Conscious Choice cover

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.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and 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.


SpaceX proposes new launchpads for Starship at Kennedy

Long term Land Use map for Kennedy Space Center
From NASA’s long term road map for Kennedy,

Capitalism in space: SpaceX has submitted a new proposal for building several launchpads at the Kennedy Space Center for its Starship heavy lift rocket, including rebuilding one old pad (LC-39A) and building another at a new site (the never used LC-49).

The project for LC-49 comes in addition to the previously announced work that SpaceX began within the perimeter of Launch Complex 39A, the K Environmental Program Office said. In September 2019, an environmental assessment was completed and a finding of “no significant impact” was issued.

Musk confirmed via Twitter on Dec. 3 that construction of SpaceX’s Starship orbital launch pad at LC-39A was underway. “Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun”.

The KEP [Kennedy Environmental Program] office noted that this new proposed expansion would allow for not only redundancy with launches of Starship, but also “allow SpaceX to increase the flight rate of Starship and minimize potential disruptions to Falcon, Falcon Heavy and Dragon missions at LC-39A.”

LC-49 is a 175 acre area just north of LC-39B, the launchpad NASA plans to use for its SLS rocket.

It also appears that SpaceX plans on creating a new Starship orbital launchpad at LC-39A that will not impact the use of that site by Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, though in the long run launches of those latter rockets will decrease as Starship becomes operational.

All these plans will need a full environmental assessment, but according to the article at the link, the process will be different than at Boca Chica in Texas.

The [environmental assessment]process likely won’t involve live discussions with the public, according to [Don Dankert, the technical lead for the Kennedy Environmental Planning Office], but the public will get comparable information, like with an EIS [Environmental Impact Statement]. “We will put out the same information,” Dankert said. “We’ll put out an informational packet with a .PDF chart, a description of the project and instructions on how to provide comments back to us and SpaceX.”

Engler said there may also be some lessons learned from the process of getting the launch facilities at Starbase approved for an orbital launch, but how that crossover would work has yet to be determined.

Sounds to me that this is all a pointless paperwork dance. The construction will be approved, no matter what, because Florida and Cape Canaveral desperately wants this new business and the jobs and tax dollars it will bring to the state.

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9 comments

  • Jay

    So the sites for LC-49 and the proposed one north of it, weren’t those the never built sites for LC-39C and D for the Saturn V?

    I am sure paperwork is a formality since these are brownfield sites.

  • jeff

    Why two sites at Kennedy? Why not one at Kennedy and use the ex oil platforms Phobos and Diemos?

  • Skunk Bucket

    What I find intriguing is the portion of the map labeled “Horizontal Launch Area.” Is there some sort of new rocket that needs such a thing, or are they thinking of flying Roc or Cosmic Girl from the Cape. If so, I would have imagined them using the very long existing runway there.

    And yes, why not use Phobos and Diemos instead of building land-based launch facilities?

  • Alton

    Jay:

    That does looks to be the areas on the Sixties Maps that were listed as Pad 39C and ” future Nova Class Launch sites..

  • Jeff Wright

    Good news. I think post-Saturn concepts were slated to go there anyway, right?

  • Matt in AZ

    Jay: LC-49 looks to be just a little north of the formerly planned LC-39C & D sites.

    Jeff: with a planned fleet of hundreds of Starships, the Phobos and Deimos platforms will only be a portion of what is needed. I’m counting 7 launch towers announced so far:

    2 @ Boca Chica
    1 @ LC-39A
    2 @ LC-49
    2 Floating Platforms

    I expect there will eventually be a Vandenberg site, and perhaps even Indonesia (there have been negotiations).

  • Jay

    Alton and Matt,
    You are both right. It does look like it is further north of those sites. I tried to search for a good map that had those past sites listed and so far this is the most recent one that does not cut-off at LC-39B here.

  • pzatchok

    I hope they do not endanger the muddy mud skipper.

    I protected cartoon species.

  • Questioner

    Some news from Elon Musk:

    Musks says: Starship gets additional three raptor (vacuum) engines, that is a total of nine raptors per Starship. Sparship’s propellant tanks are being extended to increase propellant mass.

    Here some fun stuff sent by Musk:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1472052839316963329

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