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Wallops launchpad repairs to take a year

According to spaceport officials, it will take a year to repair the damage sustained by the launchpad at Wallops Island from the Antares launch failure last month.

The damage didn’t look that serious in the initial assessments. I wonder if this long repair schedule isn’t a negotiating ploy for funding.

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.


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  • David M. Cook

    Can anyone imagine Elon Musk allowing these repairs to take an entire solar year? He’d have the job done in a few weeks and be launching within a month!

  • Competential

    Elon Musk is in a completely different business. He is actually developing rocket engines, not just buying old Soviet stuff which has been sitting in storage since the 1960’s. Antares is not the future.

  • Competential

    I’m really impressed by the extreme retardness of the space industry! The singularly popular idea is to dig up whatever Ioseph Stalin and his communists did half a century ago and repeat that. Elon Musk is a genius with his unique concept of trying to apply some modern technology in the rocket industry. Completely unheard of since Wernher von Braun. Angara was developed in 1992. SLS is a 1980’s project all over again. Soyuz hasn’t changed since Sputnik 1. And the Chinese are flying Stalin’s old rocket and spaceship. I don’t know of any industry which is so underdeveloped and backwards as is the rocket launcher industry. SpaceX seems to be the first in the business to even have an RnD budget in a quarter of a century.

    Just look at this Salyut piece of junk which a fraudster pretends to want to use for space tourism:

  • Tom Billings

    Oh, the cost+ contractor’s club have research budgets, too. It’s just that about 80-90% of those budgets are funded as research contracted through a government agency. This is not *just* greedy exploitation of perpetual government R&D by companies run by their former CFOs. It is also something *taught* to them by a Congress that wants to ensure that spending enhances the power of the right people.

    Thus, when Northrop developed the F-20 Tigershark in only 7 years, using their own money, they learned it never had a chance of getting large contracts. This happened in spite of it being far cheaper than its government financed competitors to build and operate. Similar things happened about once each decade from 1946-1986, when the F-20 died. After that, they seem to have learned what their place was as remoras to Congressional sharks.

    The word for this situation is “monopsony”. Few get taught it any more, even in economics. The DoD and NASA record shows that monopsony has just as many agency costs to society as a whole as does monopoly.

    Similar things happened with good bids for NASA programs that did not fit the ideas of one or more NASA Centers, and their patrons in Congress. One of the bids for the Apollo program had a small re-entry module, a service module, and a cruise module for living in, to be disposed of before re-entry. That did not fit Langley’s idea that all the living space should be in the re-entry module, and was rejected. Today, Apollo capsules are historical relics, while Soyuz spacecraft, with their small re-entry modules, their cruise modules, and their service modules are still operational, and productive, at miniscule cost, compared to the Shuttle, much less Orion.

    Possibly the last example of a US Aerospace Contractor spending their own money, on their own initiative, to develop a piece of equipment, and getting their money back in government contracts, was when Dutch Kindleberger put down the money to build a rocket engine test center outside LA, in 1947. It was operational by 1949. Von Braun was of the opinion that this moved US rocket development ahead by about 5 years, compared to getting the government to fund such a center for testing large rocket engines effectively. He said it saved the US from being utterly behind in rocketry.

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