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SpaceX successfully launches four astronauts to ISS

Falcon 9 launch on November 15, 2020 with four astronauts

Capitalism in space: SpaceX tonight successfully launched four astronauts to ISS on its Dragon capsule Resilience, using its Falcon 9 rocket.

They also recovered the first stage, landing it on its drone ship in the Atlantic. The routine manner in which SpaceX ran this launch is truly admirable. They make landing and reuse of the first stage so expected it is hard to believe that for fifty years rocket managers and engineers insisted it wasn’t doable.

They had one issue today, a failure of the capsule hatch to hold air pressure after closure. They calmly reopened the hatch, cleared the issue, added some lubricant, and closed the hatch, all in less than ten minutes.

Resilience will dock with ISS tomorrow evening.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

30 China
20 SpaceX
5 ULA
4 Europe (Arianespace)
4 Rocket Lab

The U.S. now leads China 32 to 30 in the national rankings.

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.

6 comments

  • wayne

    We’re definitely living in the Future….This never becomes not-amazing!
    ——-
    -switching thought-tracts here;
    A very nicely done piece of film–

    “Riding the Booster: Up and Down in 400 seconds”
    NASA 2012
    https://youtu.be/527fb3-UZGo
    8:31
    -> “From launch to landing, a *space shuttle’s* solid rocket booster journey is captured, with sound mixed and enhanced by Skywalker Sound.”

  • Jeff

    Small point:

    You wrote – “Resilience will dock with ISS tomorrow morning.”

    Actually, it is a 27 hour trip to station.

    “The four-person team is heading for a nearly six-month expedition on the space station, where the Dragon spaceship is due to dock at 11 p.m. EST Monday (0400 GMT Tuesday).” (spaceflightnow.com)

  • With NASA a loss of excitement and dread lead to routine and loss of funding.
    With Elon a loss of disaster fans and dread leads to greater profitability.

  • Jeff: You are correct. I got my am and pm switched. Post is corrected. Thank you.

  • Edward

    wayne noted: “We’re definitely living in the Future….This never becomes not-amazing!

    If Starship works as intended, we will be living even further into the future.

    As Yakov Smirnoff would say: “What a country!”

  • Edward

    David wrote: “With NASA a loss of excitement and dread lead to routine and loss of funding.
    With Elon a loss of disaster fans and dread leads to greater profitability.

    That is an important difference.

    With NASA, funding from Congress is important, and that tends to require public interest.
    With SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and other commercial companies, the funding comes from customers, and that tends to require lower prices.

    These lower prices are allowing SpaceX and Rocket Lab to take a large portion of the market share of each of their niches, and Rocket Lab is helping to grow its own niche. Commercial companies with commercial customers do not need excitement, and they can afford to be routine. However, excitement seems to help.

    As a bonus, the flying of members of the public, in the near future, can lead to public interest and excitement, which could add to the number of customers.

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