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Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Nov 10, 2019.
Elon interviewed at Air Force Space Pitch Day
I loved how he ended it with a very good examination of how idiotic it is to be building single use rockets (cough, SLS, cough). But the whole thing was great.
I used to hang on his every word.
Today I'll not even watch it.
How times change?
I thought there was some really interesting stuff in this one. Not too surprising if you know Elon from many of his other interviews but enlightening if you haven't.
- Less than 10% of Falcon 9 is not made in-house
- SpaceX now outsourcing Falcon 9’s landing legs to All-American Racing which makes racing cars (“They could do it better than us”)
- “We would love to outsource more”
- Cybertruck will look like it came off a movie set, and Elon likes it. Make what your like: “If it’s compelling to you it will be compelling to others”
- SpaceX is 7000 people
- Spoke twice about proper reward structure to incentivize the behaviour one wants out of their employees
- Insists that teams step on each other’s toes to encourage system optimization over sub-system optimization (i.e. prop team goes partway into airframe and vice-versa)
- A rocket coming back from orbit is like a seesaw
- A pretty funny joke about shorts
- Elon says the last full one week break without work he had was in 2000 when he had malaria
- Want to get hired by him? Give him 3 bullets on clear evidence of exceptional ability. College degrees and 4.0 GPAs are not that
(This following bit got quite hard to hear)
- Starship cost of propellant (fuel and oxygen, no helium which is expensive) is about $900k per flight.
- Starship marginal cost per flight at about $2M
I will strive to be “less wrong“ tomorrow!
I watched it. Just skip when you've heard it all before. There was a fair amount of new stuff.
Thanks for taking the time to pick out the highlights. Every Elon interview is a fun interview, though he tends to tone it down quite a bit when he is at a NASA event.
And I’m so glad he has not — as far as I know — had a recurrence of malaria. That is such a debilitating disease, and the last thing we need is Elon with no energy, just lying around.
It seems that the idea of a “vacation” is just not in his mindset. He enjoys his work too much!
I quite enjoyed his thoughts on recruiting talent, and retaining it.
For example: he wonders if his recruiting would allow them to find and hire Nikola Tesla if he was around. He was concerned they would miss out on such a talent.
That was one good interview. Loved it. And I have listened to all his interviews.
Obviously not SpaceX specifically but it comes up. Great interview.
Thanks for posting that link. Yes there was some of Elon talking about early SpaceX history but I didn’t hear anything new. That podcast was 99% early “Elon history”. The podcast is labeled as “Part 1” so I hope that more will be released and Elon will be asked questions about what is happening now with SpaceX and what he hopes for the future. I felt like the interviewers were too much in awe of Elon and just let him talk without asking enough pointed questions. I was surprised when Kimball walked in, and also surprised when I realized that Maye Musk was sitting in the adjacent room!
A lot of that podcast was Elon talking about his time spent founding Zip2 and PayPal. It made me chuckle because the five podcast interviewers appeared to be no older than 25, meaning they were infants in the 90’s but they were all nodding whenever companies like AltaVista and Excite were mentioned, websites which they could not possibly have ever used because they weren’t using computers when they were in grammar school. I’m a generation older than Elon, and can remember using Netscape 1.0 so those company names are familiar to me. That said, I’m glad the kids are interested in early internet history.
Too funny ecarfan, yes I agree. I actually started an Internet/software company in the 90’s so I know exactly what Elon was talking about. He is spot on when he said no one knew about the Internet until the Netscape IPO. All of a sudden all these supposed geniuses in the VC firms sat up and took notice, throwing money at anything with the name “Internet” in it. Just like they do now with whatever the latest investment fad is.
Fireside Chat with Elon today:
I thought it was a great interview, technical info too.
Happy birthday Elon.
I just don't know what to make of Elon and his Presidential endorsement of Kanye West. Here's Kanye quoted inside a Forbes article published earlier today,
"His advisors right now, he says, are the two people who notably endorsed him on the Fourth: his wife Kim Kardashian-West, and Elon Musk, of whom he says, “We’ve been talking about this for years.” (Adds West: “I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.”)"
