronted by countless super touch screens, rather than surrounded by buttons and knobs, as they were during the Cold War. They fastened their seatbelts and the rocket was launched at 4:33 p.m. EST and docked with the International Space Station about 19 hours later. It will be the first commercial rocket and capsule ever to send humans into space, and the first time in nearly a decade that the United States has used its own spacecraft to send its own astronauts into space from home.
If this had happened in another era, it would have become a great legend of the world’s attention. Rockets send brave patriots into the sky, apple pie piles of ice cream, Budweiser beer in your hands, countless children excitedly looking forward to the universe.
Unfortunately, we do not live in such an era. America has a president who governs with Twitter and the folly that comes with him. The United States has created Space Force, the new military that Mr. Trump has announced, and now there is a rampant virus. Moreover, Musk, Twitter’s business icon, is not a vulgar one, and his every move is impressive. All of this makes this supposed lying legend so complicated, a bit like The Space Hero (The Right Stuff, Philip Kaufman’s comedy adventure movie) that meets the “The Electric Kool-Aid Test, Tom Wolfe’s famous novel” that is both disturbing and uplifting.
As Musk’s biographer, I spent years looking at how he influenced the people around him. From starting SpaceX to starting Tesla, he would be interviewed with a lot of over-the-top remarks and then, after spotping minor problems, fall into silence for weeks or months. The writing of the biography forced me to spend time with Musk, and we had some intense and productive interactions, but most of them were silent. Now we’re trying to “get off the ground” during the pandemic, which is a huge leap for Musk. Sure enough, he dialed me late on 17 May.
“It’s been a real rush lately,” Musk said on the phone, notrevealing his whereabouts, except for a two-hour delay in dinner.
It is clear that there may be many problems during the rocket launch, including extreme weather. The only reason NASA would consider allowing its own astronauts to fly rockets made entirely by private companies is that SpaceX has proven to be a very reliable, relatively inexpensive and well-managed business. In the past decade, it has launched about 100 rockets, many of which have safely returned to Earth. SpaceX is dominating the industry, with a market capitalisation of nearly $40 billion. It takes a lot of smart, hard-working people to do this, but it’s Elon Musk who makes it possible with his bold, “mercurial” efforts.
Even the people who hate Musk the most (there are many in the United States) have to be proud of him. At a time when the American empire seems to be on the decline, Musk has convinced people that great things are still possible and that mankind has a lot to do. “There’s no doubt that the United States is still a land of opportunity, there’s more hope here than anywhere else, and no other country can let me do that,” Musk said, patriotically. “This impassioned speech came from a billionaire, a heroic entrepreneur, who couldn’t have been more appropriate for America in 2020.
Like President Trump, Musk has made Twitter his main line. But even at Musk’s Twitter frequency, the past few months have been unusual. He vowed to sell almost all of his fortune, named his newborn son X-a-12 (pronounced ex-ash-A-12), claimed that Tesla was underwtaking, recited the lyrics of the American national anthem, The Star-Sledbanner, and tried to convince everyone that “Facebook sucks.” However, the most hotly debated topic is the new coronavirus, musk is one of the best-known advocates of de-segregation, and one of the most understated of the virus’s impact.
In March, Musk predicted that “new cases could be close to zero” in the Us by the end of April, which has clearly proved to be wrong. Like Mr. Trump, he advocates the use of chloroquine. Doctors warn that chloroquine has not been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Covid-19 and can be very harmful. In addition, Musk has made some memorable tweets about restoring openness, such as “Let people be free again!” “And”immediately liberate America! “。
Ricardo Reyes, a two-time communications director at Tesla, wrote on Twitter after seeing the series of tweets: “Oh my God, it looks like the gorilla has escaped the cage and it knows what he’s doing.” As if to justify the former employee’s point, Musk announced on May 11th that he would resume operations at Tesla’s Silicon Valley auto plant: “Tesla is starting production again today, in violation of Alameda County rules.” I’ll keep in touch with others. If you want to catch, come and catch me. After another threat to pull Tesla out of California and move to a friendlier state, Musk succeeded and Tesla was allowed to reopen.
And in a series of predictions about the virus and its imminent disappearance, Musk refused to budge despite clear evidence that he was wrong. “I don’t think the statistics are reliable because some of the data aren’t actually tested for new coronaviruses, they just have similar symptoms, ” he said. These statistics may have been falsified around mid-April, with a hundred symptoms similar to the new coronavirus pneumonia, which can basically be judged as new coronary pneumonia. The stimulus bill then lets those who are not infected with the virus claim to be infected, and the data is no longer valid. That is, I may have to wait three to four weeks before I leave. “
Public claims that the new coronavirus infection data are falsified may sound particularly harsh, especially for those keen to celebrate science. But Musk has been a provocateur. It is only in recent years that those who don’t work in his inner circle or in his company have been able to see first-hand what Musk really looks like.
