From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
The competition heats up: The rocket engine that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company has been building is now ready for suborbital flight tests.
Blue Origin says the BE-3 is the first new hydrogen-fueled engine to be developed in the United States in more than a decade. It can be continuously throttled between 20,000 and 110,000 pounds of thrust. “Liquid hydrogen is challenging, deep throttling is challenging, and reusability is challenging,” Bezos said. “This engine has all three. The rewards are highest performance, vertical landing even with a single-engine vehicle, and low cost. And as a future upper-stage engine, hydrogen greatly increases payload capabilities.”
They hope to begin flight tests by the end of the year. Even as they develop this suborbital hydrogen engine, they are also developing an bigger engine for orbital flights in ULA’S next generation rocket that will replace the Atlas 5 and Delta.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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