I tried Elon Musk's productivity hack: 5-minute slots for every task

Business

Business Insider 10 October, 2021 - 03:40am 2 views

An environmental document that needs U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval before SpaceX can begin testing the world’s largest rockets is missing key details about where its fuel will come from, experts say.

The draft programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) for SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicles, which Elon Musk hopes will soon be shooting into orbit and then on to Mars, was issued last month by the FAA for public comment. The 142-page document covers construction and daily operations at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas, which Musk is hoping to incorporate as a city called Starbase. These include pre-flight operations, rocket tests, launches and landings, as well as fuel, water and electricity supplies.

A new pre-treatment system will purify and cool natural gas into liquid methane fuel for the Starship and Super Heavy rockets. Much more gas will be needed for a new 250-megawatt gas-fired power station. A power plant this big typically serves over 100,000 homes and can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But while rocket launches get a lot of coverage in the PEA, the new power plant receives only a cursory mention. In particular, it is unclear how the tens of millions of cubic feet of gas required daily will get to SpaceX’s remote facility near the Mexican border.

Failing to mention this in the PEA is unusual, and possibly contravenes the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), says Pat Parenteau, professor of law and senior counsel in the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at Vermont Law School.

“NEPA is what we call the look-before-you-leap law,” Parenteau said. “It’s designed to inform federal decision-makers about the environmental impacts of their actions and ways to avoid them.”

A pipeline is the usual way to transport natural gas to a power station. An official at a federal agency told TechCrunch that earlier this year SpaceX inquired about reusing a defunct natural gas pipeline running through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

“They want to reactivate the pipeline for transporting methane via pipeline rather than by truck as they do now,” wrote the official, who asked not to be named.

However, that pipeline was permanently abandoned in 2016, according to the official and state records. The official told TechCrunch that the defunct pipeline now houses fiber optic cable for a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley internet connection.

Trucking in enough natural gas to support both a large power plant and regular rocket launches would be a considerable undertaking. It would require thousands of tanker deliveries every year, according to one engineer TechCrunch spoke to.

SpaceX has even suggested that it would be interested in drilling for gas itself, as first reported by Bloomberg earlier this year. In a dispute over the ownership of some abandoned gas wells, the company later wrote: “SpaceX [has] a unique ability to utilize natural gas with different economic incentives that do not depend on transportation or sale to gas markets.”

Regardless of which method SpaceX opts for, the environmental impact should have been disclosed in the PEA, according to Parenteau.

“Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas and the courts have said, whenever you’re proposing a project that involves methane, you have to look all the way back to the wells, at distribution through pipelines, and at the downstream effects where the gas is burned,” he said.

According to the blog of an environmental engineer who has been studying the Starbase, the PEA also makes no mention of other equipment that would be typical for gas power stations and gas treatment plants, including a thermal oxidizer, ammonia storage tanks and gas flare. All of these have environmental impacts, including a carbon footprint and air pollution.

The FAA provided the following statement: “The draft assessment was written in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.”

SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment, but Musk did refer to the company’s reliance on fossil fuels at a Tesla shareholders’ meeting on Thursday. “People say a carbon tax would benefit Tesla,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, but it would hurt SpaceX.'” He then noted that (atmospheric) methane eventually breaks down into carbon dioxide. “Don’t worry too much about methane,” he concluded.

Although the gas power station’s exact location is still uncertain, it will be about 5.4 acres in size, have structures up to 150 feet tall, and operate continuously year-round, day and night. There is also a small (1 megawatt) solar farm that SpaceX hopes to expand, according the PEA report.

SpaceX needs the gas power station to run a new desalination plant that will produce the millions of gallons of fresh water needed annually for sound and fire suppression during launches. Large amounts of electricity will also be used to make liquid oxygen from the air.

NEPA is not the only federal rule that applies. A 250-megawatt power station would normally qualify as a major new source of air pollution under the Clean Air Act, according to Parenteau and another expert. This would trigger another lengthy environmental review.

“More than 50 years after NEPA [was enacted], I’m pretty surprised to see an agency doing this,” Parenteau said. “Perhaps they’re hoping that nobody notices?”

Following the close of the public comment period on November 1, the FAA will either issue a final PEA that will clear SpaceX to proceed — subject to the FAA’s safety findings — or declare its intent to prepare a much more detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which usually takes years to prepare.

If the final PEA does not appear to meet the requirements of NEPA or the Clean Air Act, local community or environmental organizations could sue to force the FAA to prepare an EIS, potentially delaying a Starship orbital launch further.

Read full article at Business Insider

Elon Musk says 'do not worry too much' about methane, the gas used in SpaceX rocket fuel that accounts for 20% of global greenhouse emissions

Markets Insider 10 October, 2021 - 01:20pm

© 2021 Insider Inc. and finanzen.net GmbH (Imprint). All rights reserved.

