These are solely the newest examples of why the federal authorities has no viable method to break up with Mr. Musk, a minimum of so long as the USA decides it’s going to proceed house exploration and deter its greatest superpower rivals. It might denounce him and declare that each one Individuals ought to reject his views. But it surely wants him, or a minimum of his rockets and his satellites, greater than ever.
And the White Home and Pentagon each know that.
Hardly ever has the U.S. authorities so relied on the expertise offered by a single, if petulant, technologist with views that it has so publicly declared repugnant. And but, by the account of administration officers, they haven’t any selection — and won’t for some time. As a result of there are, proper now, few viable options.
It’s an uncommon predicament. If a prime govt of one of many conventional publicly held protection contractors — Raytheon or Boeing or Lockheed Martin — had embraced an antisemitic conspiracy concept the way in which Mr. Musk did, there can be stress from shareholders and prospects alike for a resignation. The truth is, advertisers like IBM and Apple and Warner Bros. Discovery have been asserting in latest days that they may pause doing enterprise on X, previously often known as Twitter. Mr. Musk, relatively than apologize, has threatened lawsuits.
However SpaceX is privately held, totally managed by Mr. Musk. (Tesla, his electrical car firm, is publicly held.) And up to now, whereas the White Home has been outspoken, the Pentagon has been silent.
“It might be good to have options, and the U.S. authorities has tried to develop some,” Walter Isaacson, Mr. Musk’s biographer, stated in an interview on Sunday. “However no different firm,” he stated, together with United Launch Alliance, a Boeing and Lockheed Martin enterprise, has “been in a position to make reusable rockets, or get astronauts into orbit, or get a few of these heavy satellites into high-Earth orbit.”