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Old 03-17-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Elon Musk, the man behind Space-X will be interviewed on 60 minutes 3/18.

Space X has done things no other private company has done in space. It should be well worth watching.

Www.spacex.com
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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Met him a few years back at his factory with the Deputy Administrator of NASA. Really neat guy,cofounded Paypal, started a car company and builds rockets on a general Russian design. Uses oil line welders to fabricate the larger stages. Does it cheaper than other US companies and cheaper than the Russians. I loved visiting the plant, I felt that if I were younger I would have bolted NASA and tried to work there, it just 'smelled right', like going around some of the labs at CALTECH only more production oriented. (Not like I was some important guy, I was just in the back of the room with these and other top folks but I could actually see what was going on and its really good.) Have no idea how he will look on TV, I'll have to watch.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #3
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His side job is leading Tesla Motors, which is certainly more than a full-time gig in itself. He is a facinating character. Try to watch "Revenge of the Electric Car" on netflix if you have the inclination. It's a good documentary on the rise of the current crop of plug-ins, and the people behind them.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:40 AM   #4
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The Tesla sports cars is very nice, though its luggage compartment adds new meaning to the term 'traveling light'.

If I worked another year, I could buy one....... Oh No! I'm not going there!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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The Tesla sports cars is very nice, though its luggage compartment adds new meaning to the term 'traveling light'.

If I worked another year, I could buy one....... Oh No! I'm not going there!!
The Tesla Roadster has been discontinued though you could pick up a used one. The Tesla Model S has decent cargo space, and the price is considerably less than the "sports car."
Quote:
Luggage capacity, rear: 28.7 cu. ft. (seats up)
Luggage capacity, rear: 66 cu. ft. (seats down)
Both models...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tesla-model-s-electric-car-photo-post001.jpg (36.2 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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The roadster has been discountinued? I just found this on the Tesla website. But, there is no way to purchase one as far as I can see. I guess I will have to retire as planned.

The Electric Tesla Roadster | Tesla Motors


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Old 03-18-2012, 11:17 AM   #7
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The Tesla is nice, but the real innovation is occurring at Space X. This is almost like the 1960's again.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #8
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The roadster has been discountinued? I just found this on the Tesla website.
There were several articles last summer Tesla Roadster reaches the end of the line - Jun. 21, 2011, and this from Tesla
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We currently intend to end the production run of the Tesla Roadster in December 2011, but we will continue to sell the remaining inventory of Tesla Roadsters in the first half of 2012.
Evidently they may still have inventory...
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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There's some kind of issue with the battery if you let it sit too long. I read something about the car having battery issues weeks ago, here's a link to the roadster being an expensive paperweight:

Tesla's $130,000 Roadster Could Become Giant Paperweight if Battery Dies - Los Angeles News - The Informer
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #10
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There's some kind of issue with the battery if you let it sit too long. I read something about the car having battery issues weeks ago, here's a link to the roadster being an expensive paperweight:
I don't know much about the author of the article or the Tesla battery situation so I can't comment on that. But, I must admit to getting sick of people in the press who love to criticize and point out the failings of those who try to do something different, daring or difficult. As Theodore Roosevelt said

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." (1891)

"Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger." (1894)
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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I don't know much about the author of the article or the Tesla battery situation so I can't comment on that. But, I must admit to getting sick of people in the press who love to criticize and point out the failings of those who try to do something different, daring or difficult...
We should all be counting on journalists to point out failings. Are you saying they should not be reported, just because the technology is new and exciting?

Assuming the info is correct, isn't this something that people considering buying one of these cars would want to be aware of?

Quote:
Jalopnik says the Tesla owner's manual indicates 11 weeks of inactivity and lack of charging will do the trick. But that appears to be optimistic, according to the blog:

If the car has been driven first, say to be parked at an airport for a long trip, that time can be substantially reduced. If the car is driven to nearly its maximum range and then left unplugged, it could potentially "brick" in about one week.

