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.
The article is mostly focused on the engineering challenges of building a new rocket out of old pieces of the space shuttle. Kind of reminds me of Frankenstein. Nonetheless, I do get the impression for the first time that this heavy lift rocket will be built, and will fly at least once.
After that, however, I expect it to die from lack of funds. In fact, its history will probably parallel that of the Soviet Union’s Energia rocket, which flew twice, once to launch their shuttle copycat Buran and once to lift a failed payload whose purpose has never been clearly revealed. Soon thereafter came bankruptcy and the end of the Soviet Union, which couldn’t afford such a monstrosity. SLS will likely see a similar fate.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:
If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
Cortaro, AZ 85652