These are just the latest examples of why the federal government has no viable way to break away from Mr. Musk, at least until the United States decides it will continue space exploration and fend off its biggest superpower rivals. . It could condemn him and declare that all Americans should reject his ideas. But it needs it, or at least its rockets and its satellites, more than ever.
And both the White House and the Pentagon know it.
Rarely has the US government been so dependent on technology provided by a single, cantankerous, technologist whose views have been so publicly declared to be so repugnant. And yet, according to administration officials, they have no choice — and won’t for some time. Because right now, there are few viable options.
This is an unusual dilemma. If a top executive at one of the publicly held traditional defense contractors — Raytheon or Boeing or Lockheed Martin — had embraced an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory like Mr. Musk’s, there would have been calls for resignation from shareholders and customers alike. There was pressure. In fact, IBM and advertisers like Apple and Warner Bros. Discovery have been announcing in recent days that they will stop doing business on X, formerly known as Twitter. Instead of apologizing, Mr Musk has threatened a lawsuit.
But SpaceX is privately owned, controlled solely by Mr Musk. (Tesla, his electric vehicle company, is publicly held.) And so far, while the White House has been vocal, the Pentagon has remained silent.
“It would be nice to have an alternative, and the U.S. government has tried to develop something,” Mr. Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson said in an interview on Sunday. “But no other company, including United Launch Alliance, a Boeing and Lockheed Martin venture,” he said, “is going to build reusable rockets, or get astronauts into orbit, or put some of these heavy satellites into high-Earth orbit.” Not able to bring in. ,