What a great read, about Elon Musk and the driving force behind Tesla, Solar City and SpaceX. The common thread behind all of Musk’s pursuits is getting man to Mars. The side products and benefits of this mission, especially new battery technologies, may change our world much the same way that the original push to the moon led to the computers of today.
Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance, 2015
96 “I came very close to dying,” Musk said. “That’s my lesson for taking a vacation: vacations will kill you.”
113 SpaceX’s mission would be to emerge as the “Sourthwest Airlines of Space.”
122 three-hundred acre test site in McGregor, Texas.
165 Rarely did Tesla get hung up overanalyzing a situation. The company would pick a plan of attack, and when it failed at something, it failed fast and they tried a new approach.
228 Musk pushed the company to master friction stir welding, in which a spinning head is smashed at high speeds into the join between two pieces of metal in a bid to make their crystalline structures merge. It’s as if you heated two sheets of aluminum foil and then joined them by putting your thumb down on the seam and twisting the metal together. This type of welding tends to result in much stronger bonds than traditional welds.
229 Within SpaceX, Blue Origin (Jeff Bezo’s secretive rocket company) is mockingly referred to as BO.
329 “A six-month offset would be like, like Gallipoli. You have to make sure you charge right after the bombardment. Don’t fucking sit around for two hours so that the Turks can go back in the trenches. Timing is important. We have to do everything we can to minimize the timing risk.”
338 Musk really had become the closest thing the world had to Tony Stark, and he could not let his adoring public down.
343 mer·cu·ri·alˌmərˈkyo͝orēəl/ adjective (of a person) subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind. “his mercurial temperament”
351 Zee Aero, a start up in Mountain View, has a couple of former SpaceX staffers on hand and is working on a secretive new type of transport. A flying car at last? Perhaps.