Time Names Elon Musk as 2021 Person of the Year to Mixed Reviews

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in front of the Dragon capsule. (Credit: NASA)

Time has named SpaceX and Tesla Founder/CEO Elon Musk as its 2021 Person of the Year. You can read the profile here. Time named vaccine scientists as heroes of the year.

Reaction on Twitter fell into familiar grooves, with praise from the space community where he has overwhelming support. Former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver tweeted her congratulations — and put in a plug for her forthcoming book.

Musk’s reputation outside the space community is much more mixed. Automotive journalist E.W. Niedermeyer, who wrote a critical book about Tesla Motors called Ludicrous, gave the selection a Bronx cheer.

Musk has faced significant backlash over his enormous wealth, the amount of taxes he pays, treatment of workers, accounting practices, downplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.

Some suggested that medical staff who have risked and lost their lives on the front lines of the pandemic battle deserved the honor more.

Others suggested the officers who defended the U.S. Capitol from a mob that attacked it on Jan. 6.

Inspiration4 Reveals Mission Payload Highlights, Including the First-ever Minted NFT song to Go into Space

The Kings of Leon (Credit: Inspiration4)

Song from Grammy award-winning rock band Kings of Leon one of several items to be auctioned beginning Sept. 9 to support $200 million fundraising effort for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2021) – Astronauts have long brought interesting items into space, dating back to the very first Mercury mission in 1961. But with Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to orbit, the crew will be taking not just personal mementos but things that didn’t exist even a year ago, much less 60 years ago. Indeed, their payload will include the first-ever minted NFT song to be played in orbit, created by the Grammy Award-winning rock band Kings of Leon.

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Shotwell, Koch and Meir Make Time’s 100 Most Influential People List

Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have made Time magazine’s list of The 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

Shotwell is listed in the Titans category and credited with guiding SpaceX to success.

“She is not only a quintessential engineer with a passion to build things, but also a “people engineer” who thrives on working with colleagues and customers. Gwynne Shotwell is helping to launch our future, and I can’t wait to see what she does next,” former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan wrote.

Koch and Meir were listed together in the Pioneers category for conducting the first all-female spacewalk from the International Space Station in October 2019.

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (left) and Christina Koch are inside the Quest airlock preparing the U.S. spacesuits and tools they will use on their first spacewalk together. (Credit: NASA)

“I believe that Koch and Meir, by their sheer skill and execution, shift us closer to a template based on intelligence, agility, capability, integrity, courage and excellence,” wrote former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison.

Read Jemison’s tribute to Koch and Meir here.

A Virtual Reality Camera Captures Life and Science Aboard the Space Station

A 360 degree view of the interior of the International Space Station. (Credits: Felix & Paul Studios/Time)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — With only minutes until sunrise aboard the International Space Station (ISS), astronaut Nick Hague rushed to shut off the lights in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM). Traveling 17,500 miles per hour, the space station orbits Earth 16 times in 24 hours, so every 90 minutes, the space station experiences a sunrise. For this sunrise, though, the speed of their approach was putting a time crunch on Hague. To capture this moment, timing was everything as he worked diligently to set up the perfect camera shot.

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