Tag Archives: Elon

Elon Musk, SEC told to meet for at least 1 hour about tweets

Elon Musk, SEC told to meet for at least 1 hour about tweetsDETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in New York has ordered Tesla CEO Elon Musk and U.S. securities regulators to meet for at least an hour to try and settle a dispute over Musk's tweets.



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Elon Musk's Las Vegas high-speed tunnel could launch stalled projects across the country

Elon Musk's Las Vegas high-speed tunnel could launch stalled projects across the countryThe Boring Company founder Elon Musk and his vision to create high-speed transit tunnels to help solve the nation's high infrastructure cost for a fraction of the price might finally come to fruition out in the desert.



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Elon Musk's lawyers say tweet did not violate court order

Elon Musk's lawyers say tweet did not violate court orderFinancial regulators said a tweet about Tesla’s production volume violated a September fraud settlementElon Musk tweeted a claim that Tesla would produce around 500,000 cars in 2019. Photograph: Aly Song/ReutersThe Tesla Inc chief executive, Elon Musk, shot back against the US financial regulator on Monday, arguing in a filing that a recent tweet about the electric vehicle maker’s production volume did not violate the court’s judgment and there is no basis to initiate contempt proceedings against him.Musk tweeted on 19 February to his more than 24 million followers that the electric vehicle-maker would produce about 500,000 cars in 2019. That tweet, the SEC argued, violated a September fraud settlement barring Musk from sharing material information about Tesla on social media without the company’s pre-approval. The SEC asked a federal court in Manhattan to hold Musk in contempt shortly after.But Musk’s lawyers argued on Monday that the tweet complied with the company’s communication policy for senior executives and that the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s request that Musk be held in civil contempt is incorrect on the facts and on the law.Tesla published a new communications policy in December for senior executives as part of the settlement. It called for Tesla’s general counsel and a newly designated in-house securities law attorney to pre-approve any written statements about Tesla that could be material.Tesla conceded last month that Musk’s tweet was not pre-approved. But the tweet Musk fired off after the markets closed merely restated prior disclosures on electric car production volumes, the lawyers wrote on Monday, did not disclose material information and did not alter the mix of data available to investors.The settlement between Musk, Tesla and the SEC resolved an SEC lawsuit over claims Musk had made on Twitter last year that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $ 420 per share. As part of that settlement, Musk stepped down as the company’s chairman and he and Tesla agreed to pay $ 20m each in fines.Musk had called the regulator the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” on Twitter after the settlement. One day after the agency started pursuing the contempt order, he tweeted that “something is broken with SEC oversight.” Renewed PressureThe renewed public battle between Tesla’s chief executive and the top US securities regulator adds pressure on Musk amid larger financial woes.Tesla on Monday reversed a recent decision to close all its stores and move to an online-only sales model, in order to cut the price of its Model 3 sedan by 6%.The company said it would await the results of a further review on the usefulness of physical locations, and the discount on the original price of the car be “about 3%”.Legal experts have said the SEC could now pursue multiple avenues, including a higher fine, imposing further restrictions on Musk’s activities or removing him from Tesla’s board or helm.



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Elon Musk shoots back at US regulators, accusing them of 'retaliation and censorship'

Elon Musk shoots back at US regulators, accusing them of 'retaliation and censorship'Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk shot back against US financial regulators on Monday, arguing that his recent tweet about his company's production numbers did not violate a previous fraud settlement and that he cannot be held in contempt. Lawyers for Mr Musk said that his "single, immaterial" tweet to more than 24 million Twitter followers, claiming that Tesla would produce around 500,000 electric cars in 2019, complied with the communications policy his company has been forced to adopt.  The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had asked a court in New York City to hold Musk in contempt, saying his tweet in February violated a fraud settlement from September which barred him from sharing material information about Tesla on social media without the company's pre-approval. Bur Mr Musk's lawyers argued in a court filing that the SEC was exceeding its power in attempting to hold him in contempt, saying its action “smacks of retaliation and censorship”. "This contempt action, following Musk's sincerely-held criticism of the SEC on 60 Minutes [a US TV show], also reflects concerning and unprecedented overreach on the part of the SEC," the filing said. In December, Musk said in an interview with the US news programme 60 Minutes that: "I do not have respect for the SEC." The settlement between Musk, Tesla and the SEC resolved an SEC lawsuit over claims Mr Musk made on Twitter in August that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $ 420 per share. The SEC called those tweets "false and misleading", and a deal never materialized. As part of that settlement, Musk stepped down as the company's chairman and he and Tesla agreed to pay $ 20m each (£15m) in fines. The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the top US securities regulator adds pressure on Mr Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $ 35,000. Tesla has backed off a plan to close all its US stores and said it will instead raise prices of its higher-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average. In the filing, Mr Musk's lawyers said his tweet was a "proud and optimistic restatement of publicly disclosed information." Mr Musk corrected his tweet four hours later to say that the "annualized production rate" at year-end 2019 would probably be about 500,000, with deliveries expected to be about 400,000. Moreover, Mr Musk has exhibited self-censorship in dramatically reducing the volume of tweets since the settlement, they wrote, adding that the SEC's request, if granted, would raise free speech issues. "This self-censorship is reflective of his commitment to adhering to the Order and avoiding unnecessary disputes with the SEC," they wrote in the filing. Mr Musk called the regulator the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission" on Twitter after the settlement, and tweeted that "something is broken with SEC oversight" just one day after the agency started pursuing the contempt order. Legal experts have said the SEC could now pursue multiple avenues, including a higher fine, imposing further restrictions on Mr Musk's activities or removing him from Tesla's board or helm. Tesla published a new communications policy in December for senior executives as part of the settlement. It called for Tesla's general counsel and a newly designated in-house securities law attorney to pre-approve any written statements about Tesla that could be material. A disclosure controls committee, made up of board members Brad Buss, Antonio Gracias and James Murdoch, was tasked with overseeing compliance with the new policy.



