Elon Musk’s SpaceX is stirring up trillion-dollar hype. Here’s what Morgan Stanley says clients are talking about.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon capsule lifts off from launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the first completely private mission to fly into orbit on September 15, 2021 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX is flying four private citizens into space on a three-day mission.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon capsule lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on September 15, 2021.

  • SpaceX has been stirring up trillion-dollar hype among Morgan Stanley’s clients.
  • Morgan Stanley analysts have a $200 billion bull-case valuation for the firm – double what it is today.
  • But they acknowledge SpaceX continues to challenge “any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible…”
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX, one of the world’s most valuable private companies, has been stirring up trillion-dollar hype among Morgan Stanley’s clients.

The private space exploration company, after all, isn’t just one company. It’s “multiple companies in one,” including communications, space infrastructure, earth observation, and deep-space exploration, among others, Morgan Stanley analysts, led by Adam Jones, said in a recent note.

As the nearly two-decade-old company hit an estimated $100 billion valuation, here is some of the buzz the bank has heard from its clients:

1. Trillion-dollar status

“More than one client has told us if Elon Musk were to become the first Trillionaire… it won’t be because of Tesla.”

Musk is already the world’s richest person right now, as Tesla stock has soared in recent years. Founded in 2003, Tesla has emerged as one of the leading electric-car makers in the field and is now worth more than $860 billion. Similarly, Musk’s net worth surged to $236 billion recently, eclipsing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ fortune of $196 billion.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley puts SpaceX’s valuation at $200 billion under its bull-case scenario, still well below Tesla’s market cap. But Musk owns roughly half of SpaceX, and the analysts acknowledge it continues to challenge “any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible, in terms of rockets, launch vehicles and supporting infrastructure.”

2. Most valuable company

“Others have said SpaceX may eventually be the most highly valued company in the world – in any industry.”

SpaceX is estimated to be worth $100 billion after a secondary-share sale in early October. It’s now the second most valuable privately held company in the world, according to data from CB Insights, just trailing behind TikTok parent Bytedance, which is worth $140 billion.

But being the most valuable company overall implies SpaceX would top Apple and Saudi Aramco, which have market caps of about $2 trillion.

While SpaceX is far from reaching even $1 trillion, it is multiple companies wrapped in one, and is at the top of a fast-growing sector, meaning it has a lot of room for growth, the analysts said.

3. The next Google?

“Talking about space before Starship is like talking about the internet before Google.”

SpaceX is developing Starship to take human beings to the moon, Mars, and beyond. In August, SpaceX completed stacking a prototype Starship spacecraft with its booster ahead of an eventual attempt at its first orbital flight.

While initially envisioned as a vehicle for deep-space exploration, Starship’s large payload capacity and full reusability are also expected to dramatically lower the costs of putting satellites into earth orbit.

Combine this with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, which provide internet service from 1,700 satellites floating in orbit, and you have what Morgan Stanley calls a “double flywheel of Launch + Starlink.”

“We view SpaceX’s launch capabilities and Starlink as inextricably linked whereby improvements in launch
capacity/bandwidth (both in frequency and payload per flight) and cost of launch improve the economics and path to scale of Starlink’s LEO constellation,” the analysts wrote.

“At the same time, development of Starlink’s commercial opportunity provides a thriving ‘captive customer’ for the launch business, enabling a symbiotic

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Boeing was supposed to start flying astronauts for NASA 2 years ago. Now its glitching spaceship may not do so until 2023.

boeing starliner space capsule lowered on cables to rocket
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is stacked atop an Atlas V rocket at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on July 17, 2021.

Boeing may not fly astronauts for NASA until 2023 – more than three years after it was originally scheduled to do so.

Technical issues and delays have beset Boeing’s spaceship development for years. Now, new hardware issues have grounded the company’s Starliner spaceship for the rest of this year. It still has to complete an uncrewed test flight to and from the International Space Station (ISS) to show NASA that it can safely carry people.

