Rocket Man Musk's Fantasy Land
Rocket Man Elon Musk “plans to build the most powerful rocket ever and use it to launch a giant, reusable manned spacecraft to Mars—potentially in less than a decade—in the billionaire’s most aggressive expression yet of his vision for privately funded space exploration,” writes Andy Pasztor for the Wall Street Journal.
His company, Space X, will be toting passengers to Mars sometime between 2022 and 2024. He even provided “the kernel of a business plan to pay for it, at an international astronautics conference in Australia on Friday.”
“I think we have figured out how to pay for it,” he told the crowd of scientists, industry officials and space aficionados gathered in Adelaide. “We think we have a way to do it.”
Musk has never met a timeline he hasn’t blown, whether it's making cares, rockets or solar panels. He didn’t mention cost estimates. Industry officials have questioned some of SpaceX’s internal revenue and profit projections. “The company’s Falcon Heavy is four years late and its manned Dragon capsule, intended to carry astronauts to the international space station, is even tardier and hasn’t yet flown,” writes Pasztor.
Meanwhile, short seller Jim Chanos told Bloomberg that Musk’s Tesla is “structurally unprofitable.” By folding Solar City into Tesla, the drain to Tesla shareholders is $1 billion a year.
“Three years ago, this company was supposed to be making money now,” Chanos, who’s betting against Tesla shares, said Thursday on Bloomberg Television. “Now it’s supposed to be making money by 2020. And I’m guessing by 2019, we’ll hear about 2025.”
Musk made electric cars sexy, but now, “You now have lots of competition. You have well-financed, profitable companies competing against you,” said Chanos, who founded hedge fund firm Kynikos Associates Ltd.
While Musk has fiddled, his competition has caught up. Porsche will have an electric sports car, the Mission e, on the road in 2019. Also, Tesla is now behind in producing autonomous vehicles.
“This stock, probably more than almost any other, is a poster child for the hopes and dreams of this bull market,” Chanos said.
A bull market that’s as “high as a kite by now.”