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Yusaku Maezawa Trusts Elon Musk and SpaceX

Maezawa ran an import CD business and played in a rock band before he embarked on his online fashion business with his shopping site Zozotown.

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SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk, left, speaks during an event. VOA

The Japanese online retail tycoon who plans to travel to the moon on the SpaceX rocket says he respects and trusts Elon Musk as a fellow entrepreneur, despite his recent troubles.

“Twitter can get you into trouble,” Yusaku Maezawa, chief executive of Zozo Inc., said Tuesday at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo. “And that can be said of Elon Musk, too.”

Musk’s tweet in August that declared he had secured financing for a Tesla buyout got him in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Under a settlement, Tesla and Musk each must pay a $20 million penalty. Musk also stepped down as Tesla’s chairman.

Maezawa, 42, who is also quite active on social media, intends to be a passenger on Musk’s Space X, the first-ever private commercial space trip, scheduled for blastoff in 2023, to orbit the moon, in what Maezawa has dubbed his “#dearMoon Project.”

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket (VOA)

Maezawa said he got a good feel for Musk’s character by visiting Tesla, and seeing the relationship Musk had developed with his employees.

“They believe in Elon Musk,” he said. “That kind of company is marvelous. I felt that as another entrepreneur.”

Although Maezawa said nothing was decided yet on who was going with him on the space travel, he said he wanted to take visual artists, fashion designers and musicians from a variety of backgrounds, including the actress he was dating, Ayame Goriki, “if she proves to be a good match for the mission.”

Maezawa said his company has a twitter policy, and experts go over his tweets in advance. Sometimes he gets emotional on social media, but he is careful not to say anything that might hurt his company, he said.

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Yusaku Maezawa, the chief executive of Zozo, which operates Japan’s popular fashion shopping site Zozotown and is officially called Start Today Co, speaks at an event launching the debut of its formal apparel items, in Tokyo, Japan. VOA

Recently, he took to his twitter and Instagram accounts to lash out at online hecklers, who had ridiculed his halting rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on an expensive Stradivarius violin he had just purchased.

Maezawa is known for lavish purchases, including artworks by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. But he is equally known for sharing them with the public.

He shrugged off the possible dangers of space, just as he brushed off the risks of tweets and associations with Musk.

“There is no end if you start thinking about that,” he said of the risks.

Maezawa said he has not yet started training for the mission, but he has been getting regular medical checkups and is brushing up on his English.

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Tesla has become the most valuable American carmaker, with its stock worth more than $50 billion. Pixabay

In a nation where people tend to be focused on blending in and getting along, Maezawa has stood out. Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at $2.9 billion.

Maezawa ran an import CD business and played in a rock band before he embarked on his online fashion business with his shopping site Zozotown.

Recently, he has begun making clothes, such as a wearable technology called Zozosuit. The suit, splattered with hundreds of dots, takes body measurements with a software application, ensuring a good fit.

Maezawa said nicely fitting clothes bring smiles and the moon trip’s purpose also is to add to happiness.

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, launches from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Saturday, June 3, 2017. VOA

The world remembers the first words of the 1969 Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” he said.

Also Read: SpaceX Successfully Lands Falcon 9

Maezawa has a message of his own that he says will be more casual, akin to the lyrics he loved playing in rock bands growing up.

All I want to say is this: Wouldn’t the world be a better place if there is peace?” said Maezawa. (VOA)

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NASA Selects SpaceX, Blue Origin For its Artemis Space Program

NASA said it is returning to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation

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NASA is on track for sustainable human exploration of the Moon for the first time in history. Pixabay

The US space agency NASA on Thursday announced it has selected Elon Musk-run SpaceX, Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin and Dynetics (a Leidos company) to design and develop human landing systems (HLS) for the agency’s Artemis programme, one of which will land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024.

The total combined value for all awarded contracts is $967 million for the 10-month base period. “With these contract awards, America is moving forward with the final step needed to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024, including the incredible moment when we will see the first woman set foot on the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA is on track for sustainable human exploration of the Moon for the first time in history.
“This is the first time since the Apollo era that NASA has direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have companies on contract to do the work for the Artemis programme,” he said in a statement.

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Blue Origin is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) – a three-stage lander to be launched on its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system. SpaceX is developing the Starship – a fully integrated lander that will use the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket.

