Ok, I'm getting pissed here.

Ok, I'm getting pissed here.

I acknowledge I'm not at Elon's level of over achieving but does that really result in him getting to play with all the fun toys all the time???????

link pulled from Elon's twitter feed.

jjs | 16 October 2013


Mathew98 | 16 October 2013

Elon has been player with his SpaceX toys for a very long time. There videos of previous successful launches/landing at a lower height.

The reusable vertical landing is awesome. Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???

carlk | 16 October 2013

Hey you are good at trying to modify the car Elon designed. Perhaps you should do something about that rocket too? ;-)

lolachampcar | 16 October 2013


I'll take a poke that that one...

For the same reason BMW and MB can not build a decent BEV? I'm seeing a trend here :)

petero | 16 October 2013

lola. I thought you were an oval kind of guy, not so much an up and down sort.

jjs | 16 October 2013

@petero - elliptical orbit for lola

lolachampcar | 16 October 2013

concrete walls at 200+ mph scare the begeesus out of me. Road course please. I can deal with the blue bushes.

christurbeville | 16 October 2013

Tell that to the folks who wound up in the woods of Nurburg or ate the pines of Monza:)

hsadler | 16 October 2013

' Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???'

Unfortunately, most projects required funding through Congress.

cfOH | 16 October 2013

Elon really does make normal overachievers look bad, doesn't he?

Mathew98 | 16 October 2013

@hsadler - NASA had been launching rockets / space shuttles for decades. They had the funding they needed but was never able to design a reusable rocket let alone one that lands vertically back to the starting platform.

lolachampcar | 16 October 2013

and the list of toys goes on and on

I can handle looking pedestrian provided I can drive the results of genius.

Bighorn | 16 October 2013

Is that hum/roar sound normal? Might want to get that checked.

PapaSmurf | 16 October 2013

NASA did design a rocket that did roughly the same thing as Grasshopper. It was in the 90s but funding was cancelled.

It did a few test flights, then crashed after the 3rd or 4th test.
Here is one of the successful flights.

They did not rebuild it after the crash due to budgets.

Gizmotoy | 16 October 2013

@JamesM: Exactly. It's not that NASA couldn't do it, it's that they didn't have the money to do it. For all the stuff that NASA's responsible for, they really operate on a shoestring budget.

That said, my friends said most of the talent left NASA when we grounded the shuttles, so it might be true that NASA can't do it *now*.

PapaSmurf | 16 October 2013

Spacex has naturally hired a much of that NASA talent. You can see how NASA is directing all sorts of aid to Spacex in the form of knowledge transfer. It is easy to read between the lines that Spacex is becoming our national space program.

It will be really interesting to watch what happens with the United Launch Alliance (ULA). That is the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed that launches satellites for the defense department. Atlas and Delta rockets. They are very reliable, but also VERY expensive.

ULA doesn't get any commercial satellite launches because their costs are 2x higher than anyone else. So now that Spacex is coming in so much lower on price, (50+ commercial satellites in the backlog) ULA is really at risk. The defense department is now certifying Spacex for military payloads.

If Spacex starts taking that business from ULA, then Boeing and Lockheed might be out of the launch business in about 5 years when their current contract is up for renewal.

Gizmotoy | 16 October 2013

It's true. A few of my friends from college who went on to work at NASA are now at SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. Haven't talked to them in awhile though. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there's some behind-the-scenes collaboration given everyone's strong ties back to NASA.

Tiebreaker | 16 October 2013

Even China admits that they cannot do launches cheaper than SpaceX. But it is not all in the price. SpaceX applies all the latest tech, while following the KISS principle. Tesla too.

July10Models | 16 October 2013

Mars here we come. Go Elon! I want to look at earth through a telescope from Mars.Go SpaceX! Public offering please.