He basically became a religious figure on Twitter. True believers believe he will not do anything wrong and praise any positions he has taken, even if they seem to contradict Musk’s past views or simple common sense. Does Musk, for example, support science, take the initiative to fight climate change, or oppose science and deny the spread of the new coronavirus? But true believers don’t care. On the contrary, there is a group of people who hate everything Musk does. They think he’s a downright liar, he lies, cheats, and does everything to make money.
But Twitter also makes it harder for people to really understand Musk. For years, he has been distrusted by some conservatives simply because he makes electric cars and warns of climate change. And now, all of a sudden, Musk has the support of many on the right, simply because he has called for the reopening of the plant on Twitter to support the fringe right. Texas has long banned Tesla from selling or repairing cars. Now, Texas politicians are coming out to welcome Musk and his factory. Indeed, even in Texas, many people have bought Tesla stoking their love for the planet and want a better future. But if you think that the workers who make cars are risking their lives to stand on the production line, everything changes.
Musk’s recent behavior has raised a number of questions, one of which is, why tweet? Why make frequent noises at the risk of being sprayed and de-powdered? And why waste your limited time in this virtual mass?
“It’s hard to make everyone happy, especially on Twitter,” Musk said. Either you say something uncontroversial and no one asks. Some of the things I said, I want to take back. The tweets I’ve ever sent aren’t my constant opinions, some of them are stupid. But on the whole, the good is more good than the bad. It’s a way to communicate directly with people and doesn’t need to go through the media. “
Billionaires are not popular right now, especially in the tech world. Musk believes that after years of shouting for young and talented geeks, the tech media seem to think that the rich can no longer do the right thing and destroy social civilization. But the world is really complicated, so let’s hear Musk’s story.
Musk grew up in a middle-class family in South Africa, his parents divorced, he was bullied at school and had a bad relationship with his father. At the age of 17, Musk decided to leave his hometown, first to Canada and then to college in the United States. “When I told my father I was leaving, he said I was going to fail and I’d be back in three months,” Musk said. “
Some of Musk’s most outspoken critics argue that Musk, like Trump, began his career with his father’s deep financial support. His father, Errol Musk, was an engineer and owned a small stake in an emerald mine. Elor Musk had a few good years before the mine went bankrupt and his investmentran ran out. Musk has directly dismissed suggestions on Twitter that his empire was built with the help of a family fortune, and, ironically, while the subject of this article is about rocket launches, Musk wants me to make it clear. My article also interviewed hundreds of people who confirmed Musk’s point. No matter what you think of him, Musk is a self-made billionaire.
“Through student loans, scholarships, and jobs, I paid for college myself and ended up with a $100,000 student loan,” Musk said. I started my first company for $2,500, I bought a computer and a car for $1,400, and then paid off all my debts. If only someone had paid for my tuition, but my father had neither the ability nor the will to do it. “
Fast forward to 2001, and Musk sits by the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The Nasdaq index plunged, and it’s coming on September 11th. But for Musk, life is pretty good. PayPal, the company he co-founded, is about to go public, and his stake will soon be worth about $160 million. He and some friends were celebrating in a small room surrounded by a group of drunken, almost naked people. But his celebration was very “Musk,” Kevin Hartz, an employee at PayPal, told me: “Musk is looking at an obscure Soviet rocket manual, all of which is mouldy and looks like he bought it on EBay.” He’s working on the book, talking openly about space travel and changing the world. “
Musk, 30, who is sitting by the pool, is rich and confident, but far from the super figure who is now surging on Twitter. At this point, Musk is more like a loner from South Africa, and he has room for self-doubt. He wandered in an existential fear, trying to figure out what to do with his money and his life.
For someone in this position, one of the most economically unwise plans is to start a rocket company. Rockets are a national project, and the cost of developing and manufacturing rockets is billions of dollars, and it takes years of hard work on the part of the government to achieve these achievements. In the past, a handful of wealthy space enthusiasts tried to build rockets, but after their fortunes were burned, they gave up. The lesson we’ve learned is that rocket-building is the last of the many out-of-the-lifetime fantasy. You would never choose to start a rocket company because it’s cool to build a small greenhouse on Mars, but that’s where Musk created SpaceX.
By 2008, everything was not going well. SpaceX’s first three rockets either exploded or failed to enter orbit. Tesla, on the other hand, is on the brink of bankruptcy after struggling to bring its first car to market. Musk has spent all the money he received on PayPal, and he is trying to keep both companies alive. In addition, financial markets are collapsing, many auto companies are going bankrupt, and Musk is divorcing the mother of his five sons. At this point, the only way out of this mess is to convince investors who have watched their portfolios collapse and give Tesla another chance to convince the space start-up that it has agreed to put the plant’s last SpaceX rocket into orbit. Incidentally, the way to get Musk out of his personal predicament is to date Talulah Riley, a talented, beautiful young actress.
As a result, we all know that Musk is out of the woods with both companies unscathed, though that seems unlikely.
Since then, Musk has built huge rockets, cars and battery plants. He hired thousands of employees, created a global network of car charging networks, invented reusable rockets, founded an artificial intelligence software company, started tunneling for high-speed transportation, set up a brain-computer interface start-up, and built a high-speed Internet system in space.
