Capitalism in space: According to this Starship update, the 11th Starship prototype is scheduled for its static fire dress rehearsal countdown today, with the possibility of its first flight as early as tomorrow.
This paragraph about SpaceX’s overall Starship program however is more significant:
Following SN11’s flight, SpaceX will move on to SN15, 16, and 17, alongside testing with Super Heavy prototypes BN1 and BN2, before shooting for an orbital launch with SN20 and BN3. In typical SpaceX-style, that orbital launch has an astonishing – and unlikely – “by July 1” target. At the very least, this target portrays SpaceX’s Starship drive to push the vehicle into operation.
The reason they are going directly from prototype #11 to #15 is because they scrapped #s 12, 13, and 14 after the flights of #9 and #10. They had learned enough, and those scrapped prototypes would not have taught them anything. Instead, they incorporated the learned changes to #15 and will fly that next.
The July 1st launch date is certainly overly optimistic. It also signals the company’s determination to try to get that first orbital flight off this year. Based on their pace, it would be foolish to dismiss this as a possibility.
It also signals what I think is an internal unstated goal within SpaceX to have Starship beat SLS into orbit. Nor would anyone be wise to consider that impossible. In fact, I consider it quite likely.
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.
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). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.