BYT | 16 October 2013

WHAT??? MIND... BLOWN! I though this was all theory on paper. While watching the video I was like... how the hell that chopper catch up to a rocket. My mind couldn't process what I was seeing until I read the comments section!!

hsadler | 16 October 2013

'That said, my friends said most of the talent left NASA when we grounded the shuttles'

No.... most of the good talent left when NASA was forced to go settle for the Shuttle. Writing was on the wall.

NomoDinos | 16 October 2013

Bah, I can't believe you guys fell for those videos. It's as fake as the moon landing. They just ran the video backwards after it reached altitude. And the Iron Man thing? Just spliced scenes from "The Lawnmower Man". So obvious!

Brian H | 17 October 2013

I can usually tell when someone's kidding. But you don't sound like you are...

The helicopter-camera rig, btw, was a hexacopter drone. 6 rotors on extended arms, remote controlled.

bent | 17 October 2013

Mathew98 wrote:
"(…) The reusable vertical landing is awesome. Why couldn't NASA or any other agencies achieve the same feats as SpaceX / Elon???"

Government agencies will tend towards activities that increase their funding, and tend away from activities that reduce it. If the US government has a need for, say, 100 launches a year and most of these are performed by NASA then the more expensive each launch the better for the agency. (To a limit, of course: there is a point at which a launch will become too expensive for the govt to want to put stuff into orbit anymore.)

Car t man | 17 October 2013

This really is moving forward. Again, I still think many don't really know how to most accurately value/appreciate Elon. Instead of as being an inventor of everything, which he is not (he mainly uses known designs and tech), he is one of those rare people who really get things done. NASA, Roscosmos, etc has extremely rich amounts of tech which they developed but did not commit to, often for political of supplier lobbying reasons, so the best way to view him is as an extremely intelligent and capable Jap :)

Much like Japanese and later Koreans and now Chinese, he learns from others, skips the steps which were mistakes done by predecessors and really gets things done. It is still important to note though that it is only based on
previous cost, research and expensive failures, he can now create cars and
rockets at acceptable cost. And hire talent which was expensive to train and teach. So it is all a big big subsidy from what was done previously but really
used correctly and optimally.

The man is capable enough to be celebrated for his actual remarkable properties so no need to credit him with inventing the world. He simply
really is an excellent mix of intelligent, respectful, so far thankfully not politically or otherwise dumbed down, etc.

Just great work. Exactly the way things should be done in the private sector, but still, don't bash the governmental agencies as having done
nothing. This is cheap now, because they covered the expensive part of
the costs.

lolachampcar | 17 October 2013

There is merit to the idea that more will always get done in a dictatorship than in a democracy.

As for Elon, I hear a lot of people talk about how great America is and most of the time it sounds like hollow chest thumping. Were we did get a lot of things right was in the area of personal freedom/responsibility combined with an acceptable dose of greater good. For many years we struck a good balance and thus had an environment where bright, capable people could create and thrive.

I'm guessing the theory of entropy has been at work and we have not been putting enough energy into defending/maintaining that system. It has been eroded by self interest, nepotism, and moral rent seekers such that everything is now someone else's fault (and there is someone standing by to sue for the wrong that was done).

Elon was not raised as part of the Pepsi generation thus the personal responsibility and greater good elements are still intact.

Great things can be done. We just need to defend the common ground to allow for it.

lolachampcar | 17 October 2013

I NEED an edit button.....

Car t man | 17 October 2013

You're spot on there. The problem is that in a market environment, everything is suddenly for sale and for profit only, so the news are no longer something one reports but one creates, makes up, sells, etc.. With politicians it is not what should be done but weird mutations of micro level game theories, etc..

There is a way to use capital, capabilities, etc.. positively or negatively and it is simply wise to reward with support, purchases, etc.. those who do
it positively.

As far as entrepreneurs go, Elon is pretty much top notch and while a guy like Richard Branson has some positive traits worth noting (being and expecting to be addresses as sir isn't one of those for myself), it is 90% gimmicks and little actual substance. With Elon there is substance. One would expect to
see that among top 500 CEOs but in reality...

