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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

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Falcon 9 to be modified

The competition heats up: SpaceX is modifying its Falcon 9 rocket based on engine tests it performed on the December 22 returned first stage.

SpaceX will be making modifications to its Falcon 9 rocket based on what the company learned from re-igniting the engines on the vehicle it landed. That’s according to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, who spoke about the state of the company today at the Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Wasington, DC. Shotwell didn’t specify what those modifications will be, but said the changes will make the vehicle “even more robust” for its ascent into space.

This report helps explain why SpaceX has pushed back all planned launches of the upgraded Falcon 9 rocket. Their tests of the returned first stage revealed issues that they think are important enough to be addressed before another rocket is launched, and they are proceeding to deal with those issues.

It also illustrates an enormous advantage they have over every other rocket company that has ever existed in the past. They, unlike all past rocket companies, actually have a used first stage that they can study to see the real consequences of launch and landing. All previous estimates of those consequences were only based on computer models and speculation.

Conscious Choice cover

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.  
Conscious Choice 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.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • Hmm. It’s known that kerosene engines leave coking after firing. So maybe it’s to reduce the amount of coking to allow reuse.

    Bob Clark

  • mivenho

    “It also illustrates an enormous advantage they have over every other rocket company that has ever existed in the past. They, unlike all past rocket companies, actually have a used first stage that they can study to see the real consequences of launch and landing.”

    It also illustrates how rapidly SpaceX can respond to unexpected issues on the run. My guess is that they will have a fix in place in short order, which illustrates an additional advantage over legacy companies.

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