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Superheavy prototype #4 installed on orbital launchpad

Capitalism in space: SpaceX has now installed its fourth Superheavy prototype on the orbital launchpad at Boca Chica, with the possibility of the first static fire test of Superheavy possibly occurring in the next week or so.

Around 10am CST (UTC-6), SpaceX began retracting more than a dozen clamps that hold the 69m (~225 ft) tall Super Heavy – the largest booster ever built – to its transport and work stand. By 11:30am, Booster 4 was safely extracted from the stand and hovering above it as the lift team crossed their Ts and dotted their Is before proceeding. SpaceX’s newest Starbase crane then spun around and crawled a short distance to the orbital launch mount, where it lifted Booster 4 above the mount.

In a process that this particular Super Heavy prototype is thoroughly familiar with, SpaceX then very carefully lowered B4 down into the center of the donut-shaped orbital launch mount, where 20 separate clamps – each capable of deploying and retracting – form a support ring and giant hold-down clamp.

The booster has 29 Raptor engines total, with 20 in the outer ring, 8 in the inner ring, and 1 in the center. It will be quite amazing to watch all these engines finally fire and lift the entire rocket, with Starshp, off the launchpad.

As for the upcoming static fire tests, road closures have been announced starting today through the end of this week.

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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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