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Elon Musk's US security clearance under review after smoking cannabis

Elon Musk's US security clearance under review after smoking cannabisElon Musk's security clearance is under review by the US Department of Defence after he smoked marijuana on a podcast last year.  The Tesla and SpaceX founder is resubmitting a form which requires government employees or contractors with security clearance to disclose illegal drug use in recent years, Bloomberg reported. His security clearance is linked to his aerospace company SpaceX, which is launching intelligence satellites for the US government and is planning manned spaceflights for Nasa later this year. Last month SpaceX won a $ 297m (£226m) contract to launch satellites for the Air Force. A capsule launched last week with a dummy nicknamed "Ripley" aboard, a reference to the horror film Alien, successfully reached the International Space Station and is due to return to earth this weekend.  Mr Musk smoked the drug during an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience show in September last year, telling the host that he wasn't a regular user. It is legal in California, where the show was recorded, but still illegal under federal law, and government employees aren't allowed to use it. A memo circulated in 2014 by former director of national intelligence James Clapper, which is still in force, states that marijuana use "raises questions" about an individual's reliability and suitability for sensitive national security positions.  A spokesman for the US Department of Defence said: "For privacy and security reasons, we do not publicly discuss individual clearance status." The incident also prompted Nasa to undertake a safety culture review of SpaceX and Boeing, another company with which it has a commercial contract.



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Elon Musk to unveil Tesla's Model Y next week

Elon Musk to unveil Tesla's Model Y next weekTesla will unveil its Model Y SUV next week, chief executive Elon Musk has said, launching a product which is expected to give it a foothold in a "far larger and faster growing global segment". In a series of posts on Twitter last night, Mr Musk said the new compact SUV would be 10pc larger than its Model 3 electric vehicles, so would cost "around 10pc more and have slightly less range for the same battery". The billionaire, who had just hours earlier launched  his first spaceship built to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, said detailed specifications and pricing would be provided at the launch event, on March 14. The Model Y, which is expected to go into volume production next year, will be produced using many of the same components as the Model 3 vehicle. For example, it is expected to be based on the Model 3's steel and aluminium structure, and have "normal" doors, not the Falcon Wing doors that are seen on Tesla's other SUV, the Model X.  Analysts have been largely optimistic over the launch of the Model Y, and Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas last week said an "all-new midsized crossover/SUV is Tesla's chance to take the learnings from the Model S, X, and 3 in design and manufacturing to offer a product in a far larger and faster growing global segment". Tesla Model 3 production However, he cautioned that the "key downside to providing too much information about the Model Y and its enhanced capabilities in software and hardware is that it could steal the thunder of the still-ramping Model 3 just as it's getting introduced into key international markets". Tesla recently started Model 3 deliveries to parts of Asia and Europe, with some customers having waited three years for the vehicles. The company has said it will start deliveries to the UK later this year, with the slower roll-out due to the fact vehicles in the UK need to be right-hand drive.  Tesla was last year forced to push back targets for Model 3 deliveries a number of times, having struggled with production bottlenecks and organisation issues, although signalled it was over the worst of those issues.  Mr Musk last week said 2018 had been the "most challenging in Tesla’s history".



