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Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic has now made available the live stream for its planned suborbital flight on July 11th that will also carry the company’s founder, Richard Branson.
I have embedded the live stream below the fold. Though the company has not announced an actual launch time, according to that stream the broadcast is now scheduled to begin at about 9 am (Eastern). The flight itself should last about ninety minutes total, from takeoff of the carrier airplane to landing of both it and the suborbital spacecraft, VSS Unity.
The weightless portion of the flight will last about four minutes or so. Unity will get to more than 50 miles altitude, which meets the American definition of space but not the international standard of 67 miles. For more details about the flight, see this Space.com article.
Expect the broadcast to be filled with endless hype and blather about how “spectacular” and “amazing” and “wonderful” Virgin Galactic is. And yes, what the company is doing is very cool, a privately financed manned spacecraft capable of reaching space, returning to Earth, and then flying again. Unfortunately, both suborbital companies (Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin) seem to think they have to convince people of this obvious fact on their broadcasts, and scream it at the viewers endlessly. They would be wiser to take SpaceX’s soft-sell approach: State once what they are accomplishing and then simply report on what actually happens, with no breathless commentary.
I don’t expect that to happen however. Thus, I’m not sure I can stomach hours on end of Virgin Galactic PR hype on Sunday, especially considering that this spaceflight by Branson is more than a decade late. His own endless hype for the last fifteen years, promising over and over again that he would be flying in mere months, has soured me from any desire to listen to more. Maybe I’ll go on a hike instead.
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.
“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.