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SpaceShipTwo Unity makes first New Mexico glide flight

Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic’s Unity suborbital spaceship successfully completed its first glide test flight from its New Mexico launch site yesterday.

They still have not set a date for their first commercial flights, so the company still claims those first flights will occur this year. I will believe it when I see it.

There does appear to be one apparent positive development for Virgin Galactic. It increasingly appears as if Blue Origin is slowly abandoning its effort to compete for suborbital tourism with its New Shepard spacecraft. Blue Origin has not said so, but the extreme slow down in test flights the last two strongly implies it. Moreover, that company’s success in garnering big government contracts, a billion from the military for its orbital New Glenn rocket and about a half billion from NASA for its proposed Blue Moon manned lunar lander, reinforces the sense that the company is shifting its focus away from suborbital space.

If so, that will clear the market for Virgin Galactic, assuming a viable market still exists with the coming of private commercial orbital spaceships like Dragon and Starliner.

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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Michael G. Gallagher

    Is Bezos trying to leverage government money to build New Glenn? He has to know that if and when the Starship-Superheavy combo enters service the SLS will look increasingly ludicrious. I do remember seeing a pic of a proposed Blue Origin manned capsule on Pinterest. Two New Glenns, one for the lunar lander and one for Capsule would make for a nice private Moon program, all largely funded by govt money. But if Musk actually pulls off Starship/Superheavy, that will make New Glenn redundant, too. Is Bezos plotting with Senator Shelby to try to screw Space X once again? Or does he think he has and inside track with the USAF?

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