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Stratolaunch’s giant Roc airplane makes third test flight

Capitalism in space: Stratolaunch today successfully completed the third test flight of its giant Roc airplane, now being optimized to provide a test bed for launching hypersonic test vehicles.

Today’s flight was conducted from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port and lasted four hours and 23 minutes. It came nearly three years after Roc’s first aerlal test, and almost a year after the second flight. The outing’s main objective was to evaluate the airplane’s performance and handling characteristics at increased altitude, and to retract and extend the left mid-main landing gear.

Stratolaunch said Roc reached an altitude of 23,500 feet at an indicated air speed of 180 knots (207 mph), besting the previous flight test’s maximum altitude of 14,000 feet. Before landing, the plane’s crew conducted a couple of close approaches for testing purposes.

The company plans about six to eight more Roc test flights leading up to the first test flights of its hypersonic Talon-A test vehicle, of which Stratolaunch is presently developing two.

I have embedded below the fold the video of the flight, cued about one hour twelve minutes after the start of the live stream to the moment Roc takes off. Those geeks in my readership might want to go back to the beginning to hear the full almost six-hour-long broadcast. My impression is that Stratolaunch provided some excellent announcers to provide technical details describing what is happening.

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.

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