Objective1 | 17 October 2013

Do you all think NASA is a democracy? It's a hierarchical government bureaucracy. SpaceX has done more in less time than any NASA program in the last 30 years.

I can't believe that fans of SpaceX and Tesla are slamming the market and capitalism. Why do you think these companies can be as innovative and revolutionary as they are?

lsborn | 17 October 2013

@Lola - didn't you get one of these rockets? My MS came with a rocket strapped to the top of the car. Double check you due bill list, maybe you did order the P85r and they're backed up (just like my spoiler for the last year). The neighbors really love when I fire this up at night.

Gizmotoy | 17 October 2013

@hsadler: Perhaps. My college friends and I weren't alive in the pre-shuttle era, so I can't really comment on that. Their experience would have been NASA after about 2005, basically.

NomoDinos | 17 October 2013

Brian H - sorry, there should be a special font for sarcasm on the internet. (Lawnmower man was a terrible movie, btw).

jjs | 17 October 2013

lola +1

Optimal environment + optimal mindset = excellence.

lolachampcar | 17 October 2013

One or Two? I kinda liked the original as a kid but it is dated these days.

As for slamming the free market, who is doing that?

And about that rocket on the top of the car, I think it has Harry Potter's cloak over it. I can not see it but the car sure goes like there is one attached :)

lolachampcar | 17 October 2013

NoMo.... I was thinking of Tron. Sorry.

NomoDinos | 17 October 2013

Lola - Tron was awesome!... well, the first one, didn't have the heart to see the second.

Maybe Elon's next trick will be beaming people into video games. ("I watched Tron and liked the idea, but then had some thoughts to improve on the concept; why should I not be able to destroy alien invaders with impunity, with my own two hands? What if I am interested in saving princess Zelda, but from INSIDE the game? I intend to make video game controllers obsolete by 2017.")

Litennn | 17 October 2013

Yours did not come with rocket take a look at mine.

lolachampcar | 17 October 2013

Ah, I understand.

Brian H | 18 October 2013

Another site asks people to finish such rants with a close tag like /sarc or similar to avoid ambiguity. Voice tones don't carry well on the net.

As for the sources of innovation and government agencies, it seems to be unavoidable that the initiators of a project are focused on advancing the art as fast as feasible. But over (fairly brief) time, the standfast and exploit types take over, and freeze everything in place, and install themselves as management. Risk avoidance rules; failures are thereby avoided, short-circuiting oppotunities to learn. Then they discover that stasis=death.

Brian H | 18 October 2013

typo: opportunities.

ManuVince | 18 October 2013
lolachampcar | 18 October 2013

Not really my cup of tea.

My jealousy stems from his getting to play with all the fun tools and related toys (rockets, custom AC motors and battery packs, etc.). He is having what I consider a good time and money alone can not achieve that :) The hexacoptor eye in the sky is fantastic. Anyone else would have spent thousands on real helicopters and put lives at risk if something went wrong. Not SpaceX.

Musk seems to promote people and companies that step back, scratch their heads and say "what's the best way to do this without getting out of control".

jjs | 18 October 2013

Lola +1
Elon's hyperloop is another example of this. All known technologies but put together in a unique way.

Why not build a prototype of it? Then you too can play with cool tools and toys.

Brian H | 18 October 2013

10:1 he retrofits it to be mobile/driveable. With a sealed TM drivetrain. Using MHD propulsion.

markopenguin | 18 October 2013
Brian H | 18 October 2013

It says propellers. MHD would be vastly cooler.

NomoDinos | 18 October 2013

Ahhhhhh!!! That is just excessively cool!! (/not sarc)

NomoDinos | 18 October 2013

This guy is building one of my childhood dream machines after another. He just needs to make a functional iron man suit and he'll be done.

NomoDinos | 18 October 2013

(Brian - what is "MHD"?)

NKYTA | 18 October 2013