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Update on Starship in Texas and Florida

Link here. The article goes into great detail describing the status of the Superheavy booster prototype and the Starship prototype now planned for that first orbital launch, with this comment:

While some claim FAA is the hold up for Starship plans [I wonder who], even if the FAA had approved a launch in December of last year, SpaceX likely still would not have been ready for an orbital launch.

Maybe so, but why do journalists today have to bend over backwards making believe the federal government is not a problem, or is not interfering with this private company’s operations? It clearly is a problem, and is interfering with private companies, and it is doing so more and more for political reasons. Good reporting must note this.

The report also provides details on the status of SpaceX’s Florida Starship orbital launchpad. The company only began serious construction in Florida in April, yet large sections of the launch tower as well as its foundation have already been built. The pace of construction — as well as SpaceX’s past history building the Boca Chica launchpad — suggests this launchpad could be ready before the end of the year.

Compare that with NASA’s incompetent effort to build its SLS mobile launchers. The contrast is striking.


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.


  • Typo alert: end of 2nd paragraph: “… could by read_y_ by the end of the year.”

  • Michael McNeil: Thank you. Typo fixed.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I am a bit confused. I do not see the remark “[I wonder who]” in the linked NasaSpaceflight article, and it struck me as atypical of their style.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Perhaps “UNtypical of their style” would be clearer.

  • Ray Van Dune: A bracketed comment in a quote always indicates it was inserted by the editor of the publication that is posting the quote, which in this case is me.

  • Patrick Underwood

    NSF is a narrowly focused website for spaceflight enthusiasts, and many who post in the forums there are current or ex-professionals in the industry. The people who write for the website are really only “journalists” in the technical sense–they are enthusiasts as well, but they are knowledgeable and try very hard (perhaps too hard) to minimize politics, both in their articles and their forums.

    So calling them “journalists” without adding an asterisk just strikes me odd. But not my call!

  • Ray Van Dune

    “A bracketed comment in a quote always indicates it was inserted by the editor of the publication that is posting the quote, which in this case is me.”

    Thank you- I did not know that!

  • Ray Van Dune

    Patrick Underwood, I appreciate your concern about who is labeled a “journalist” and who is not. If there was a time when most journalists embraced a code of behavior re objectivity, etc. I would probably also support some strictness in the use of the term, but as far as I can see that time is long gone, or at least it is not emphasized by most well-known publications.

    Worse, the individual use of the title seems to have often devolved into a game for gaining advantage or impugning the veracity of others, not for guaranteeing rigor in reporting. And as for those who claim the title most loudly, I tend to “re-count the silverware” every time I see or hear their work, if you know what I mean!

  • Patrick Underwood

    Ray Van Dune, I know exactly what you mean. It is a fact, supported by a vast and diverse range of evidence (such as declared party affiliations and campaign donation statistics) that US media is almost entirely aligned with one political party and despises the other. And will do anything, no matter how unethical, to hurt that opposition party. I.e., they lie. Corporate America is with them. The entirety of the educational system is with them. The entertainment industry is with them. Here I go… of course most everyone here knows this.

    This morning I read that an NFL coach was fined $100k for *expressing his opinion*. What he said is something probably half the country (or more) agrees with. And apparently, he knuckled under and apologized for his grievous offense against humanity.

    Pushback is happening, e.g. the DA recall in San Francisco, but the other side continues to push even harder. Equal application of the law is long gone. Our government is holding a Soviet show trial at this very moment. Innocent people are incarcerated, actual criminals are immune to prosecution and are celebrated. A federal cop shoots an unarmed woman to death on camera and is not prosecuted—hardly even investigated. A leftist tries to assassinate a group of Republican lawmakers and is quickly memory-holed. The current Administration lauds and even encourages intimidation of Supreme Court justices and their families *at their homes*. That Administration has nothing to say about an assassination attempt on one of those justices.

    I fear these people recognize no limits. They WILL take us there.

    Well… now that that’s off my chest. :)

  • Jeff Wright

    NASA isn’t building the tower..private company Bechtel is. They are as private as SpaceX…

  • Alton

    Yes Sir Jeff!
    Bechtel is a private company as is SpaceX. But they are working bending steel, fabricating and doing final design on and UNDER a Federal Government Contract.

    Ben there before with a government Contracts..guess who has the final say no matter what is required?

    Also several decades ago I had a subcontract under an Design & Engineering firm that won the contract from the Smithsonian to manage and design the reconstruction of some of the Museums on the National Mall in Washington DC. These guys and a few Gals had been in business since WW2, this multi-year contract drove them batty to say the least.

    He who pays Rules….

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