While not free of Congressional purse strings, fun to imagine Elon overseeing NASA's 22 billion yearly budget. He's arguably the most qualified person on the planet for the job. We'd see a quicker evolution in human spaceflight, but of course things will likely unfold a bit differently.
Would note that when Kanye mentions "head of our space program" I wonder if he knows the title he's looking for is "NASA Administrator". With Kanye being an anti-vaxxer, perhaps scientific facts are only convenient when it's necessary to attract culturally popular individuals.
Seems like Elon is walking back based on Kanye West's unpopular platforms on abortion and vaccination.
Elon Musk endorsing Kanye, then reconsidering, is the world's shortest love story
This probably gets chalked up to a short lived union based on batshit-begets-batshit, but its still a bit of a bummer that Elon's mouth-hole beat his brain-hole. A genius making brilliant and jaw dropping snap judgements/assessments is awesome...until those judgements start snapping the wrong way.
FWIW, I don't think NASA Administrator is the right position for Elon, at least right now. As the visionary for [the private company] SpaceX Elon can make massive steps forward in space concepts and can lead revolutionary industry progress by example. IMHO that's the best thing right now for American Space. Maybe Elon leading NASA would be more once there's a critical mass of other companies operating in a realm significantly beyond Legacy Space, Elon leading NASA would be more plausible, but we're a ways away from that...
Secondarily, I don't believe Elon has the mentally capability to take that job right now. I'm all for fresh faces shaking up the establishment in an effort to steer this country and its institutional foundation toward a better future (of course, as evidence by the past 3.5 years that can also go exactly backward...), but I don't think Elon would be able to process the reality of how the gub'ment works today. Our institution is designed to move WAY too slowly for his brain, with numerous checks and balances and ancillary agendas, and he simply wouldn't be able to change that established MO fast enough before mentally imploding.
Walking back? He was never in in the first place. His original tweet said "You have my full support!", which could easily be interpreted as saying that Elon is glad Kayne is running. For shits and giggles. For the fun of it. For how stupid people are going to react to it. For any number of off the wall reasons. But it wasn't an endorsement. Elon DID NOT say that he endorsed Kayne for President, just that he thought the idea of Kayne running was great. I mean, I thought it was great too when I heard about it since it would inject some humor into the whole thing, and especially since a lot of people wouldn't see the humor, which makes it even more funny.
I mean, no one with half a brain thinks that Kayne can win. It is doubtful he will even influence the election, I mean any more than any other random celebrity can.
Elon's "walkback" was "We may have more differences of opinion than I anticipated". Which is a humorous remark. It's a dry humor understated remark. It's what British humor looks like. You think Elon is so stupid to not think right away that he and Kayne have massive differences of opinion on any number of issues?
Eh, don't bother answering that. You do seem to think Elon is pretty stupid, so there isn't much else I can say.
In my opinion, there is no way to know what was in Elon’s mind when he said “You have my full support”. I think Kanye is completely unqualified for any elective office and was disappointed to see Elon’s tweet, even if it was meant as a joke. But it doesn’t matter; West is just making noise and almost no one will write in his name in November.
As to Elon being NASA Administrator, obviously that will not happen. He would never take the job if offered to him, for the reasons that @bxr140 so astutely raised. Heading up a government bureaucracy is the antithesis of how he wants to accomplish the goals he has set for SpaceX.
I think Elon and Kanye are neighbors. They've probably talked a couple of times and I agree with Cosmacelf's assessment that Elon was just joking in a friendly manner to a neighbor on Twitter.
Even Elon couldn't change NASA. It's a slow moving bureaucracy with lots of great enthusiastic people. More motivated than any other bureaucratic institution since they do really want to achieve something. Elon would hate it and it would absolutely slow SpaceX's progress on making humanity multi-planetary. He's achieving a lot more by SpaceX shaming the institutional old school contractors into doing a much better job. ULA is a much better company because of what SpaceX has done.