Scroll down to read this post.

 

I am now in the third week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you to everyone that donated so generously in the past two weeks. I cannot express how much it means to me, especially since you do not have to donate anything to read my work.

 

Your donations and subscriptions have allowed me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.

 

Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.

 

In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.

 

Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.

 

You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

 

You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


Update on Starship/Superheavy work at Boca Chica

Link here. As noted in yesterday’s quick links, Starship prototype #28 has been rolled to the launchpad area. The update at the link also notes that Superheavy prototype #10 is also there now, with both being prepared for final testing before launch. The article also notes that this testing phase will be “condensed,” suggesting SpaceX wants the third orbital test launch to take place as quickly as possible. A week after the mid-November test flight Musk said he thought the company would be ready for that third launch within three to four weeks. It appears the company is close to meeting that target.

The article also included this important detail:

Elon Musk recently posted a picture of the High Bay and ships 28, 29, 30, and 32 on X. In this post, he indicated that these were the last of the Version 1 of Starship. It’s important to note that Ship 31 is in the Rocket Garden at this time and is included as a Version 1 ship.

Later on, he added that Version 2 would have better reliability, more fuel capacity, and reduce the dry mass. So far, there have been no confirmed sightings of Version 2 hardware, but SpaceX has already scrapped parts of S33.

This fact means that SpaceX has four to five Version 1 Starships that it wants to fly quickly in order to obtain test data. It has to use them to get them out of the way to fly Version 2. This means that, given the freedom to operate as it wishes, the company would likely be doing launches almost monthly in 2024, a prediction that seems confirmed by where things stand now at Boca Chica. SpaceX will likely be ready to launch Starship #28 and Superheavy #10 soon, if not by the end of the year by January almost certainly.

Finally, these facts show that should no launch occur at that time, and be delayed into February, March, April, or even later, the cause will not be SpaceX, but the paper-pushers at the FAA and Fish & Wildlife.

We already know from a recent GAO report that the FAA’s previous mishap investigations of the previous two Starship/Superheavy orbital launches were simply photocopies of SpaceX’s investigation. That report made it clear that the FAA does no investigations of its own, on any launch mishap.

Thus, when SpaceX says its investigation is complete and it is ready to launch, any further delay by the FAA is simply intransigence within the federal government.

As for Fish & Wildlife, any delay is pure red-tape, being used to harm SpaceX for political reasons. We have almost three-quarters of a century worth of data at Cape Canaveral that an active spaceport does no harm to wildlife, and in fact helps it thrive by preventing development across a large preserve. Fish & Wildlife’s own investigation into the first launch confirmed this fact, documenting no significant environmental damage. And we know the second launch did even less harm, its launchpad deluge system working as designed.

None of these facts matter to the paper-pushers in Washington, or to the politicos in the White House. I predict that the third orbital launch will occur no earlier than March, two to three months after SpaceX announces it is ready to go, as these government agencies slow-walk their rubber-stamp launch approvals.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 

The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

3 comments

  • Ray Van Dune

    Big article in the paper yesterday – a free overnight software update designed to prevent drivers from spoofing Tesla’s driver attention safeguards is called a “Recall”! As in “All Teslas Recalled!”

    What drivel. You can’t trust anything the MSM says about Tesla or SpaceX!

    Or anything else, come to think of it!

  • Steve Richter

    What is the chance of debris from an exploding Starship landing on one of the Caribbean islands? When IFT2 Starship blew up, was it east of any Caribbean land masses? I read that someone photographed the ship from Puerto Rico.

    Just speculating that if something falls anywhere near an island that the US government would permanently shutdown launches from Boca.

  • pzatchok

    Some of those picts look like sci-fi book covers from the 50’s.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *