On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News
Capitalism in space: According to Elon Musk:, based on what SpaceX has learned so far in reusing the 1st stages of its Falcon 9 rocket, it is entirely possible that the present design could result a hundred or more reuses.
Now, with all that experience in hand and a Falcon 9 Block 5 booster already 60% of the way to the ten-flight reuse milestone, Musk says that “100+ flights are possible” and that “there isn’t an obvious limit.” While “some parts will need to be replaced or upgraded” to achieve dozens or hundreds of booster reuses, Musk says that SpaceX “almost never need[s] to replace a whole [Merlin 1D] engine.
Given that a Falcon 9 booster’s nine M1D engines are likely the most difficult part of each rocket to quickly and safely reuse, it’s extremely easy to believe that individual boosters can launch dozens – if not hundreds – of times with just a small amount of regular maintenance and repairs. In that sense, SpaceX has effectively achieved Musk’s long-lived dream of building a rocket that is (more or less, at least) approaching the reusability of aircraft.
The next step in this effort will be to shorten the turnaround times. At the moment the best time between any booster’s reflight has been just under two months. SpaceX has said they want to be able to refly boosters in just days.
My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!
Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.
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