Capitalism in space: SpaceX has begun the slow process of filling the storage tanks at its launchpad in Boca Chica with the methane that will be used by its Starship and Superheavy rocket once launched.
To fill the two existing tanks, which may store enough methane to fuel a stacked Starship and Super Heavy about 4/5ths of the way, SpaceX will need around 40-50 more tanker deliveries. Since last November, SpaceX has completed more than 320 liquid nitrogen and 200 liquid oxygen deliveries – equivalent to about 6700 tons (~14.8M lb) of LN2 [liquid nitrogen] and 4200 tons (~9.3M lb) of LOx [liquid oxygen]. If SpaceX maintains that average and focuses entirely on LCH4 [methane], the two horizontal tanks could be filled to the brim before the end of February.
Having a substantial amount of [methane] stored at the orbital tank farm will finally allow SpaceX to attempt the first major wet dress rehearsals (WDRs) and, more importantly, the first full static fires with flightworthy Super Heavy booster prototypes. Of course, a tank farm with full supplies of LOx, LCH4, LN2, and their gaseous equivalents is also a necessity for the first orbital Starship launch attempt, which has most recently slipped from a target of mid-2021 to no earlier than (NET) Q2 2022, pending regulatory approval.
The article also notes that the way SpaceX built two vertical methane tanks at the launchpad appears in violation of Texas regulations, and might either need a waiver from the state or be rebuilt in order to be used. Subsequently the company has added two horizontal tanks that conform to regulations, and it is these tanks it is now filling. More tanks however will have to be added to give it the fuel needed for launch.
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.
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“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.
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