Rod Pyle joins Leo to talk about the launch of the Astra rocket, which started its launch inching sideways across the launch pad before going up. Astra is a small rocket start-up, launching its third attempt. What happened? Rod says that one of the give small engines failed, and it could only hover until it became light enough to start climbing. Eventually, the rocket had to be destroyed as debris began to fall off the rocket itself. So third time wasn't a charm for Astra. But Space is hard.
This week, Elon Musk tweeted a picture of a humanoid-looking robot, that he says Tesla will be building starting next year, with the eye towards using them for constructing his Boring Company hyperloop tunnels. Leo isn't so sure that will happen. Although Boston Dynamics has been working for ten years on a robot that can now practically run like a parkour athlete, this kind of sophistication takes time. So we won't be seeing robots on construction sites any time soon. And he doesn't think we're on the verge of Cylons either.
Elon Musk announced this week that Tesla will replace round steering wheels with a yoke-based design in X/S models starting immediately. Originally an option that customers could pick, the yoke will now be standard moving forward, with no ability to choose a round steering wheel. Leo says that not only is that a difficult proposition for those who were taught to steer at 10 and 2, but the steering ratio remains at 14-1, something the Yoke is not designed to accommodate.
The latest battle for space is being waged by billionaires. Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin is up against Sir Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic. And it looks like Branson is going to beat Bezos into space, launching his reusable space plane Unity Sunday. Bezos will be going up a week later. Leo says it used to be the battle of who can build the biggest yacht. Now it's who launches in a spaceship. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has sold all his houses and is living in a trailer in Texas to oversee the development of the SpaceX Starship for a journey to Mars.
With Tesla's stock skyrocketing, Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world. Leo thinks that Tesla's success may be what's pushing Apple to develop their own electric car.
Meanwhile, Elon is going to Mars.
There's a town in a remote area of Washington State that was destroyed due to fire, and Elon Musk's Starlink has volunteered to restore internet access to the beleaguered town at no charge. With about 600 Starlink Satellites in orbit, the town now has access to the private beta for use of emergency services and communications.
Elon Musk demonstrated a brain/computer interface called Neural Link today. Testing it out on a pig, the interface sends and receives information via Bluetooth. The first step is being able to read brain waves directly. Leo says that 10-100 years from now, could be commonplace.
This week, Elon Musk announced the angular CyberTruck, for $39,000, due in 2022. Leo says that while Elon thinks out of the box, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Leo says it's a crazy design that looks like the Army would buy it. And there was a mishap with the so-called
"bulletproof" glass, which promptly shattered when tested. But Leo likes Elon Musk because he throws his hat over the wall and believes there's no limit to his imagination. And Leo respects that.
The FCC has approved an application from Elon Musk's SpaceX to deploy 7,000 satellites into space that would offer global broadband internet access. Elon Musk wants a total of 12,000 satellites around the earth in Low Earth Orbit to provide internet to every square inch of the planet's surface. One of the problems with satellite internet is that there's a lot of latency, but Musk says they can get it down to 25 milliseconds, which could be faster than the internet many of us have at home.