Dynetics (a Leidos company) from Huntsville, Alabama, is working on the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system. Fifty years ago, NASA’s Apollo Programme proved it is possible to land humans on the Moon and return them safely to Earth.

“We are on our way. With these awards, we begin an exciting partnership with the best of industry to accomplish the nation’s goals. We have much work ahead, especially over these next critical 10 months. I have high confidence that working with these teammates, we will succeed,” informed Douglas Loverro, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington.

SpaceX
The US space agency on Thursday announced it has selected Elon Musk-run SpaceX, Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin and Dynetics (a Leidos company) to design and develop human landing systems (HLS) for the agency’s Artemis programme, one of which will land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. Wikimedia Commons

NASA’s commercial partners will refine their lander concepts through the contract base period ending in February 2021. During that time, the agency will evaluate which of the contractors will perform initial demonstration missions.

Charged with returning to the Moon in the next four years, NASA’s Artemis programme will reveal new knowledge about the Moon, Earth, and our origins in the solar system. The human landing system is a vital part of NASA’s deep space exploration plans, along with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and Gateway.

ALSO READ: India’s Complete Lockdown Results in Biggest Revenue impact internationally: Amazon

NASA said it is returning to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation. (IANS)

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Telling People That They Cannot Leave Their Homes is “Facist”: Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Musk said that while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not

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Elon Musk
He said that "forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional alliance" is "horrible and wrong". Wikimedia Commons

Slamming restrictions imposed on people’s movements in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that telling people that they cannot leave their home is “fascist”.

Musk has been a fierce critic of COVID-19 restrictions from the very beginning of the outbreak. At one point he even called the coronavirus panic “dumb”. The latest rant against the restrictions came during Tesla’s Q1 2020 earning call on Wednesday.

While answering questions from analysts, Musk said “this is the time to think about the future and also to ask, is it right to infringe upon people’s rights, as what is happening right now.” “I think the people are going to be very angry about this and are very angry, because somebody should really — if somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great. They should be allowed to stay in the house, and they should not be compelled to leave,” the Tesla CEO said.

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“But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. People back they’ve gotten their freedom,” he added. Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Slamming restrictions imposed on people’s movements in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that telling people that they cannot leave their home is “fascist”. Pixabay

Answering questions on the company’s liquidity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk said that he was worried about not being able to resume production in its factory in Fremont, California. “I should say we are a bit worried about not being able to resume production in the Bay Area, and that should be identified as a serious risk. We only have two car factories right now, one in Shanghai and one in the Bay Area, and the Bay Area produces the vast majority of our cars, all of S and X, and most of the 3 and all of the Y,” he said

He said that “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional alliance” is “horrible and wrong”. Musk said that while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not.

ALSO READ: After 40 Days of Lockdown in India Now is the Time to be Realistic

While the Bay Area’s orders require non-essential businesses to stay shut and also ban many other activities, such as large public gatherings, they do not say that people cannot leave their house, CNBC reported. (IANS)

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Tesla Posts a Profit of $16 Millions in First Quarter of 2020

Tesla weathers COVID-19 disruptions in Q1

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Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 . Pixabay

Electric vehicle company Tesla posted surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This is the first time we have achieved positive GAAP net income in a seasonally weak first quarter,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an earnings call on Wednesday.

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

Tesla said the volume growth in the Gigafactory Shanghai led to a material improvement in margins of locally made Model 3 vehicles.

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, near a Tesla factory. Wikimedia Commons

The Model Y also contributed to profits, Tesla said, adding that it represented the first time in its history that a new product has been profitable in its first quarter.

“Even with all the challenges, we achieved a 20 per cent automotive gross margin, excluding regulatory credits while ramping two major products,” Musk said.

Musk said that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the company to look closely at its cost structure and to be more efficient as a company.

“And we came to a conclusion that the right move was actually to continue to expand rapidly, continue to invest in the future and in new technologies, even though it is risky,” Musk said.

Read More: Huawei Files New Patent For a Foldable Smartphone Featuring Zoom Lens

“And we’ve talked to some of our key investors, and they support that approach as well. So I think that there’s clearly an uncertain future ahead. It’s a bit of a bumpy road. But I think the long-term prospects are extremely good,” he added.

Tesla shares rose more than 9 per cent after the company posted Q 1 profit. (IANS)