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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 successfully launches Dragon freighter to ISS

SpaceX today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to launch a Dragon freighter to ISS.

The first stage landed successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic, completing its first flight, only the third time this year out of 54 total launches that SpaceX had to use a new first stage. All other launches were with reused boosters.

The Dragon freighter is scheduled to dock with ISS at 7:30 am (Eastern) tomorrow.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

54 SpaceX
52 China
19 Russia
9 Rocket Lab
8 ULA

The U.S. now leads China 78 to 52 in the national rankings, but trails the rest of the world combined 81 to 78.

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

  • A few minutes ago Elon Musk tweeted a reply to Eric Berger, who had just posted a similar (though not identical) list of national launch rankings. Musk’s statement? “Tonnage to orbit is the better metric.”

  • pzatchok

    I guess it might be hard to trust the tonnage to orbit from unfriendly nations.

  • Edward

    Michael McNeil wrote: “A few minutes ago Elon Musk tweeted a reply to Eric Berger, who had just posted a similar (though not identical) list of national launch rankings. Musk’s statement? ‘Tonnage to orbit is the better metric.’

    I suppose this all depends upon what you want to brag about. Musk could brag about the number of launches, as his company is rather impressive that way, or the number of tonnes launched, again impressive, or the number of satellites launched, for which his company could become the world leader by the time all his Starlink satellites are in place.

    Musk could be looking forward, with his comment, because once SpaceX’s Starship is operational, it won’t take many of its launches for the measurement to change to kilotonnes launched.

    My preference would be to measure the productivity of the payloads launched. This could be measured in gigabytes for data from exploration probes and in dollars earned for commercial satellites. Perhaps the exploration probes’ productivity could be measured in scientific papers written or referenced. I think that the overall revenues from the space industry is very relevant, especially now that commercial companies are becoming such a large part of the space operations industry.

  • MDN

    I think productivity is an interesting idea but as the examples illustrate it is inherently difficult to define and apply consistently.

    I think Elon is on the right track, but dropped a key bit by subsetting from his previously stated metric which is Dollars per Ton to Orbit. THAT is the metric that limits how many tons can get launched and what missions are ultimately feasible. In the end rockets are no different than any other transportation business and economics is the dominating factor to scaling up.

  • Edward

    MDN wrote: “I think Elon is on the right track, but dropped a key bit by subsetting from his previously stated metric which is Dollars per Ton to Orbit. THAT is the metric that limits how many tons can get launched and what missions are ultimately feasible.

    This is true. It limits how many tons can afford to be launched. On the other hand, if Musk’s tonnage metric is used, it suggests that the more tons flown means lower cost per ton, so the tonnes launched metric gives the suggestion that the price has dropped low enough to bring in more business, more customers, and more economic growth.

    In the end rockets are no different than any other transportation business and economics is the dominating factor to scaling up.

    Even the Dot-Com business model in the late 1990s succumbed to economics, in the end, and the Japanese Price to Revenue ratio fiasco in the late 1980s was also an unsustainable bubble that succumbed to economic realities. If you build it, they will come only if it is more economical than not coming. There isn’t anything new in economics, but there are traps, as Bastiat noted in his essay What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen
    http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

  • Richard M

    A few minutes ago Elon Musk tweeted a reply to Eric Berger, who had just posted a similar (though not identical) list of national launch rankings. Musk’s statement? “Tonnage to orbit is the better metric.”

    If you want to see just how much SpaceX laps the field on tonnage to orbit, Bryce Tech does a report every quarter for global launch activity. https://brycetech.com/briefing

    For starters, SpaceX launched about 212,496 kg of spacecraft upmass in Q3, followed by CASC (Chinese space agency) with about 55,107 kg.

    In fact, SpaceX launched about three times as much mass to orbit as . . . the rest of the world put together.

    Just imagine what it will be like once Starship is operational.

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