For those who helped him create these things, he may be a tyrant, which is an open secret. And, as regulators can attest, his business strategy and actions are sometimes infuriating and sometimes shocking. However, at a time when the United States seems to be experiencing frequent resistance, this guy has done a lot of things. Musk has come under fire for pushing the plant back to operation, in part because he still has a plant to start. “People should pay more attention to manufacturing, and it’s not right that the world of atoms is looked down upon by a lot of people than the bit world,” Musk said. “
For years, Musk has complained that Silicon Valley is squandering too many talent, and he makes sense. The Bay Area is home to Tesla and its auto plants, home to some of the world’s top engineers, the largest technology companies, the richest people, and some of the best universities and hospitals. However, while the number of people dying daily in Covid-19 is close to zero, there are few valuable ideas for economic recovery. When the world really needs to be saved, Silicon Valley activists who talk about their apps and gadgets are not doing anything.
Mr. Musk, as always, said he would not wait for others to find a way to get the economy back. “SpaceX has been working hard to get our country through the mess. We had 8,000 people working full-time during the entire neo-coronavirus pandemic. Although we all have employees working in Los Angeles, Washington, Texas and Florida, we don’t have serious illnesses or deaths. In China, Tesla’s situation is similar, with 7,000 people working. I think when the dust settles, it’s clear that the outbreak is not as severe as people think. “
The great irony of Musk’s new coronavirus denialism is that one of the things that spaceX exists is to free us from the plague. While the ISS mission may be a defining moment in his career, it is only a springboard for his company to achieve greater ambitions. Musk wants to build a human colony on Mars, partly to give people bigger dreams, and to provide us with a back-up plan to prevent an asteroid from hitting The Earth, or a huge plague. SpaceX engineers are busy building a large spacecraft called Starship that will take humans to “the moon, Mars and elsewhere.” Decades ago, such explorations might have seemed ridiculous, but now it feels real, especially when you realize another great irony about Musk’s career: Crazy rocket company SpaceX is now Musk’s most stable and successful company.
After the astronauts’ launch, SpaceX is preparing to carry out several resupply missions to the International Space Station and place military satellites, commercial communications satellites and thousands of its own satellites at the heart of Starlink’s space Internet system. It will also work with NASA to send Tom Cruise to the International Space Station (ISS) to make a movie. The series is part of a new space industry promoted by Musk and SpaceX.
It was because of Musk and SpaceX that I became a space junkie. I traveled from California, Texas and Alaska to French Guiana, India, New Zealand and Ukraine to watch rockets are built and lifted. Every time you launch, the excitement comes from the unknown. There was a thin, tall metal pipe filled with liquid explosives, which seemed to be whistling as the countdown neared zero. The power of gravity becomes apparent during liftoff, as the object spews a huge stream of flame into the ground, but it is difficult to accumulate momentum. Will it succeed? Won’t it succeed? Like Musk, you’re eager to know what’s going to happen next.
Musk’s recent actions will no doubt affect perceptions of SpaceX’s May 27 launch, which is unfortunate. One can understand the idea that businessmen want to restart the economy, and there are plenty of reasons to support this position. But the direct denial of the epidemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, casts a shadow over the situation. But Musk will always do what he wants, and to operate in the reality he created, and that’s exactly what makes SpaceX today.
For anyone who can ignore Musk’s antics, a successful launch would be a moment of pure happiness that people all over the world can share in. At the very least, it affirms the government. In this case, NASA can risk working with a private company while maintaining the integrity of its safety standards. “We’ve had about 10,000 meetings, and maybe 10,000 experiments like that or that,” Musk said. “If all goes well, Musk, NASA, and all SpaceX employees, from the indomitable president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, to every engineer, programmer and worker, will prove to us that government and industry can work together to accomplish a great, well-thought-out plan.”
Between now and launch, Musk still intends to continue to be himself. He’s really doing what he posted on Twitter: selling his property, including many of his homes. “I’d rather stay with my friends, take turns in their house to spend the night, stay in the factory when there’s a problem,” he said. I prefer this, so It’s not so lonely. “His Twitter may not have been well thought out, and certainly not at the level of NASA’s Twitter feed. Asked where his six sons would live, Musk said he might need to find a home near SpaceX’s headquarters in Los Angeles. “I might rent a house or something.” Rent a little bit of a place, but I really don’t know where to rent. “
Once the launch is complete, Musk will travel to Cape Canaveral for a final engineering evaluation with spaceX and NASA teams. If the weather is right, all the technology will work according to design, and the two NASA astronauts will safely leave the Earth pandemic and head to the universe.
“Assuming it works, and I don’t want to look too wild, it’s an incredible moment for all of humanity,” Musk said. I think it’s something that everyone should celebrate. “
A party to celebrate? A face-to-face celebration? Musk, are you serious?
Musk replied, “I think we can have a party, yes, we’ll all be fine.” (Maple)