Starliner won’t be ready to make that uncrewed flight until the first half of 2022, Boeing and NASA officials said in a press conference on Tuesday. Only after that can the spaceship fly its first astronauts.

John Vollmer, Boeing’s vice president and program manager for Starliner, said that Boeing could “maybe” launch a test flight with an astronaut crew by the end of 2022.

“We like to see six months between flights,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday. “Something on that order.”

That could easily push the crewed launch into 2023.

boeing cst 100 starliner spaceship space capsule nasa commercial crew program ccp orbiting earth illustration 317188 33_CST_Flip_fr01_
An illustration of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spaceship orbiting Earth.

Even after fixing the hardware issues and flying the uncrewed test flight, Boeing will still have to analyze data from that mission and complete a series of certification reports and tests. It also has to plan around other missions to the ISS, which don’t leave much room open on the station until winter 2022.

Preparations between one flight and the next could take much longer than six months. SpaceX didn’t fly its first astronauts for NASA until more than a year after its uncrewed test flight. Now SpaceX is preparing to launch its fourth crew to the ISS, while Starliner sits grounded and nearly three years behind schedule.

Moisture interacted with the spaceship’s propellant to corrode its valves

Boeing has tried and failed to reach the ISS twice.

The Starliner spaceship actually launched into orbit in 2019, but it was forced to land without docking to the space station after software issues caused it to burn through its fuel. It took 18 months to investigate that error, fix it, and prepare for another attempt.

Starliner was finally set to lift off for a re-do test flight on August 3, but Boeing had to scrub the launch when it discovered that 13 valves on the propulsion system weren’t opening as they were supposed to.

two engineers wearing harnesses with bungee lines work on starliner spaceship atop rocket
Boeing engineers work on the Starliner propulsion system valves at vertical integration facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After rolling the spaceship back to the factory and spending two months troubleshooting, Boeing engineers think they’ve identified the cause of the new hardware issue. Moisture in the air seems to have collected inside the valves, then reacted with the spaceship’s dinitrogen tetroxide propellant to form nitric acid, which corroded the valves and made them stick when they were supposed to open.

Now Boeing engineers have to confirm their suspicions by running a few of the valves through a CT scan and disassembling them. Then they have make a few minor changes to prevent moisture from building up inside the valves again.

“This is obviously a disappointing day,” Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA’s human-spaceflight directorate, said in an August press conference, once it became clear that Boeing would not fly anytime soon. “But I want to emphasize that this is another example of why these demo missions are so very important to us. We use these demo missions to make sure we have the system wrung out, before we put our crews on these vehicles.”

Boeing’s 3-year delay pushed two astronauts over to SpaceX

technicians roll boeing starliner spaceship down hallway
Boeing carries out launch preparations with the Starliner spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, November 2, 2019.

This is one of many issues that have hampered both Boeing and SpaceX on the road to flying astronauts. Both companies developed their spaceships through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA originally asked them to provide all the evidence needed to certify their flight systems by 2017, according to a 2018 report by the Government Accountability Office.

Both launch systems were running behind schedule, though. An uncrewed SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad in 2016. Boeing discovered a fuel leak on its spaceship in 2018.

That year, NASA selected astronauts for the spaceships’ first crewed flights, announcing that Boeing would fly its first astronauts in 2019.

But software and hardware issues have delayed Boeing’s spaceship so much that NASA recently reassigned two astronauts from future Starliner missions to SpaceX’s sixth crewed mission. They’re now scheduled to launch next fall.

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Elon Musk teased Warren Buffett for being so much poorer than him – and suggested the investor buy Tesla stock to catch up

Warren Buffett and Elon Musk
Warren Buffett (left) and Elon Musk (right).

  • Elon Musk joked that Warren Buffett should buy Tesla stock if he wants to get richer.
  • The Tesla and SpaceX chief’s net worth is more than double the size of the investor’s fortune.
  • Musk and Buffett have clashed before, on issues such as the importance of brands.