The site reports that five of 22,000 Roadsters sold have become useless as a result of lack of charging.
I love to follow technology developments. And a big part of that is understanding what problems are cropping up and if they are just bumps in the road with simple fixes, or something of a more significant challenge to the technology. I am not an ostrich.

Unless there is a simple fix, this could be a problem for wide-spread adoption. People don't give much thought today of getting somewhere with 1/4 tank of gas, then leaving the car sit for a couple weeks. My kids cars sit here when they are away at school, people take vacations, etc. Will the car be where it can be charged (airport long term parking)? Will someone want to leave their car plugged in while they're away for 2 weeks or a month? Will they forget? That's an expensive 'oops'.

If the reports are accurate (big IF with journalism today), then I think we should be grateful that they are being reported. Even if they aren't accurate, it'll at least partially offset all the times the press has referred to these as 'zero pollution' w/o a fuller explanation (I'm only partially serious there - two wrongs don't make a right).

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Old 03-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #12
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I did see similar articles from other sources. Here's a response from Tesla about one of it's cars in the NY Times where the owner was denied warranty since they didn't plug in the car when parked, only to the tune of a $40k cost to replace the battery:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/au...pagewanted=all
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:22 PM   #13
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We should all be counting on journalists to point out failings. Are you saying they should not be reported, just because the technology is new and exciting?

Assuming the info is correct, isn't this something that people considering buying one of these cars would want to be aware of?
No. I never said that.

Yes. Information, especially, reliable information is part of our personal due dilligence.


"Elon Musk is the kind of billionaire people love to hate"

Who hates Elon Musk? Most people don't even know who he is. Though that may change after tonight's 60 Minutes.

"The site reports that five of 22,000 Roadsters sold have become useless as a result of lack of charging. Oops."


That is 1:4400 vehicles. I wonder how that compares to other exotic sports vehicles?



This blog post raises some interesting issues in regards to the differences between blogs and journalism.


Anyway, I am hijacking my own thread, so I better stop.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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This blog post raises some interesting issues in regards to the differences between blogs and journalism.
Well, blogs are what they are. That one clearly was trying to be edgy as an ax.

But the NYT articles looked to be quite well done. Sounds like they are taking extra measures to prevent this, but I was struck by the confidence of the Nissan Leaf spokesperson. 'Never happen - and never means never'.

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Old 03-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #15
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I had a chance to look really close at a Tesla at a demo. Interesting car, but I would never consider for myself, even if I wanted to spend that much for a car. Reason: it's tiny and low. It's really small!

After having seen a cousin barely surviving an auto accident (multiple bone fractures: skull, jaw, collar bone, ribs, pelvis, femur) and taking 6 months before he could walk (most doctors wrote him off for dead), I swore I would continue to drive a car big enough to give me a chance against the murderous idiots out there on the streets.

PS. I was talking about the original Tesla. Not being interested in cars at all, I just learned they also had sedan models, but perhaps not in production.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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I hadn't planned on it, but I watched the segment last night on 60 Minutes. I feel for the guy (Elon Musk), we were touched by his sincerity when he talked about criticism he's received from 'heroes' that inspired him (Neil Armstrong & Gene Cernan IIRC). It was interesting, he's bitten off an awful lot here, I wonder if it would be an embarrasment to NASA if he's successful in commercializing space missions. Interesting...
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:48 AM   #17
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I hadn't planned on it, but I watched the segment last night on 60 Minutes. I feel for the guy (Elon Musk), we were touched by his sincerity when he talked about criticism he's received from 'heroes' that inspired him (Neil Armstrong & Gene Cernan IIRC). It was interesting, he's bitten off an awful lot here, I wonder if it would be an embarrasment to NASA if he's successful in commercializing space missions. Interesting...
I didn't get around to seeing it, but I did listen to a Science Friday podcast a few years back on this.

One thing that stuck out for me - Elon Musk said that the space shuttle still used those big desk sized tape drive units for data storage. And they needed to machine the replacement parts for them, since they were out of production. Elon said that you could replace those tape drives with off-the-shelf thumb drives for a tiny fraction of the cost, size and weight, and get better performance (I'm sure he'd use RAID technology, and not bargain basement suppliers for reliability). But the bureaucratic inertia to certify the thumb drives made it near impossible to make the change.

