Tesla, “the company that Twitter built,” had a banner day in the headlines yesterday. A Model X rented for a wedding was crashed into by a stolen car. Meanwhile, SpaceX launched its heaviest satellite yet. Adam Jonas, one of the biggest cheerleaders for Tesla stock on Wall Street lowered his sights a bit. And Elon Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive, says he will leave the company next month to pursue “other opportunities.”
The Model X Wedding Crasher
In California, a young man who identifies himself as Mr. Tran left his rehearsal dinner the night before his wedding driving a rented Tesla Model X. As he was making a left turn at an intersection, a stolen Honda Civic fleeing from the police crashed into him. The Civic was estimated to be travelling 65 mph at the time of the collision.
Tran, posting as QwiksilverA4 in an online forum, said, “At this point, it looked like the driver had no intention of slowing down, and I immediately thought that I was either going to get badly hurt or potentially die.” Instead, all 12 air bags in the Model X went off and the front of the Tesla, which Elon Musk has called “a giant impact-absorbing crumple zone,” performed its mission of protecting those inside the car perfectly.
After the crash, Tran kicked open the front door and exited the vehicle with only minor injuries. “The silver car was a mess, but the Model X only suffered a broken axel and bent wheel,” he wrote online. “I can’t thank Elon Musk, Tesla, and the team enough for what they do and want them to know that their car saved my life. Thank you for your time and I hope this message gets passed through to everyone, especially Elon.” Tran is an automation controls consultant for Tesla who works regularly with the company’s engineers. “Little did I know that one of these vehicles would end up saving my life in a potentially deadly auto accident,” he wrote.
Falcon 9 Launches Heaviest Payload
SpaceX on Monday, May 15, launched an Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite weighing 13,400 lbs into geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the earth. The weight of the satellite combined with how high above the earth it had to be lifted meant there was not enough fuel left on board after the launch to fly the first stage of the Falcon 9 back to earth. This marked the fourth successful Falcon 9 launch for SpaceX in the past 6 months.