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Space tug company picks Falcon 9 for test flights

Capitalism in space: Launcher, one of several space tug startups, has awarded SpaceX the contract to launch its first four test flights of its Orbiter tug.

Launcher announced Feb. 7 it signed a multi-launch contract with SpaceX for three additional missions of its Orbiter tug. Those tugs will fly on Falcon 9 rideshare missions in January, April and October of 2023.

Launcher’s first Orbiter tug will launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 rideshare mission in October 2022 under a contract announced last June when the company revealed its plans to develop Orbiter. The vehicle is designed to deploy cubesats and other smallsats in their desired orbits as well as host payloads for missions lasting up to two years.

Launcher — along with Momentus, Spaceflight, Astroscale, and several others — are all rushing to build and launch the first tugs for transporting satellites from orbit to orbit, or to remove space junk. Launcher’s deal with SpaceX suggests it is tailoring its system for satellites launched from the Falcon 9.

Conscious Choice cover

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.  
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.

 

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.

2 comments

  • Concerned

    This is what will put most of the small launcher companies out of business. It removes their one big selling point for their higher-priced service: orbit flexibility. With Falcon 9 and soon Starship flying regularly to LEO with dirt-cheap rideshare prices and the ability of tugs such as this to get them to the orbit they want, cubesat customers will abandon these tiny model rockets. It’s like hiring a guy in a Cessna 172 to fly your package cross country when you can get FedEx to do it for a fraction of the time and cost.

  • Star Bird

    When can we start on First Star Base?

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