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Old 03-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #18
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I saw the interview. I hope the man can accomplish his goals. When I read about SpaceX today, it reminds me of the glory days of the 1960's and 70's when 'failure was not an option'. When Alan Shepard first flew into space, spectacular rocket failures (like blowing up shortly after launch) were all to common. By the time the last Apollo astronaut returned from the moon, the Saturn V moon rocket that took them there had never failed in flight. Amazing. Right now the fastest vehicle ever built is on its way to Pluto, and most people don't even know about it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:54 AM   #19
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I've been following Elon for a number of year and I think he has a chance to be the bigger than Steve Jobs. I think he is hands down the most interesting guy in Silicon Valley right now.

A friend of mines, very bright son has worked as engineer for Telsa for several years working on the battery for the S coupe. He describes working for Elon as working a crazy man, in pretty much the same way that early Apple/Next employees used to describe working for Jobs. One difference is that Elon unlike Jobs is not an asshole.
I second the recommendation Revenge of the electric car and much better film that its predecessor Who killed the electric car

Since electric cars make more sense in Hawaii than pretty much anywhere else, I'll probably get an S Coupe, when my friend says the bugs have been worked so hopefully the 2nd year.

I agree with Chuck, Telsa is cool, but Space X is the really exciting place. I was amazed to see that Space X has 1500 employees (about the same as Facebook) and the are doing real manufacturing right here in the USA.


In virtually all field's technology progress has been faster than I could have imagined.
The big exception is Space. Like many of us I was inspired by Race to the Moon. While I gave up my dream of being an astronaut somebody in high school, I still thought I would be able to go to the moon or Mars sometime in my life. Considering we went from no where to the moon in 10 years, it certainly didn't seem far fetch to think of going to Mars in my lifetime.


The 60 Minutes Scotty Pelley has a nice segment which describes my sadness at the miserable state of the American space program. The 60 minutes Space X piece is also well worth seeing.

The way I figure the only way I'll see a Mars landing in my lifetime is if crazy wild eye dreamers like Elon (he wants to build a colony on Mars by 2030) succeed

Here’s to the Crazy Ones Ad, with Steve Jobs’ Voiceover
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:26 AM   #20
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I've been following Elon for a number of year and I think he has a chance to be the bigger than Steve Jobs. I think he is hands down the most interesting guy in Silicon Valley right now.

....

I second the recommendation Revenge of the electric car and much better film that its predecessor Who killed the electric car

But is it a 'much, much, much' better film? Based on the reviews and discussions I've read of WKTEC, it's gonna have to be considerably better for me to get anything out of it.

Ahhh, 'The Revenge' is on 'instant netfix' so I'll watch it as I prep dinner tonight. WKTEC is DVD only, not worth it for me to take one of DWs slots for that one!

Quote:
..., but Space X is the really exciting place. I was amazed to see that Space X has 1500 employees (about the same as Facebook) and the are doing real manufacturing right here in the USA.


In virtually all field's technology progress has been faster than I could have imagined.
The big exception is Space. Like many of us I was inspired by Race to the Moon. While I gave up my dream of being an astronaut somebody in high school, I still thought I would be able to go to the moon or Mars sometime in my life. Considering we went from no where to the moon in 10 years, it certainly didn't seem far fetch to think of going to Mars in my lifetime.
While I was and am fascinated by space technology, I really wonder if looking into the deep oceans isn't every bit as challenging with more potential reward. There is another thread on that subject now that I'll be following.

It seems to be more challenging (only 7 miles away, and we hardly spend any time there?). And it also seems that if we find something useful, it would be easier to take advantage if it. We could set up unmanned transport systems to mine stuff, or whatever is of value down there.


edit/add: here's the thread - Is anyone else following James Cameron's deep sea exploration?

-ERD50
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