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Elon Musk's SpaceX Is Now Worth $100 Billion USD

HYPEBEAST 10 October, 2021 - 01:20pm

Musk’s aerospace company has surpassed the $100 billion USD mark due to a sale of existing stock, according to CNBC. The agreement made between new and existing investors allowed SpaceX to sell up to $755 million USD in stock from insiders priced at $560 USD a share, which increased the company’s value to $100.3 billion USD. The new value is solely based on the secondary sale of existing shares and entails no new capital.

In February of this year, SpaceX was valued at $74 billion USD at $419.99 USD a share. Therefore, the new valuation and showcases a 33% increase in share price. The company is now one of the rare “centicorn” companies in the world, which occurs when a startup becomes valued at $100 billion USD.

Last month, SpaceX shared the first images from its all-civilian Inspiratio4 space mission. The company’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft left NASA’s Kennedy Space Space Center in Florida to complete more than 15 orbits around Earth in one day. In the mission, the crew followed a distinct flight path, while traveling faster than 17,000 miles per hour at an altitude of 575 kilometers.

In related news, memecoins jumped after Elon Musk tweeted a photo of his Shiba Inu puppy in a Tesla.

HYPEBEAST® is a registered trademark of Hypebeast Hong Kong Ltd.

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.

CNBC: Elon Musk's SpaceX passes $100 billion valuation

Fast Company 10 October, 2021 - 01:20pm

An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens

The future of innovation and technology in government for the greater good

Our annual guide to the businesses that matter the most

Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways

New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system

Celebrating the best ideas in business

The company did not raise new capital, but rather crossed the threshold after a secondary sale of existing stock, the report says. That came through an agreement with new and existing investors, which allowed SpaceX to sell $755 million in stock from insiders at $560 a share, sources familiar with the deal told CNBC. The new share price is a 33% bump from its last valuation earlier this year, which had the company worth $74 billion with a share price of $419.

As such, SpaceX’s on-paper wealth has multiplied to a hundred times over the $1 billion unicorn mark, making it a “centicorn,” if you will.  SpaceX is now the world’s second most-valuable privately held company, behind only China’s supermassive internet juggernaut Bytedance, according to data from business analytics firm CB Insights.

In recent years, SpaceX has raised billions to build a constellation of thousands of Starlink satellites, which supply broadband internet access to vast swaths of the planet, as well as the Starship rocket launch system. It’s currently jockeying with rival company Blue Origin over a NASA contract to create lunar landers for astronauts, and over turf in the emerging field of space tourism. But its meteoric rise also proves that perhaps—unlike some of its space race competitors this year (looking at you, Bezos and Branson)—it doesn’t need to ship a billionaire celebrity into orbit in order to make headlines.

But of course, we wouldn’t rule out a trip to the cosmos for the famously eccentric Elon Musk. After all, once you’ve become Earth’s richest man, founded a multitude of innovative ventures mapping everything from underground tunnel networks to the human brain, and wielded the power to sway stock markets by the billions with a single tweet, what’s left to conquer but the final frontier?

I tried Elon Musk's productivity hack of breaking my entire day into 5-minute slots. It was annoyingly inflexi

Business Insider India 10 October, 2021 - 01:20pm

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Elon Musk is world's richest person after adding USD 10 billion to fortune with SpaceX deal

DNA India 10 October, 2021 - 01:20pm

An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens

The future of innovation and technology in government for the greater good

Our annual guide to the businesses that matter the most

Leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways

New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system

Celebrating the best ideas in business

The company did not raise new capital, but rather crossed the threshold after a secondary sale of existing stock, the report says. That came through an agreement with new and existing investors, which allowed SpaceX to sell $755 million in stock from insiders at $560 a share, sources familiar with the deal told CNBC. The new share price is a 33% bump from its last valuation earlier this year, which had the company worth $74 billion with a share price of $419.

As such, SpaceX’s on-paper wealth has multiplied to a hundred times over the $1 billion unicorn mark, making it a “centicorn,” if you will.  SpaceX is now the world’s second most-valuable privately held company, behind only China’s supermassive internet juggernaut Bytedance, according to data from business analytics firm CB Insights.

In recent years, SpaceX has raised billions to build a constellation of thousands of Starlink satellites, which supply broadband internet access to vast swaths of the planet, as well as the Starship rocket launch system. It’s currently jockeying with rival company Blue Origin over a NASA contract to create lunar landers for astronauts, and over turf in the emerging field of space tourism. But its meteoric rise also proves that perhaps—unlike some of its space race competitors this year (looking at you, Bezos and Branson)—it doesn’t need to ship a billionaire celebrity into orbit in order to make headlines.

But of course, we wouldn’t rule out a trip to the cosmos for the famously eccentric Elon Musk. After all, once you’ve become Earth’s richest man, founded a multitude of innovative ventures mapping everything from underground tunnel networks to the human brain, and wielded the power to sway stock markets by the billions with a single tweet, what’s left to conquer but the final frontier?

Business Stories

JCPenney