Elon Musk teased Warren Buffett for being poorer than him in a recent tweet, suggesting the investor should buy a stake in his electric-vehicle company if he wants to catch up.

“Maybe Buffett should invest in Tesla haha,” Musk said. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO commands a net worth of $236 billion, or more than double the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s $103 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter thread highlighting that he was worth more than Buffett and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates combined. He probably doesn’t expect Buffett to become a Tesla shareholder, as the 91-year-old famously looks for bargains and sticks to businesses he understands. Tesla’s market capitalization has ballooned almost 10-fold since the start of 2020, and the company has made big bets on artificial intelligence and bitcoin.

The Tesla chief has butted heads with the investor before, most recently when he dismissed Berkshire’s proposal to build 10 natural-gas power plants across Texas in preparation for the state’s next power crisis.

While Musk has quoted Buffett in the past, he’s admitted that he’s not the investor’s “biggest fan.” He’s described allocating capital across Berkshire as “kind of a boring job,” and questioned Buffett’s “kindly grandfather” persona.

Notably, the Tesla chief labeled Buffett’s idea of economic moats – or enduring competitive advantages such as a beloved brand or patented technology – as “lame” on an earnings call in 2018. He argued that a company’s pace of innovation is the key determinant of its competitiveness instead.

Buffett defended the concept at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting that year. He pointed to Geico’s low costs, and customers’ loyalty to brands such as Coca-Cola and Snickers, as examples of powerful moats that keep rivals at bay.

“Elon may turn things upside down in some areas,” the investor said. “I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy,” he quipped, referring to Berkshire-owned See’s Candies.

“I’m starting a candy company, and it’s going to be amazing,” Musk jokingly tweeted in response. In contrast, Buffett signaled that he won’t be competing with Musk in the car business.

“I don’t really have the same urge to produce automobiles that he apparently has to produce candy,” he said in a CNBC interview in 2018.

Buffett has previously praised Musk as a “remarkable guy,” but suggested he has “room for improvement” and should be more selective about what he tweets.

Read more: Warren Buffett expert Robert Hagstrom breaks down the 3 key elements of the investor’s ‘ultimate money mind’ – and explains why he won’t rush to make another elephant-sized acquisition

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Some Starlink customers have canceled their preorders, after paying a $100 deposit up to 9 months ago and receiving no contact from SpaceX

Elon Musk E3
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • Some Starlink customers have canceled their $100 deposits after waiting months for the service.
  • They said they weren’t able to contact SpaceX customer service to see when they’d get the kits.
  • SpaceX said the kits would arrive in mid- or late 2021, but some customers became fed up of waiting.

John Duran paid a $100 deposit in February to secure Starlink and replace his “horrible service that is as good or worse than having nothing,” he told Insider.

After months of no communication or updates from Starlink, Duran, who is based in Montana, canceled his Starlink preorder in September. He said he would have preferred not to.

“I’m not mad, just disappointed,” Duran said, who is currently using the mobile hotspot from his phone through internet provider Verizon. “I didn’t want to cancel, honestly.”

He’s not the only Starlink customer to become so fed up with waiting for the satellite internet service that it’s led to cancelling the deposit.

SpaceX told customers in a confirmation email that the beta version of the service should be up and running in their area in mid- to late 2021. Musk said the service is expected to come out of its beta-testing phase in October, expanding the network further and allowing more people to use Starlink.

Since paying the refundable deposit, customers have told Insider that they haven’t heard anything from SpaceX and don’t know when they’ll get their hands on the Starlink kit.

In September, Starlink customers told Insider how frustrated they were because they couldn’t find a way to call or email Starlink customer service for updates.

The customers in this article who cancelled their deposits got a full refund from Starlink. They sent Insider email confirmations of their Starlink purchase and cancellation.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Hans Koenigsmann, former SpaceX vice president and the company’s fourth technical hire, told Insider in an interview on Wednesday: “There are way more user terminals than satellites, and so fundamentally that’s where production needs to ramp up.”

