Capitalism in space? It is now confirmed that the test flight of SpaceX’s ninth prototype of its Starship rocket was scrubbed because of the FAA’s refusal to approve the license. To quote the FAA:
We will continue working with SpaceX to resolve outstanding safety issues before we approve the next test flight.
Typically vague bureaucratic language. There is no word on why the government did this. The flight of Starship prototype #8 proved SpaceX has full control over its vehicle, to the point they could put it down right on target. Why the FAA should now suddenly get cold feet is inexplicable.
There is one difference between now and the December 9th flight of Starship prototype #8. Then the president was Republican Donald Trump, and the Senate was controlled by the Republicans. Now the president is Democrat Joe Biden, and both houses of Congress are in Democratic Party control. It would not surprise me in the least if some Biden officials called the FAA and demanded they impose stricter safety restrictions on SpaceX, and that they did so at the very last minute.
Or to put it another way, someone in the Biden administration essentially wanted to tell SpaceX, “Nice rocket company you got here. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it.”
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.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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