Capitalism in space: Astra yesterday finalized its merger with the investment company Holicity and became the first launch company with stock publicly traded.
Today (June 30), the Bay Area launch startup completed its previously announced merger with Holicity, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by Bill Gates and billionaire telecom pioneer Craig McCaw, among others. Astra will start trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market Thursday (July 1), becoming the first launch company ever to do so — a milestone marked by Astra CEO Chris Kemp, who will ring Nasdaq’s opening bell in the morning.
The merger brings the company $500 million in cash.
Astra has not yet successfully completed an orbital launch, though it hopes to begin monthly launches before the end of the year. It has attempted two orbital test flights, with the second only failing to reach orbit because it ran out of fuel. It says it has contracts for 50 launches, and will ramp up to weekly launches next year.
Astra is one of five rocket companies that have announced they will do their first orbital flight in 2021. So far, none have done so.
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.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.