Ilker Temir, who lives on a sailboat around Seattle, also ordered Starlink back in February.

Temir uses Comcast cable for internet connection in the marina but he was looking to replace this with Starlink. He cancelled because he couldn’t get hold of Starlink for updates and questions about his unique living situation.

SpaceX in March filed a request to the Federal Communications Commission to connect Starlink to moving vehicles, including ships, planes, and trucks. Elon Musk tweeted in April that Starlink is set to be mobile later this year.

Temir said that all he received was “a meaningless statement on their app saying that service in my area will be available in late 2021.”

SpaceX has previously said that the global chip shortage was delaying the production of the Starlink user terminals – the dishes that connect to the 1,639 satellites in orbit.

“It’s a global scramble for chips,” James Yenbamroong, CEO and founder of mu Space, a satellite internet service provider, told Insider. “We’re seeing the shortages of chips for Starlink because the chips in their user terminals use the same production line as the electronics and automotive chips.”

Ben Mills, who lives in Idaho, told Insider he paid $100 to secure a Starlink deposit in April but, like Temir and Duran, heard nothing from the company.

“I started to feel like I gave my money to a scammer and that it was a fake Starlink website,” he said.

Mills has since signed up to Hughes Net, even though he was trying to avoid them.

Many other Starlink customers got in touch with Insider to say that they’re still waiting for the service after paying a deposit earlier this year. Some said they’re planning to cancel their Starlink pre-order if they don’t hear from SpaceX soon.

Starlink’s website still says that the service is available to a “limited number of users” in certain areas where it’s live, and that “orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.”

Are you a Starlink user who has cancelled their deposit or subscription? Get in touch with this reporter via kduffy@insider.com or DM via Twitter.

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Elon Musk congratulates Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin flight, saying it was ‘cool’ to send 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner to space

Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has congratulated Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin’s spaceflight on Wednesday.
  • Musk tweeted that it was “cool” to send 90-year-old “Star Trek” actor William Shatner to space.
  • Before the trip, he had tweeted “Godspeed Captain,” referencing Shatner’s portrayal of Captain Kirk.

Elon Musk has shared his congratulations with Jeff Bezos for another successful human spaceflight at Blue Origin.

Bezos’ space company completed its latest flight on Wednesday, sending four passengers to the edge of space aboard a New Shepard rocket in a trip that lasted 11 minutes. The passengers were former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, healthcare entrepreneur Glen de Vries, Blue Origin executive Audrey Powers, and “Star Trek” actor William Shatner.

Following the flight, Blue Origin tweeted a video of its landing in the West Texas desert. In the comments, Musk said, “Congrats, was cool to send @WilliamShatner to space.”

Musk had also tweeted regarding the flight before it happened, commenting “Godspeed Captain” on a NASA tweet wishing Shatner luck for the trip.

Earlier this week, Musk had tweeted at Bezos on a much less congratulatory note. Bezos had tweeted a picture of a Barron’s cover story from 1999 predicting that Amazon would fail. Bezos wrote alongside the image, “Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are.” In the comments, Musk replied with a single image of his own: a silver medal emoji. Musk had told Forbes last month that he would send Bezos a silver medal and a “giant statue” of the number two after overtaking him as the world’s richest person again.

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Environmentalists sue Texas officials, claiming the repeated closing of public beaches so that Elon Musk’s SpaceX could test its rockets is unconstitutional

spacex starship sn8 serial number 8 boca chica texas launch site elon musk twitter december 7 2020 EoqSQ1rUYAAW5tV 4x3
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

  • A nonprofit group is suing Texas officials over the closing of public beaches for “SpaceX flight activities.”
  • Save RGV said the Boca Chica beach has been closed for SpaceX launches for over 450 hours per year since 2019.
  • SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment, but said in August that the group’s allegations were “not accurate.”

Environmentalists have sued Texas officials over claims they continually closed public beaches to allow SpaceX to test out its rockets.

