The recent SXSW was more innovative than other similar shows, and the highlight was the keynote addresses from SpaceX and Tesla owner, Elon Musk.
His keynote even had a video that showed off a rocket that could safely land after being blasted off vertically. Musk said that Texas was the leading candidate for a third launch site for one of SpaceX’s rockets, joining sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
He said this would be possible within two years as SpaceX was in talks with Texas legislators. The other contenders are Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Virginia.
The video was of a rocket test, which he said had taken place earlier that week. In the video, a ten-story rocket takes off from a launching pad and hovers several hundred feet in the air before landing in the same spot, upright. It’s an early test of SpaceX’s reusable-rocket project.
Musk told the audience that reusability is extremely important. He also talked about the recent controversy involving his Tesla Motors, which started when a New York Times reporter claimed in a much-circulated column that his electric-powered Model S sedan had ground to a halt during a test-drive up the East Coast.
He responded to that issue by saying that he has no problem with negative feedback and there indeed have been hundreds of negative articles. He then said that he doesn’t have a problem with critical reviews, but he has a problem with false reviews.
As far as his SpaceX missions are concerned, he said this was not about competing with NASA, but he was disappointed that they had not progressed beyond the Apollo missions.