“Bobby Heenan said ‘If you’re poor and you do something stupid, you’re nuts. If you’re rich and do something stupid, you’re eccentric.’ The fine line between stupid and genius – is often a fat bank account.
“But what if the fat bank account – isn’t your coin? Or a dramatically huge amount of it – isn’t your coin?
“‘Elon Musk Defends $4.9 Billion in Government Money for His Companies’
“Musk’s net worth is $11.5 billion. Meaning almost half of his total tally – has been handed to him by government.”
Although since I wrote that – Musk’s net worth has ballooned to $19.1 billion. In part because the interest paid on that massive amassed amount of government coin – is quite substantial. And in part because our government…keeps giving him more and more of our coin.
And Musk has done for that government money – what he has always done for government money. Way over-promise – and WAY under-deliver.
To wit: Another of Musk’s pseudo-companies is GasX – oops, I mean SpaceX.
An apology: I sincerely apologize to GasX. A legitimate private company with a proven track record of private sector success. But given that GasX relieves bloating – I made the natural connection to Musk and his distended government contracts. If only GasX addressed government budgetary crony bloating.
Anyway, SpaceX has been cashing government checks – for years. And letting us down – for years.
Back in 2016: “”…SpaceX’s Elon Musk wants to deliver humans to Mars in 2024…while ambitious, Musk’s plan is maybe not all that crazy. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is slated to carry humans to the International Space Station in 2017. Then, in 2018, the company aims to launch an uncrewed Dragon capsule to Mars….The Falcon Heavy rocket, three times more powerful than the Falcon 9, is SpaceX’s ticket to Mars, but it hasn’t launched yet. After many delays, Falcon Heavy is currently slated to launch this fall.”
Ah yes – the Falcon Heavy…and all those delays.
This from July 2017: “Originally, the Falcon Heavy was meant to debut sometime in 2013 or 2014, but its maiden voyage has been continuously pushed back since then.
“In 2015, the company said the rocket would launch in spring of 2016. That didn’t happen, and SpaceX eventually pushed the launch to sometime in late 2016.
“Then in September of , one of the company’s rockets exploded on a Florida launchpad, and the Falcon Heavy’s first flight was put on hold yet again.
“SpaceX keeps saying the flight will happen [in 2017], and now Musk has set the target month.”
I wouldn’t have wagered the rent on that Musk target month. And it’s a good thing I didn’t. Because while Musk is quite happy to bet a whole lot of our money on it – he doesn’t sound like he’d bet any of his:
“‘There’s a real good chance that it does not make it to orbit. I hope it gets far enough away from the launch pad that it does not cause pad damage – I would consider that a win.’”
Well that’s highly reassuring.
Good news was FINALLY delivered – Musk FINALLY launched the Falcon Heavy this year. At least five years late. But Musk still managed to deliver us even more bad news – that the uber-expensive, uber-tardy launch…was ultimately without any point or purpose at all:
“Though originally designed to carry people, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told reporters…that Falcon Heavy will likely not be used for crewed missions.”
Well then what the heck was the frigging point?
Has government FINALLY learned its lesson – and had Musk surgically removed from its teat? Heavens no.
Musk is back – looking for yet another government money infusion. And already getting it.
Having milked years and billions out of his self-described pointless Falcon Heavy – Musk is starting all over again the government money merry-go-round…with the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
“The president of SpaceX said she expects the company would receive additional funding from the U.S. government to support the development of its large reusable launch system.
“Speaking at the NewSpace Europe conference here Nov. 16, Gwynne Shotwell noted that SpaceX is already receiving funding from the U.S. Air Force supporting the development of Raptor, the engine that will power the vehicle known as BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, and the reusable spacecraft known as BFS or Big Falcon Spaceship.”
Well that’s fantastic.
We’ll close with the words of a man who knows more than any of us about these sorts of things.
That would be former astronaut Chris Hadfield:
“Personally, I don’t think any of those three rockets is taking people to Mars.”
Two people are speaking – astronaut Chris Hadfield and serial failure Elon Musk.
And our government is listening to the wrong one.
And paying the wrong one billions and billions of dollars.
Ain’t DC great?
This first appeared in Red State.