An environmental nonprofit group, called Save Rio Grande Valley (Save RGV), filed the lawsuit in Cameron County state court on Monday, Reuters first reported. The court document claims that the repeated closure of public beaches along the Gulf Coast violates the Texas Constitution and “Texans essential right to access Texas public beaches.”

The lawsuit said that Cameron County, Texas General Land Office, and its commissioner George P. Bush have allowed the Boca Chica beach, an 8-mile stretch of land near Brownsville, to be closed for up to 450 hours per year so SpaceX can test its spacecrafts.

Save RGV said in its lawsuit that the land is part of a wildlife refuge in Cameron County and aims to prevent future closures of the land, as well as State Highway 4 – the only road that leads to the beach.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Save RGV’s lawsuit said a 2013 amendment to the Texas Open Beaches Act allowed the closure of public beaches located along the Gulf Coast “for space flight activities.” Since 2019, county officials have repeatedly closed-off the beach and State Highway 4 for various SpaceX launches, including its Falcon rockets, the lawsuit states.

The group also said that, per the amendment, the public was to be given at least 14 days notice before a closure went into place. But, Save RGV alleges the county often gave notice only hours before the land would be closed-off. The lawsuit alleges that there have been reports of SpaceX closing the beach on its own and extending closure hours without official county approval.

Save RGV says the amended law violates the Texas Constitution because it restricts public access to the land and claims the SpaceX closures have negatively impacted the ability of residents who live near the beach to fully enjoy their home, as well as prevented members of the nonprofit from participating in activities that help preserve local wildlife.

“This isn’t rocket science,” Jim Chapman, a board member of Save RGV, said in a statement to Reuters. “The Texas Constitution is crystal clear. In Texas, access to public beaches cannot be restricted.”

Save RGV has clashed with SpaceX in the past. It alerted the district attorney to the issue over the summer. At the time, SpaceX reportedly told the district attorney Save RGV’s allegations were “not accurate.”

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration said it would extend a period for the public to submit comments on a draft report studying the environmental impacts of the proposed SpaceX rocket program in Boca Chica.

In August, “60 Minutes” reported it had obtained government documents showing SpaceX disrupted public access to the beach in “excess of 1,000 hours in 2019,” violating its FAA permit, which only allowed the areas to be closed for 300 hours per year.

“60 Minutes” also reported that SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Texas had created tension with local residents who claim the space company conducts tests with little warning – tests which have caused residents to evacuate their homes. They also alleged the tests led to brush fires and property damage.

In March, a SpaceX prototype exploded at the launch site, scattering the debris throughout the wildlife preserve.

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I tried Elon Musk’s productivity hack of breaking my entire day into 5-minute slots. It was annoyingly inflexible – but I got a lot more done.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk at a press event on the grounds of the Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin.

  • As the CEO of three companies, Elon Musk has a lot on his plate.

  • He works excessive hours and breaks his time into five-minute segments to get things done.
  • I tested out his system to stay on top of my workload. It worked – but was annoyingly inflexible.

It’s not easy running a company – let alone three. Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and brain-chip company Neuralink, as well as being the founder of The Boring Company.

Musk goes to extreme lengths to stay on top of everything. He reportedly works 80-100 hour weeks and gets six hours of sleep. He sends emails while in meetings and when he’s spending time with his sons, he has said.

Musk is known for being scrupulous with his time, splitting his days into five-minute slots in order to prioritize workloads between his companies. He often foregoes breakfast, wolfs down his lunch within five minutes, and avoids phone calls.

Putting Eric Schmidt’s email technique to the test helped me tackle my inbox. I thought Musk’s time-management hack could have the same effect on my ability to organize my time, so I put it to the test for a couple of days.

I didn’t go full Musk though – I bent the rules so that I wouldn’t skip breakfast or notch up 16-hour days (which is arguably counterproductive for most people). Instead, I applied the five-minute slots to my usual hours of between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

It took some planning

Blocking out time dedicated to specific tasks is a technique many productivity gurus swear by. But Musk’s is scheduling on steroids and it took a lot of preparation.

