Capitalism in space: ArianeGroup today announced that the first completed stages for its new Ariane-6 rocket have been shipped to French Guiana for testing.
The Ariane 6 core stage and upper stage intended for the combined tests on the launch pad in French Guiana have left the ArianeGroup sites in Les Mureaux and Bremen and begun their journey to Europe’s Spaceport. These stages will be integrated by ArianeGroup in the Launcher Assembly Building (BAL) to create the central core for the Ariane 6 combined tests model.
The press release provided no information on the schedule for the tests or the first launch. An earlier release had targeted the second quarter of ’22 for the inaugural launch, but based on today’s press release I would suspect that scheduled is very tentative.
This press release marks another major change in how Europe will launch rockets. No longer is the government-run Arianespace in charge. Instead, the commercial partnership of Airbus and Safran, dubbed ArianeGroup, is running things. In exchange for building this new rocket this partnership demanded a greater share of the profits and full control, something the European Space Agency (ESA) had denied them under Arianespace. This new arrangement was devised in the hope it would give this private partnership a direct interest in making a profit, thus cutting costs and encouraging innovation.
However, because ESA is still very very closely involved in every step, it is uncertain whether this arrangement will achieve its goals. Moreover, there are indications that ArianeGroup itself is somewhat risk adverse. For example, in designing Ariane-6 both decided to forego re-usability. Their rocket is thus more expensive than SpaceX, and has had trouble garnering launch contracts.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.
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