The Scene:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes the company has been victim to “quite extensive and damaging” sabotage by an employee.  Musk sent out two company-wide emails in the last week, the first hinting at possible sabotage and the second claiming that he had discovered the culprit within the company’s ranks. The public may take Musk’s announcement with a grain of salt, as Tesla is currently struggling (once again) to meet its production target of 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June. Tesla and SpaceX, two of the most controversial companies in the world, have been considered both beacons of possibility and purveyors of delusion by the collegiate sphere.

The Takes:

UC Berkeley Daily Californian: Imad Pasha defends Musk’s ambitious ventures, “the decisions he makes for his companies, and “the man behind [them]” as somewhat vain but benevolent for society.  

•    Musk’s “successes would not have extended much farther than the spaceflight community had there not been such an accessible, grandiose, cultural element to [SpaceX’s] launches.”

•    SpaceX’s headline-grabbing approach shows the public “that rocket launches can be unifying, gripping, leap-out-of-your-seat-cheering affairs.”

•    “As far as I’m concerned, if [they] got people interested, and got kids excited about the thrill and excitement of spaceflight,” Musk’s ventures are “worth it.”

Cal Poly Mustang News: Kendra Coburn believes Elon Musk “is making science cool again.”

•    Musk capitalizes upon America’s “culture that values confidence, charisma and, above all, flashiness.”

•    He “understands that the sciences can come across as exclusionary to the uninitiated.”

West Virginia Daily Athenaeum: John Zaleski believes that Musk’s foray into privatized space travel “could benefit [the] economy in the long-run.”

•    “Private space ventures are economic in nature, not political. In the case of SpaceX, it is working towards establishing an array of satellites that can provide high speed internet access across the globe.”

•    “The United States should take the lead by establishing that private enterprises do have property rights in space and establishing the rules for what is and is not private property. This will ensure potential space explorers that their investments won’t be seized after success and will give them a better idea of what they will gain from exploration.”

The Bottom Line:

Although most student do not agree with everything Elon Musk says and does, most see a concrete set of benefits to his ventures. Musk is innovating and publicizing scientific progress for all Americans to see. While Tesla and SpaceX may not yet be economically feasible, both investors and college students see such tremendous potential in these companies that they cannot help but continue to give Musk the publicity that made him such an omnipresent face in our contemporary technology-driven society. 

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