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Starship prototype #8 passes tank tests; engine installation next

Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s eighth Starship prototype has passed its tank, thruster, and even fin tests, setting it up for the installation of its three Raptor engines.

Once installed, they will perform several static fire tests, on the launchpad. If those tests are successful, the company will then proceed with a full 50,000 foot test flight. Based on the pace of operations, my guess is that this hop will occur in about two to four weeks.

I’ve embedded one of the videos at the link below the fold, showing a variety of activity at the site.

In other SpaceX news, the Tesla that was put in solar orbit on the first Falcon Heavy test launch has just made its first “fly-by” of Mars, getting to within 5 million miles of the red planet. At that distance the planet really isn’t very close, which is why I put the word fly-by in quotes. That Tesla’s future:

The Roadster will eventually barrel into either Venus or Earth, likely within the next few tens of millions of years, a 2018 orbit-modeling study determined . But the chances of an Earth or Venus impact in the next million years are just 6% and 2.5%, respectively.


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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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