Elon Musk: ‘F-35 fighter jets would have no chance against drones’

 

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Elon Musk has suggested Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, which are a key part of the Morrison government’s $200 billion investment in defence, would “have no chance” against an autonomous drone in the battlefield.

“The fighter jet era has passed,” Mr Musk said at the US Air Force’s Air Warfare Symposium in Florida.

“Drone warfare is where the future will be. It’s not that I want the future to be this – it’s just, this is what the future will be.”

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SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit

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SpaceX is planning to send up to four private citizens into space to take a trip around Earth sometime at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. The spaceflight company announced an agreement on Tuesday with Space Adventures, a space tourism business that has helped seven different private citizens take trips to (and from) the International Space Station aboard Russia’s Soyuz rocket and spacecraft.

Space Adventures said the price of the mission will not be disclosed, and the two companies were light on other details, like what kind of preparation the tourists will have to go through. The companies did say Tuesday that the tourists will fly in the human-rated version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and that they will orbit Earth at two to three times the roughly 250-mile height of the ISS.

SpaceX has spent the last few years building and testing out this new version of Dragon as part of a contract with NASA to shuttle astronauts to and from the ISS, after years of using the spacecraft to shuttle cargo to the space station. The private spaceflight company recently completed the second major flight test of the Crew Dragon, as it’s called, which demonstrated the capsule’s ability to escape an exploding rocket.

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SpaceX launches 60 new Starlink satellites, sticks rocket landing at sea

Watch: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 60 satellites into orbit

Following the successful launch, the rocket’s first stage gently touched down on a SpaceX drone ship landing platform.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched its fourth batch of Starlink satellites into orbit and landed a rocket landing Wednesday following days of weather delays for the mission.

A sooty Falcon 9 rocket — which made its third flight with this launch — roared to life at 9:06 a.m. ET, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida. The rocket carried 60 Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s growing constellation, the second such launch by the company this month.

Last week, strong upper level winds forced the private spaceflight company to postpone the Starlink-3 mission’s launch. SpaceX then aimed for the backup launch date of Jan. 28, but rough seas where the drone ship was waiting may have thwarted any attempt at a landing.

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SpaceX is about to launch a historic mission with actual people on board Crew Dragon

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SpaceX is poised to launch its first astronauts into space this spring: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

 Their flight on the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship will mark the first time an American spacecraft has carried NASA astronauts since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

Behnken and Hurley’s liftoff is expected to launch a new era of US spaceflight, since it will allow NASA to stop relying on Russian launch systems to get astronauts into space. It will probably also make the two astronauts the first to ever fly a commercial spacecraft.

“Bob and I were lucky enough to be selected together,” Hurley told The Atlantic in September. “As we get closer to launch, things in the last year have actually been pretty hectic. We’ve been spending increasing amounts of time in California, because that’s where most of the work is being done for Dragon.”

In preparation, they have run through emergency procedures, undergone extensive training the Crew Dragon’s mechanisms, worn their new spacesuits, and met with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

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Tesla patents new chemistry for better, longer-lasting and cheaper batteries

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Tesla has made a lot of battery moves this year and it is closing the year by filing a patent on a new chemistry for better, longer-lasting and cheaper batteries.

Earlier this year, we reported on Tesla’s battery research partner, Jeff Dahn and his team at Dalhousie University, unveiling the impressive results of tests on a new battery cell that could last over 1 million miles in an electric vehicle.

The new battery tested is a Li-Ion battery cell with a next-generation “single crystal” NMC cathode and a new advanced electrolyte.

Since then, Tesla has been filing US and international patents on the new battery chemistry.

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Elon Musk’s company Neuralink plans to connect people’s brains to the internet by next year using a procedure he claims will be as safe and easy as LASIK eye surgery

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Elon Musk on Tuesday announced in a livestream that his neurotechnology startup, Neuralink, hoped to begin implanting devices into human brains as early as next year.

Musk has invested $100 million into the secretive company since its founding in 2016, according to The New York Times, and he says he hopes it will achieve “symbiosis with artificial intelligence.”

Musk said the Neuralink system would allow for a tiny chip, known as a brain-machine interface, to be implanted into the minds of willing subjects.

The chip would be designed to stimulate the brain’s neurons using tiny flexible threads of electrodes that would be inserted into the brain in a procedure Musk said would be as safe and painless as LASIK eye surgery.

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1,000 Starships and 20 years are needed to build sustainable city on Mars, says Elon Musk

 

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The CEO of SpaceX took to Twitter to share the news of how dangerous and arduous the task continues to be.

