15 Minutes Into the Future

Old-School Car Dealers Whining That Tesla Dealerships are Illegal

Elon Musk (Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP)

Elon Musk‘s aerospace venture is off to a good start with the recent launch of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship, but his Tesla stores selling expensive electric Model S sedans are running into problems with fossil-fueled competitors.

Several state associations of auto dealers are invoking older laws protecting conventional methods of selling cars by claiming the way Tesla sells cars is unfair to other dealers and possibly even illegal. Here’s one example out of several cited by Automotive News: Read More

Space the Final Frontier

SpaceX Lands $440M. NASA Contract to Develop Space Shuttle Replacement

That does look a little cramped. (Photo: spacex.com)

Good news for anyone who dreams of retiring to a ranch on Mars: Elon Musk’s aerospace startup, SpaceX, just landed a $440 million NASA contract to develop the Space Shuttle’s successor and get some real, live American astronauts back into space. That would mean, for instance, no more hitching rides with the Russians.

According to a statement the company released earlier today: Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Elon Musk, Space Nerd Demigod, Is Still Totally Obsessed With Mars

"Yes, this will be perfect for repairing the irrigation system on my massive Martian ranch." (Photo: a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/5126137767/sizes/m/in/photostream/">flickr.com/jurvetson)

The L.A. Times recently sat down with Paypal mafioso and SpaceX founder Elon Musk for a brief chat about his recent endeavors and goals for his commercial aerospace venture. In short: His ultimate goal is still Mars. (Always Mars. Never Not Mars.) Someone keeps a battered copy of Red Mars in a place of pride, we’d wager.

Naturally, the Times inquired as to whether Mr. Musk himself would be personally interested in a trip to the Red Planet, or if he’s merely interested in lobbing other people skyward. His answer was basically, duh: Read More

Geeking Out

One Hour With Bill Nye the Science Guy

bill nye

Last week, we learned that we would have the lovely opportunity of interviewing Bill Nye–yes, the Science Guy, that bow-tie-wearing, zany engineer whose PBS show taught the majority of twenty-somethings much of what they know about magnetism, the circulatory system and electricity. Most kids who grew up in the 90’s were shown at least one of his videos in a Friday afternoon science class. Mr. Nye occupies a specific corner of our collective nostalgia, his kooky presence and love for science hearkening back to a simpler time when getting an A on a test was our biggest worry.

When this reporter woke up for the interview this morning, she found herself struggling to find something to wear. (“All my lab coats are in the wash,” we tweeted.) Turns out that we should’ve opted for a bow-tie, as Mr. Nye showed up to our interview in Bryant Park in that signature sartorial choice, a green paisley one tied around his neck. On the lapel of his jacket, a Planetary Society pin gleamed in the sun. Read More

The Final Frontier

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Cargo Ship Finally Achieves Liftoff

Mr. Musk.

Fellow science fiction nerds, it’s a new day. The space shuttle might be a relic, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck here permanently. (Well, provided you’ve got some cash lying around.) After last weekend’s none-too-impressive failure to launch, Elon Musk’s ride to the stars finally made it into orbit this morning. The commercial spaceflight company’s cargo ship, the Dragon, is now headed for the International Space Station. Your move, Facebook mafia. Read More