After almost eighteen years of development and almost sixty billion dollars, NASA tonight finally completed the first unmanned test launch of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, lifting off at 1:41 am (Eastern).
The two solid rocket boosters functioned as planned, separating from the core stage with no problem. Then core stage and its four former shuttle engines completed its burn, putting the capsule and its upper stage into Earth orbit, and then separated cleanly. At about 30 minutes after launch the service module’s solar arrays completed their deployment. At 53 minutes after launch a 30 second burn circularized the orbit in preparation for the trans-lunar-injection (TLI) burn that will send Orion to the Moon. TLI occurred about 90 minutes after launch, after a period of check-out in orbit.
Orion will spend 26 days in space, about a week of which will be in a wide lunar orbit, testing its systems. If all goes right it will splashdown on around December 11th.
As this was the first U.S. government launch in more than a decade, since 2011 when the space shuttle was retired, the leader board for the 2022 launch race remains unchanged:
The leaders in the 2022 launch race:
9 Rocket Lab
The U.S. now leads China 76 to 51 in the national rankings, and trails the rest of the world combined 79 to 76.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
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.
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.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.