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Elon Musk's SpaceX and Nasa launch new astronaut capsule

Elon Musk's SpaceX and Nasa launch new astronaut capsuleElon Musk's SpaceX has successfully  launched a rocket out of the Earth's atmosphere, heralding the rebirth of American manned spaceflight later this year. The unmanned crew capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Florida bound for the International Space Station at 7.49am GMT on Saturday. Nasa and SpaceX successfully launched the new astronaut capsule on a week-long trip to the International Space Station and back – a key step towards resuming manned space flights from US soil after an eight-year break. This time around, the only occupant on board SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule is a dummy named Ripley, named after the character in Alien played by Sigourney Weaver. But if the test goes smoothly, Nasa plans to put two astronauts aboard by the end of the year. View this post on Instagram All systems and weather are go ahead of Crew Dragon's first test flight tomorrow morning at 2:49 a.m. EST, 7:49 UTC A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex) on Mar 1, 2019 at 12:43pm PST Musk, the SpaceX founder, said the launch had left him “emotionally exhausted”. “That was super stressful – but it worked, so far,” he said. Before lift off Musk tweeted a photo of the inside of the Crew Dragon capsule with the Ripley mannequin strapped in it. The new capsule, carrying 400 pounds of supplies and test equipment, is scheduled to reach the ISS by Sunday, with a return to Earth next Friday. "This is a critically important event in American history," the head of the US space agency, Jim Bridenstine, told reporters, with the rocket and capsule visible behind him on the legendary launch pad where the Apollo missions to the Moon began. "We're on the precipice of launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil again for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles in 2011." SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off to ISS from Kennedy Space Center Credit: REUTERS The excitement was palpable at Cape Canaveral, from the space-fan volunteers guiding media on site, to the tourists who came to watch the launch light up the overcast skies. "It's been a long eight years," the Kennedy Space Center's director Bob Cabana, a former astronaut himself, said as SpaceX employees milled around the rocket. Falcon 9 rocket, with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft on board, as it was rolled out to the launch pad Credit: NASA/JOEL KOWSKY/AFP/Getty Images After the shuttle program was shuttered in July 2011 after a 30-year run, Nasa began outsourcing the logistics of its space missions. It pays Russia to get its people up to the ISS orbiting research facility at a cost of $ 82 million a head, for a round trip. In 2014, the US space agency awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing for them to take over this task. But the program has suffered delays as safety requirements are much more stringent for manned flights than for unmanned missions to deploy satellites. "We're going to have more access to space at a better cost than at any point in human history," said Bridenstine, adding he was "100 percent confident" that a manned flight would happen by year's end. What will be learned  Saturday's flight aims to test the vessel's reliability and safety in real-life conditions. The dummy that will ride in the capsule – which SpaceX's Hans Koenigsmann prefers to call a "smartie" – has been nicknamed Ripley in honor of the character played by Sigourney Weaver in the "Alien" movies. It will be fitted with monitors to test the forces that future astronauts will be subjected to on takeoff and when they return to the Earth's atmosphere and then splash down in the Atlantic, slowed down by giant parachutes. Blast off Credit: AP Photo/Terry Renna "We're going to learn a ton from this mission," said Kathy Lueders, the manager of Nasa's Commercial Crew program. For SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002, sending an astronaut into orbit would be a culmination of years of hard work and high-risk investment. "Every mission is important, but this is even more important, said Koenigsmann, the firm's vice-president for build and flight reliability. "Early on, our goal was human spaceflight," he said. "Human spaceflight is a core value of business of SpaceX." In less than a decade, SpaceX has become a key partner for Nasa, in addition to dominating the market for private satellite launches. Its Falcon 9 rockets have resupplied the space station 15 times in seven years, even though one of them blew up in 2015.



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Israel joins rush to the moon as first lunar lander launched by Elon Musk's Space X

