Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s fifteenth Starship prototype successfully completed a static fire test yesterday, and the company is now hoping to do its first test flight this week, possibly as early as tomorrow.
Meanwhile, preparations continue for the first test launch of a Superheavy prototype, as well construction at Boca Chica of the orbital launchpad.
The Orbital Launch Site is a hive of activity, with work ranging from the installation of large GSE (Ground Support Equipment) tanks to continued work on the launch mount and launch and integration tower.
The latter has now started to rise into the air next to the mount, which is yet to receive its launch table.
When finished, the tower will be the tallest structure in the region, at nearly 152 meters — towering over the 120 meter tall, fully integrated Starship/Super Heavy stack. The Tower will eventually host a crane and, as crazy as it initially sounded when Elon revealed it, arms designed to catch the returning booster.
It is not yet clear what the test schedule for Superheavy will be leading to that first orbital launch. They will likely fly a prototype on a hop first, then fly it with Starship stacked above. SpaceX however has not said exactly what its plans are, and even if it had, the company has been quite willing to revise those plans should it decide a change is advisable.
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.
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