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.
Capitalism in space: The rocket engine startup Rocket Crafters experienced what the company called “an anomaly” during an engine test yesterday, requiring the local fire department to put out brush fires surrounding the test site.
The company is trying to use 3D printing to build its engines, but appears to have had a string of engine failures, none quite so spectacular, during previous tests.
According to an earlier post about Rocket Crafters in 2018, they had hoped to launch a rocket in 2020. It does not appear they will. Moreover, they are testing the use of hybrid fuels in a somewhat radical design.
[T]he rocket fuel consisted of plastic tubes made from the same base materials as Legos, measuring two feet long and weighing about five pounds, that were stacked on shelves and safe to touch. Combined with nitrous oxide — commonly known as “laughing gas” — the small-scale test engine on Monday generated about 200 pounds of thrust firing at half-power.
They are not the first to try hybrids and have issues. Virgin Galactic has tried it to, and suffered probably a decade delay in development and a spaceship that does not have as much thrust as they would like.
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.
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