Israel joins rush to the moon as first lunar lander launched by Elon Musk's Space XASpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Thursday night carrying Israel's first lunar lander on a mission that if successful will make the Jewish state only the fourth nation to achieve a controlled touchdown on the moon's surface. The unmanned robotic lander dubbed Beresheet – Hebrew for the biblical phrase "in the beginning" – soared into space from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at about 8.45 pm.EST (1.45 GMT Friday) atop the 23-story-tall rocket. Beresheet, about the size of a dish-washing machine, was one of three sets of cargo carried aloft by the Falcon 9, part of the private rocket fleet of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's California-based company SpaceX. The rocket's two other payloads were a telecommunications satellite for Indonesia and an experimental satellite for the US Air Force. Beresheet was jettisoned into Earth orbit about 34 minutes after launch, followed 15 minutes later by the release of the two satellites, according to a SpaceX webcast of the event. Israeli Aerospace Industries director of Space division Opher Doron speaks in front the spacecraft Credit:  JACK GUEZ/ AFP In addition to a textbook launch and payload deployments, SpaceX scored yet another success in its pioneering technology for recycling its own rockets. Just minutes after blastoff, the Falcon 9's nine-engine suborbital main-stage booster separated from the upper stage, flew back to Earth and landed safely on a drone ship floating in the Atlantic Ocean more than 300 miles (483 km) off the Florida coast. As seen from the launch site, the distant glow of the returning booster rocket was visible in the sky just as the moon appeared over the horizon. The spectacle drew cheers from mission control engineers. The encouraging moment came on the eve of a key hurdle for SpaceX to clear in the company's quest to help NASA revive its human spaceflight program. On Friday, NASA is expected to decide whether to give its final go-ahead to SpaceX for a first, unmanned test flight on March 2 of a new capsule the company designed for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Beresheet is slated to reach its destination on the near-side of the moon in mid-April following a two-month journey through 4 million miles (6.5 million km) of space. NASA is expected to decide whether to give its final go-ahead to SpaceX for a first, unmanned test flight of a new capsule designed for carrying astronauts Credit:  AFP A flight path directly from Earth to the moon would cover roughly 240,000 miles (386,242 km), but Beresheet will follow a more circuitous route. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft's gradually widening Earth orbit will eventually bring the probe within the moon's gravitational pull, setting the stage for a series of additional maneuvers leading to an automated touchdown. So far, only three other nations have carried out controlled "soft" landings on the moon – the United States, the former Soviet Union and China. Spacecraft from several countries, including India's Moon Impact Probe, Japan's SELENE orbiter and a European Space Agency orbital probe called SMART 1, have intentionally crashed on the lunar surface. The US Apollo program tallied six manned missions to the moon – the only ones yet achieved – between 1969 and 1972, with about a dozen more robotic landings combined by the Americans and Soviets. China made history in January with its Chang'e 4, the first to touch down on the dark side of the moon. Beresheet would mark the first non-government lunar landing. The 1,290-pound (585-kg) spacecraft was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with $ 100 million furnished almost entirely by private donors. Beresheet is designed to spend just two to three days using on-board instruments to photograph its landing site and measure the moon's magnetic field. Data will be relayed via the US space agency NASA's Deep Space Network to SpaceIL's Israel-based ground station Yehud. At the end of its brief mission, mission controllers plan to simply shut down the spacecraft, according to SpaceIL officials, leaving Beresheet as the latest piece of human hardware to litter the lunar landscape.



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Pentagon to review certification of Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles

Pentagon to review certification of Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles“Our objective is to determine whether the U.S. Air Force complied with the Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide when certifying the launch system design for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles,” U.S. Department Of Defense Deputy Inspector General Michael Roark said in the memo. The review will begin this month, the memo stated.



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One year after it was shot into space, let’s check in on Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster

One year after it was shot into space, let’s check in on Elon Musk’s Tesla RoadsterIt's hard to believe it's already been a year, but exactly 12 months ago today was the first launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy. The rocket launch was a huge success and while SpaceX hasn't launched Heavy again in the time since, it was still a very big deal for the company.Falcon Heavy, which has since been usurped by new SpaceX projects including Starship and Super Heavy, flew skyward one year ago and took Elon Musk's own Tesla Roadster along for the ride. The pricey payload, with its Starman mannequin seated behind the wheel, has been flying through space ever since.Let's check on its progress, shall we?Figuring out exactly where the Roadster and its Starman passenger are at any given point is incredibly easy thanks to the handy website whereisroadster.com, which tracks the progress of the vehicle every moment of every day.Going by the site's statistics, the Roadster is currently around 226 million miles from Earth and 163 million miles from Mars, and it got to its current position by traveling at a speed of approximately 5,149 miles per hour. That's an incredibly speedy vehicle, and it won't be slowing down any time soon.As far as total distance traveled, the car has cruised for a whopping 473.3 million miles as of this writing. It'll take approximately 557 days for the Roadster to make a full orbit around the Sun, and it's projected to continue to travel through space for a long, long time to come.As LiveScience notes, scientists believe the Roadster will eventually crash into either Earth or Venus. However, it could take many millions of years for that to happen, and the odds of it slamming into either planet in the next million years are significantly less than ten percent.It's worth noting that by the time the Roadster meets its end, it will likely look a whole lot different than it did when it initially took off. Telsa vehicles might look nice and shiny here on Earth, but the harsh conditions of space are likely to wreak havoc on the exterior as well as Starman himself.



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