Capitalism in space: With Starship prototype having successfully passed its tank tests SpaceX has begun installing three Raptor engines in preparation for static fire tests followed by a 50,000 foot high hop.
Once the Raptors are installed, Starship SN8 is expected to undergo an extensive test program, opening with fueling tests, a spin prime test, and preburner tests, before the first Static Fire test.
That opening Static Fire test will be the first time three Raptors have been fired up simultaneously.
Once that opening Static Fire test has been completed, a data review will be conducted on engine performance and related systems – such as the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) – which will allow the nosecone to be installed on to SN8 at the launch site.
At that point the prototype will be ready for its hop. Based on the pace SpaceX is setting (and assuming all goes well), this flight should occur sometime in the next month, possibly at almost the same time as the next manned Dragon flight to ISS.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon
, Barnes & Noble
, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit
And if you buy it from ebookit
you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.