Yeah, thanks for having me.
Well, I think it's a vital next step in SpaceX's progress. It's about taking astronauts to the space station, eliminating the dependency on Russia for transporting US astronauts, but for SpaceX it's the next step in the technology we're developing and it means we've got a key anchor tenant in NASA as a customer for human transport into orbit.
What you saw was Dragon 1, the initial version of the technology [where are we now?] Two, just two. It is a significant upgrade in technology. In particular, and I think an upgrade overall in space technology because the Dragon 2 will be capable of precise populsive landing. So, it'll be able to land anywhere in the world, on its thrusters with the accuracy of a helicopter. If you think of the earliest generation of technology being parachutes to a water landing, that was sort of Apollo, then the second generation being a winged vehicle, then the third generation, which is what we're doing with Dragon 2, is landing on thrusters with legs, in a precise location. If you imagine an alien spaceship landing, that's how it would land.
[When will astronauts fly?] I think, no later than 2017. Our internal schedule calls for late 2016 but the nature of complex projects is they often take longer than expected, so I would imagine mid-2017 is the most likely point.
[Question about Boeing/Blue Origin deal.] Well, it's certainly a good compliment - if all your competitors are banding together to attack you, that's like a good compliment I think. A very sincere compliment. Domestically we have, essentially, everyone ganging up against us - Boeing, Lockheed, and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezoes' company, and then on the international front we've rattled the Russians and Putin announced a few months ago that he's going to add $30B to the Russian space program, in part to compete against SpaceX. [That must have felt good.] Yeah, yeah. [Putin's coming after you.] Yeah, exactly.. and then on the - our European competetor Ariane, which is several European countries banding together - their Ariane 6 rocket is specifically geared towards competing with SpaceX and they're even waiving country-by-country production rate requirements, because normally they piece out the parts of the rocket to various countries by country..
[Question about the Gigafactory.] I expect, in terms of direct jobs at the Gigafactory, it's probably some number well in excess of 6000. Long term, it's probably, in terms of direct jobs, I don't know, it could be upwards of 10,000. Then there's a multiplier effect, for every job then you have teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians - those jobs, they have a significant knock-on effect that's anywhere from 3 to 5 times the direct jobs that are created. One thing I should point out with respect to the Gigafactory, that I think is very important, the tax abatements for the Gigafactory are over 20 years. So, it's like basically $50M/year on average for 20 years. This is a factory that will generate revenue on order of $5B/year. So we're talking about, like 1%, it's a really tiny contribution. [Is this an indictment of California?] To highlight the point you made a moment ago, it is worth noting that the Nevada legislature 100% voting in favor of the deal. All members, both sides of the party, including parts of Nevada that are far away from where the Gigafactory is. So, if they had any doubts about it being good for the state, we would have at least seen some people vote against it, but we didn't. There's been some articles saying, like, oh we took advantage of Nevada, but that's absolutely not the case. If you think of it like Vegas, Nevada understands what it means to be the house, and the house always wins. This is a super-winning deal for Nevada.