It’s almost impossible to get anything done properly in five minutes, other than the odd source email, or social-media post. Musk once told Y-Combinator that he spends 80% of his time dedicated to engineering and design, so it’s unlikely he actually limits himself to doing things in five minutes, either.

I still organized days into five-minute slots but for the majority, I bunched my slots together. I dedicated 12 five-minute slots in a row to writing up an interview on Wednesday at 9 a.m., for example. I also scheduled time for breaks and admin tasks.

Finally, I scheduled some time – six five-minute slots – at the end of the day to tie up important but non-essential tasks like reading an article that I stumbled across that day.

I was organized and got a lot more done

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Musk is known for being scrupulous with his time.

I have a habit of making tasks longer than they need to be – rewriting sentences repeatedly, for example. Limiting how long I had for a specific task meant that I got it done faster. Knowing I only had an hour to do it really focused my mind.

It also helped me cut out the unnecessary distractions that can drain productivity, like regularly checking my inbox or scrolling through social media.

But it required constant adjusting – which was annoying

Sometimes you can’t control when a company responds to a request for comment, or when a colleague comes to you with an unexpected task. In some cases, I also realized that I’d been overly ambitious when planning how quickly I could get certain tasks done.

It meant I had to constantly rethink my schedule, pushing things back or into the next day as tasks seeped into time that I had scheduled for others.

This probably gets easier as you start to understand exactly long things take, but it was initially frustrating. I also started to leave some blank space in my calendar to allow more flexibility.

There are some parts that I’ll stick with

Overall, as daily routines go, Musk’s is probably excessive for most workers.

But I will be continuing with some parts. Scheduling dedicated time, even for the smallest tasks, helped me get them done, and left me feeling more organized at the end of the day.

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Housing prices are booming in the area surrounding Tesla’s planned Gigafactory in Austin, Texas

Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the Gigafactory Berlin construction site on May 17, 2021.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the Gigafactory Berlin construction site on May 17, 2021.

  • Housing prices near Tesla’s new Austin-based Gigafactory are surging.
  • Home prices in the county where the factory will be built were up 53.7% compared to last year.
  • CEO Elon Musk officially announced Tesla’s HQ move to Texas on Thursday after much speculation.

Housing prices surrounding Tesla’s new Austin-based Gigafactory are increasing as Tesla also prepares to move its corporate headquarters to Texas.

In September, home prices in Travis County, Texas, where the factory will be built, were up 53.7% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $363,000, according to Redfin. That’s more than a 26% increase compared to Austin, Texas as a whole.

Tesla confirmed the new factory’s location in July 2020 after a bidding process involving several other southern cities, Insider reported. Tesla was offered $65 million in tax rebates over 10 years to take over a concrete plant. The plant will become a 5 million-square-foot factory for Tesla’s Cybertruck, Semi truck, and Model 3 and Y.

Tesla said plans to hire up to 5,000 workers at a starting wage of $15 an hour for many of the low-skill manufacturing roles, according to Insider.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement that the company would relocate its headquarters to Texas at its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Homes for sale in the areas surrounding the plant have already started listing their proximity to the factory. A four-bedroom, three-bathroom house for sale in Austin, Texas is advertising a “great location- 13 min from Tesla,” on Redfin.

“I think there will be a premium on being close to Tesla HQ, especially since a portion of engineering jobs will have to be in person,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, told Austin’s local news station KXAN in an email.

Redfin defines Travis County as a “very competitive” area for home buyers. The most popular homes can sell for about 12% above the list price and go pending in around 19 days, according to data from the real estate website.

Musk has already moved himself to the Lone Star State after fighting with California over its coronavirus restrictions, Insider reported. Musk already moved his charitable foundation to Texas, too, further fueling speculation that a new factory would soon follow. SpaceX, Musk’s other venture outside of Tesla, also has a launchpad in Texas.

