Elon Musk's company SpaceX has announced that it has signed the first private moon traveler. The company will announce who it is, and when that flight to the moon will be, on Monday. The original plan called for two passengers to fly around the moon using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Crew Dragon capsule, but the new strategy is to fly around the moon using an even bigger SpaceX rocket that has its own dedicated passenger ship with only one person aboard.
Leo says that the Space X Falcon Heavy rocket launch, with two boosters automatically landing afterwards, was a triumph of engineering (even though one crashed in the ocean). The fun part was using Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as ballast with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, playing Bowie's Space Oddity on the stereo. What a great test, and the PR stunt of the century for Tesla, with hundreds of thousands watching the live stream of StarMan orbiting the earth before heading off to Mars.
Elon Musk is afraid that machines are getting smarter and smarter and he worries that they are an existential threat to humanity and may decide that they can rule over us or even worse, get rid of us. Leo thinks Musk has watched too many movies. Rodney Brooks, an artificial intelligence expert from MIT, said most people worried about that aren't working in AI, and he says that they aren't too worried because AI is too hard to perfect. Most are limited machines who can't move beyond their programming. It's a thin veneer of what looks like AI, but in reality, machines are pretty dumb.
On Friday, Tesla launched its more affordable $35,000 car, the Model 3. The thing that's been keeping these cars so expensive is because of the batteries it requires. Teslas have a long range of 200+ miles, which means it needs bigger batteries. Tesla has put batteries in the chassis for this, which is a good place to put them because it gives the car more stability and keeps it out of the way. The price of these batteries has been dropping considerably, though.
Elon Musk announced the Tesla Model 3 this past week, and they have already received 232,000 preorders. Customers had to put down $1,000 to preorder, and it may not be available for 2 or more years yet. This is the first Tesla at a relatively reasonable price of $35,000.
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SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to spend $10 Billion to put hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit to wire space for internet access. As a precursor to putting up a duplicate network on Mars, Musk says that he believes that a space-based internet would be 100 times faster than fiber optic connections and would reach everyone on earth.