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I am a 19 yo student passionate about the development of Electric Vehicles and Space Exploration. I am set on exploring and providing non-biased news on EV manufacturers and innovative space related companies such as SpaceX, RocketLab and Blue origin and I aim to contribute to making content on a broader selection of topics available to the readers of Pendect. Its pretty crowded down here, we may need some more space!
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Science • Space
Starship rocket is the top priority for SpaceX
Starship | First test vehicle
Starship | First test vehicle Credit: SpaceX (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

As SpaceX employees and fans all over the world celebrate the success of the Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission that launched two American Astronauts off American soil to the International Space Station just last week, Elon Musk emailed the SpaceX staff to remind them of the next major goal they should turn their attention to.

“Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship”

The CEO underlined that Starship development progress needs to be accelerated "dramatically and immediately". As the company just fulfilled its first promises by delivering Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station as part of the commercial crew program, it will now be able to allocate significantly more resources, in terms of both staff and finance to the development of the Starship program.

In his email, Elon also re-assured his employees that those who are considering moving to Texas in order to better support the companies new objectives, will be able to shuttle using a dedicated SpaceX aircraft.

Science • Space
SpaceX sets record with its reusable Falcon 9 rocket

10 years ago, SpaceX launched its self-landing rocket Falcon 9 for the first time. After its few initial fails, the company made history by landing the rocket, offering the world some spectacular images to be remembered by generations to come.

This Thursday, the 4th of June, SpaceX reached two new milestones using its reusable rocket system. By launching its Falcon 9 rocket and deploying a new batch of 60 Starlink satelites, the company reached the incredible milestone of 5 flights and landings of the same orbital-class rocket. As this was Falcon 9's 85th launch, it has now become the most flown operational rocket in the United States.

Moreover, the company is estimated to have saved roughly $232.5 million from this one Falcon 9 rocket alone, as the re-usability of the launch vehicle saves around $46.5 million for each successfully landed flight.

Science • Space
SpaceX Starship "hops" expected in coming weeks, launch debut still on track for 2020
Starship | First test vehicle
Starship | First test vehicle Credit: SpaceX (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

SpaceX's Starship is undergoing extremely fast-paced development in South Texas, Boca Chica Beach where the 5th, 6th and 7th prototypes are currently being assembled, some of them about to be ready for testing.

On Friday, May 29th the 4th Starship prototype had just successfully completed a static fire test, when liquid methane was being spotted leaking in huge quantities. Shortly thereafter the liquid methane ignited and detonated the Serial Number 4 build of Starship, with steel debris being propelled all around the development and testing area.

In an interview by Spiegel, Hans Koenigsmann, VP of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX and veteran employee of 18 years stated among other things, that despite the latest deveopments he expects the first test flights of 150 m altitude hops to happen in the coming weeks. Moreover, he stated that with the tests going according to plans, Starship is still predicted to debut its orbital launch by the end of 2020.

While Starship SN4 performed an "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly" as SpaceX employees and fanatics often call a rocket exploding beyond repair, the next prototype in line SN5 is effectively complete and ready for testing.

Per Koenigsmann, the first Starship 150m flight could debut by the end of June 2020.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Elon Musk is paid out $775 million by Tesla part of his performance-based payout plan
Lineup of Tesla's electric cars exhibited at Tesla Store Washington D.C.
Lineup of Tesla's electric cars exhibited at Tesla Store Washington D.C. Credit: Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk entered an performance-based payout plan back in early 2018. In this payout plan, Tesla shareholders determined 12 market capitalization milestones and revenue milestones for which the CEO will be awarded each trench of his multi-billion dollar package.

By keeping the company market capitalization at $100 billion for roughly around a month and a trailing average of six months, Musk earned his first chunk of stock options, measuring roughly 1.7 million Tesla shares or an estimated $775 million after Thursday's Tesla share value closed at $805.81.

In a lawsuit against Elon Musk and members of the Tesla board, shareholder Richard Tornetta is accusing the board of awarding the CEO excessive compensation trough the payout plan, despite the CEO having given up his salary and only being awarded as part of the performance-based compensation package.

The next market capitalization target is set at $150 billion which together with other revenue based milestones will award the ceo his next tranche of his compensation package.