Musk was the highest-paid CEO in the country in 2019. The move allows the CEO to see a bit more out of his paycheck as Texas has no income tax compared to California which has some of the highest rates in the US.

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SpaceX astronaut says she was sick for the first 2 days of Inspiration4’s mission and thought the spaceflight wasn’t long enough, a report says

inspiration4 crew members screaming joy floating weightless inside plane
Dr. Sian Proctor, on the far right, told National Geographic she felt sick during the first part of her mission.

  • Dr. Sian Proctor, a SpaceX astronaut, told National Geographic she felt sick for two days in space.
  • Proctor also said SpaceX’s three-day mission around the Earth wasn’t long enough.
  • She said her head was “a little stuffy” on the second day, National Geographic reported.

A SpaceX astronaut who took part in the company’s Inspiration4 mission a month ago said she was sick for the first two days in space, National Geographic reported Friday.

Dr. Sian Proctor, one of the four crew members onboard SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission, told National Geographic that she started feeling unwell on the first day.

“Space sickness is one of those things that a lot of people suffer from,” Proctor said in the interview. “You’re just not on your game.”

Astronauts can experience motion sickness when they’re in space due to the weightlessness which they feel with zero-gravity.

Proctor told National Geographic that she felt better on the second day but her head was “a little stuffy.”

“But man, I woke up the third day, and I was humming, and everything was perfect,” Proctor told the publication. “I had adapted, I was good, and I was like, ‘What? I have to come home?! No, no, no!'”

The Inspiration4 mission launched on September 16, sending four civilian astronauts into orbit for three days onboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft.

“I would go for longer. Three days was not enough,” the geoscientist and science communication specialist told National Geographic.

“I think, ideally, a five-day mission in the Dragon capsule with the cupola would be perfect,” Proctor added.

The cupola is a glass dome roof located at the nose of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which the astronauts looked out of to see Earth from space. Proctor told National Geographic that this was “the best feature of our spaceflight.”

The toilet, which malfunctioned mid-flight, was also located in the cupola. Proctor said in the interview that it was “a waste fan issue,” which the crew members quickly fixed. “I think it was made into an event that was bigger than it actually was,” she added.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX sees valuation jump 33% to top $100 billion, becoming the 2nd-most valuable private company, report sasys

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils the company's new manned spacecraft, The Dragon V2, designed to carry astronauts into space during a news conference on May 29, 2014, in Hawthorne, California.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The valuation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX has skyrocketed to $100 billion following a secondary-share sale last week, CNBC reported Friday.

SpaceX investors agreed to sell up to $755 million in privately held stock at $560 a share, according to CNBC, meaning the space company did not raise new capital since only existing shares were sold.

Still, the latest valuation at $560 a share marks a 33% increase from a fundraising round in February, when SpaceX sold stock at $410.99 apiece to give it a $74 billion valuation, CNBC added.

And with its overall valuation jumping to $100 billion, SpaceX is now the second most valuable private company in the world, according to data from CB Insights.

Founded in 2002, SpaceX just trails behind TikTok parent Bytedance, which is worth $140 billion, and has leapfrogged payments startup Stripe, which is worth $95 billion.

The Hawthorne, California-based company launches satellites into orbit and transports astronauts to and from the International Space Station. But two other ventures have required aggressive fundraising lately, with February’s deal alone generating $1.2 billion.

First is its Starlink satellites, which provide internet service from 1,650 satellites floating in orbit. Launched in 2019, it now has over 100,000 users using its beta version thanks to its faster than expected internet speeds, which hit around 175 Mbps.

Second is its Starship rocket, which aims to bring human beings to the moon, Mars, and beyond. As of August, SpaceX has completed stacking its Starship rocket, which Musk has called a “dream come true,” for its first attempt at orbital flight.

Meanwhile, the jump in SpaceX’s valuation represents another victory for Musk, whose electric vehicle company, Tesla, has soared in value over the past year. Both firms, among others that he owns, have made the outspoken entrepreneur one of the richest people in the world.

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