Exploring the final frontier is a costly proposition, but Elon Musk and the engineers at SpaceX want to make it more affordable. Recently, Musk announced that he wanted to reduce the cost of sending colonists to Mars from approximately $10 billion per person to a much more reasonable $200,000 per person. Granted, that figure would require 1 million colonists to embark on the biggest move of their lives, but it's a start. Now, in the wake of the United States Air Force's report that they will spend $422 million per satellite launch by the year 2021, Elon Musk is dropping the mic yet again with his assertion that SpaceX can do it far cheaper than the competition.
SpaceX was recently awarded two Air Force contracts that cost $86 million and $96.5 million, respectively, which is astronomically cheaper than the Air Force's estimates. This is because the Air Force only launches satellites through the United Launch Alliance, a join venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin that until recently held a monopoly on the military branch's space launches. Forget Geico; the Air Force should switch to SpaceX if they want to save 15 percent or more on launching satellites over the next several years, a fact that Elon Musk was all too quick to remind them of on Twitter.
In addition to the Air Force's confusing business practices, today's episode of Muskwatch is going to talk about the plans to institute Hyperloop-esque high-speed travel in South Korea, the Tesla vehicle that can travel for 1000 kilometers (or 1 megameter) on a single charge, and NASA's plans to basically force us to reenact the plot of Armageddon at some point in the future.
Muskwatch airs on Nerdist.com and YouTube every Tuesday, but you can hack the planet and watch it two full days earlier on Sunday if you’re an Alpha subscriber. Find out how you can get 30 days free (and be 48 hours smarter than your dumb friends) right here.
What do you think of this week’s top stories? What else would you like to see us discuss on Muskwatch? Let us know in the comments below!