A few days ago SpaceX released some incredible footage of their rocket launches and landings, all in pixel bursting 4K. If you're a SpaceX fan, the video might make you cry.
I also just finished working with a designer on our new 'The Falcon Has Landed' shirt! I'm very happy with the finished product. If you are even remotely interested in SpaceX, then it's probably something you need to have in your closet.
Thanks for being part of this newsletter, and enjoy issue 34!
P.S. Congratulations to Ryan P. for winning our giveaway! Your autographed Elon Musk photo is on its way.
"It's a solar roof as opposed to a module on a roof. It's not a beautiful roof, that it is a solar roof, it's not a thing on a roof, it is the roof."
It's launch day for Hello Games' procedurally generated exploration title No Man's Sky, and the most anticipated game of the year is already a smash. In just a few hours, it's gone from an industry darling to a legitimate social phenomenon. You know you're doing something right when the real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, is blowing up your Twitter feed with odd philosophical questions.
High-speed footage tends to be profound and beautiful, as do rocket launches. When we see rocket landings, new to the world as they are, our minds tend to melt a little bit. On Tuesday, SpaceX completed the trifecta: it shared a high-speed video of its rockets launching and landing. The footage is, as one would expect, profound and a little beautiful.
Preparations for SpaceX's next launch completed a major milestone late on Wednesday, via the Static Fire test of the Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral's SLC-40 pad. This latest Falcon 9 is tasked with lofting the JCSAT-16 satellite into its Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GEO) on August 14.
SpaceX is targeting a 1:26 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Japanese communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission is SpaceX's second in just over three months for Tokyo-based Sky Perfect JSAT, Asia's largest satellite operator with 16 in orbit. The new satellite, called JCSAT-16, will serve as an orbital spare for that fleet. A Falcon 9 successfully launched JCSAT-14 from Launch Complex 40 on May 6.
SpaceX believes it can more effectively serve the growing small satellite market through rideshare accommodations on its larger vehicles, the company's president said. Gwynne Shotwell said SpaceX was working with companies that aggregate secondary payloads, such as Seattle-based Spaceflight, to fly on the Falcon 9 and future Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.
"We really love and appreciate working with aggregators of small satellite missions," she said. "We've got a brand-new agreement with Spaceflight for four additional flights over the next four or five years." Spaceflight announced in September 2015 that it had purchased a Falcon 9 launch for what it called a "dedicated rideshare" mission planned for the second half of 2017. That mission will carry more than 20 spacecraft, including a lunar lander developed by SpaceIL, an Israeli team competing in the Google Lunar X Prize.
The next generation Autopilot will feature new hardware on which Tesla will incrementally push new features through over-the-air software updates. The new sensor suite will enable level 3 autonomous driving and potentially level 4 fully autonomous driving in the not too distant future.
We now have some concrete information on Tesla's second generation Autopilot hardware and it is coming sooner than you might think... Sources with knowledge of the Autopilot program told us that the new suite will keep the current front-facing radar and add more around the car, likely one in each corner. Additionally, the system will feature a new front-facing triple camera system for which we are told Tesla started installing new housing in cars this week.
What is Tesla's core technology advantage over competitors? Does it even have one? Those are questions that often come up when discussing Tesla's lead in the electric vehicle sector. Since Tesla open-sourced its patents, some suggested that its technology advantage is virtually nonexistent since competitors could simply use it, but it's not as simple.
While Tesla's patents are indeed opened for use in electric vehicles as per its 'patent pledge', Tesla is still keeping some trade secrets and the company is fairly secretive about some of its development and manufacturing processes, especially when it comes to batteries, which could very well be Tesla's core technology advantage led by its co-founder and CTO, JB Straubel.
Tesla opened its new flagship store in San Francisco yesterday. The new location became the automaker's biggest store and service center in North America, with 65,000 sq-ft of space, ~20,000 sq-ft bigger than the Montreal store, which was previously reported as Tesla's biggest in North America.
The new store is part of Tesla's planned expansion ahead of the Model 3 introduction, which will put a strain on Tesla's retail and service efforts with ~400,000 reservations already. Tesla plans to add a new retail location every four days until the end of the year in order to have over 300 stores by the end of the year
The United Arab Emirates, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, will be hosting the "Build Earth Live" contest next month (September) which would specifically focus on the development of the Hyperloop system between Dubai and Fujairah.
From their website, "Build Earth Live" is a 48-hour design project, starting on September 26th, which is open to teams from around the world which will focus on developing a Hyperloop system that will travel from Dubai to Fujairah (approximately 105 km or 65 miles) in as little as 10 minutes.
Musk revealed during Solar City's investor call on Tuesday that Solar City has designed a roof made entirely of solar panels so it can provide solar energy to more people. And, in the process, Musk can also prove it made sense for Tesla to buy Solar City earlier this year.
Solar City estimates that 5 million Americans replace their roofs each year. That's 5 million people who might consider a "solar roof" that promises to cut their bills and reduce their dependency on non-renewable energy. "If your roof is nearing end-of-life, you definitely don't want to put solar panels on it, because you're going to have to replace the roof," Musk explained on the call with investors. "So, there is a huge market segment that is currently inaccessible to Solar City."
SolarCity reported its Q2 quarterly results on Tuesday August 9, 2016, but unlike calls from the past where CEO Lyndon Rive's provides a financial outlook for the nation's largest full-service solar provider, Tesla CEO and SolarCity Chairman Elon Musk took stage to discuss future plans for the company.