Click the arrow to watch an excerpt from tonight's Elon Musk interview. Video source: CBS News.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is interviewed tonight on 60 Minutes, which airs at 7 PM EDT/PDT.
A nice warmup for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at 9 PM EDT/PDT.
The online article accompanying the above clip suggests most of this segment will be about how Musk nearly went broke in 2008, when early SpaceX and Tesla failures combined with the Great Recession and his pending divorce to nearly destroy his financial empire.
The article also notes that NASA awarded SpaceX (and Orbital Sciences) their commercial cargo delivery contracts in December 2008, before Barack Obama took office. NASA originally selected SpaceX for the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program in 2006, as part of President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration program to commercialize access to low Earth orbit. Some opponents of “NewSpace” have falsely claimed that NASA selected SpaceX because Musk is a political patron of President Obama, but the factual evidence proves that SpaceX was chosen under the prior administration.
I will nitpick that the CBS News article erroneously states about that December 2008 selection:
Three months later, Christmas week, NASA informed him that his company had won the Space Shuttle contract.
COTS, of course, has nothing to do with the Space Shuttle, which retired in July 2011 — another decision made by the Bush administration.
Elon Musk last appeared on 60 Minutes in March 2012. Click here to watch.