Read more "Tesla’s Competition: An Example for Why it Should Not Receive Subsidies"
The explosion investigation and launchpad repair seem sure to scuttle SpaceX’s aggressive launch plans this year. The company had hoped for as many as 18 rocket launches this year. It has had eight so far; last week’s would have made nine. Over all, SpaceX has had 27 successful launches of Falcon 9 rockets.
The Florida accident is also rippling through the insurance market. Insuring the risk of getting a satellite into space comes in two stages. The preflight insurance is intended to mainly cover the risk of damage to the rocket and satellite on their way to the launchpad. Premiums are a fraction of a percent.Read more "The SpaceX explosion’s echoing impact"
Amazon.com Inc. Chairman Jeff Bezos, renowned for keeping quiet about strategic goals for his fledgling space company Blue Origin LLC, on Monday reversed course by disclosing plans for a giant, reusable rocket — named after iconic 1960s astronaut John Glenn — and powerful enough to blast people as well as satellites into high-Earth orbit.
The New Glenn rocket would feature a cluster of seven main engines and stand more than 310 feet tall. If it flies by the end of the decade as intended, the largest version of the proposed booster could vault Blue Origin, based in Kent, Wash., into head-to-head commercial rivalry with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, founded and run by another billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk.Read more "Jeff Bezos unveils giant new rocket to compete with SpaceX"
Since Reyes’ departure from Tesla, Khobi Brooklyn, Director of Communications, became the most senior employee in the department and the de facto “Head of Global Communications”. We now learn that she is also leaving the automaker just a few months after Reyes.
As previously mentioned, Reyes has been VP of Communications at Tesla on two occasions. First from 2009 to 2012, when he left for a 2-year stint at Square, a financial service and mobile payment company. He then came back to Tesla in 2014. Brooklyn joined Tesla around the same time as Reyes (2009) and followed him to Square and back to Tesla again in 2014.
The company didn’t hire or promote another Vice President when Reyes left in March, but sources familiar with the situation told us that the company’s General Counsel and Elon Musk’s former divorce attorney, Todd Maron, among others had oversight and executive responsibilities of the communications department.
We asked Tesla for a comment on the situation, but our request went unanswered. The company rarely comments on employee matters.Read more "Tesla’s Head of Communications departs"
Beyond the minimal short-term effect of the new announced financing agreement, the fact that Tesla continues to choose every way possible to “spin” its narrative in a dissembling way is another red flag for Tesla investors. The Deutsche Bank financing agreement is just a drop in the bucket of all of the capital that Tesla will need over the next three years but the company just couldn’t resist suggesting otherwise. What’s amazing to me is that there is also not a lot more scrutiny about Tesla’s claims that its May 2016 financing was supposed to be all the capital needed to support “full production” of the Model 3 and to complete any additional investment needed for the Gigafactory.Read more "Tesla’s New Lease Financing Disclosure: Who Writes This Stuff?"