Elon Musk shared more details about what will be needed to reach Mars and to build a sustainable city there.

The SpaceX CEO and his company have been working hard at their long term vision of setting up an actual city on the Red Planet, which could sustain life.

The timeline Musk shared via Twitter could be interpreted as an ambitious goal or an impressive one.

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Elon Musk says building the first sustainable city on Mars will take 1,000 Starships and 20 years

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk went into a bit more detail about the timelines and vehicle requirements to not only reach Mars, but to set up a sustainable base on the Red Planet that can serve as an actual city, supporting a local population. That’s the long-term vision for Musk and his space technology company, after all — making humans an interplanetary species. The timeline that Musk discussed today, replying to fans on Twitter, might be incredibly impressive or incredibly ambitious, depending on your perspective.

Addressing a question about comments he made earlier this week at the U.S. Air Force startup pitch day event in California, Musk said that his stated launch cost of only around $2 million per Starship flight are essentially required, should the final goal be to set up a “self-sustaining city on Mars.” In order to make that city a reality, he added, SpaceX will need to build and fly around 1,000 Starships according to his estimates, which will need to transport cargo, infrastructure and crew to Mars over the course of around 20 years, since planetary alignment only really allows for a realistically achievable Mars flight once every two years.

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SpaceX wants to land Starship on the Moon before 2022, then do cargo runs for 2024 human landing

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Speaking at a quick series of interviews with commercial space companies at this year’s annual International Astronautical Congress, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell shed a little more light on her company’s current thinking with regards to the mission timelines for its forthcoming Starship spacefaring vehicle. Starship, currently in parallel development at SpaceX’s South Texas and Florida facilities, is intended to be an all-purpose successor to, and replacement for, both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, with a higher payload capacity and the ability to reach the Moon and eventually Mars.

“Aspirationally, we want to get Starship to orbit within a year,” Shotwell said. “We definitely want to land it on the Moon before 2022. We want to […] stage cargo there to make sure that there are resources for the folks that ultimately land on the Moon by 2024, if things go well, so that’s the aspirational time frame.”

That’s an ambitious timeline, and as Shotwell herself repeatedly stated, these are “aspirational” timelines. In the space industry, as well as in tech, it’s not uncommon for leadership to set aggressive schedules in order to drive the teams working on projects to work at the limits of what’s actually possible. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is also known for working to timelines that often don’t match up with reality, and Shotwell alluded to Musk’s ambitious goal setting as a virtue in another part of her onstage interview at IAC.

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‘Whoa, it worked’: Elon Musk tweets via SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites

 

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A view of SpaceX’s first 60 Starlink satellites in orbit, still in stacked configuration, with the Earth as a brilliant blue backdrop on May 23, 2019.

 But Starlink won’t be truly operational until several hundred more satellites go up.

SpaceX’s nascent internet-satellite constellation is already providing some boutique service, according to Elon Musk.

Late last night (Oct. 21), SpaceX’s billionaire founder and CEO said via Twitter that he was attempting to post something via Starlink, the orbiting network that the company began assembling this year. And 2 minutes later, he tweeted the result: “Whoa, it worked!!”

That’s quite something, considering that Starlink is just a shell of its envisioned future self. SpaceX has approval to launch about 12,000 Starlink satellites and recently applied for permission to loft up to 30,000 more. But the company has launched just 60 of the craft to date, all of which rode to orbit this past May aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

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Elon Musk’s AI project to replicate the human brain receives $1billion from Microsoft

 

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Elon Musk founded OpenAI in 2015 with the hope of creating AI capable of matching and surpassing the cognitive capabilities of humans ( AFP/Getty Images )

Microsoft has invested $1 billion in the Elon Musk-founded artificial intelligence venture that plans to mimic the human brain using computers.

OpenAI said the investment would go towards its efforts of building artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can rival and surpass the cognitive capabilities of humans.

“The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

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Tesla offers insurance to car buyers in California, with eye toward driverless future

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla owners in California can now buy insurance from the electric car company in what may be the first step toward the unconventional automaker providing coverage for a fleet of driverless taxis.

The expansion announced Wednesday comes four months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk told analysts the company would branch into insuring its own cars for people who buy or lease them.

Musk believes Tesla has learned so much about its cars that it will be able to offer rates 20% to 30% below those offered by traditional insurers. That will likely to appeal to Tesla owners who have been complaining about being charged too much for coverage.

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