First delivery of new Starlink terminals arrives in the Ukraine

The first promised deliver by Elon Musk of new Starlink terminals arrived in the Ukraine today, only two days after promised.

Ukraine digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who tagged Musk in a request on Twitter on Saturday, posted that Starlink was “here” in Ukraine — with a photo showing more than two dozen boxes of the company’s user kits in the back of a truck.

Each Starlink kit includes a user terminal to connect to the satellites, a mounting tripod and a Wi-Fi router. It’s not known how many kits SpaceX is sending to support Ukraine.

Fedorov thanked Musk in his tweet; Musk responded: “you are most welcome.”

Ukraine-based Oleg Kutkov tweeted a screenshot of an internet speed test on Monday, saying “Starlink is working in Kyiv” and thanked SpaceX for the company’s support.

Two dozen Starlink terminals is only a drop in the bucket, but with a first delivery this quickly, many more are likely to follow, and make a significant difference in helping the Ukraine block Russia’s invasion.

Rocket Lab successfully launches Japanese radar satellite

Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab today successfully completed its first launch in 2022 as well as the first launch from a second launchpad in New Zealand, using its Electron rocket to place in orbit a Japanese commercial radar satellite.

At the moment of writing the upper stage has not yet deployed the satellite, though deployment should happen momentarily. UPDATE: Satellite deployed successfully.

The new launchpad gives Rocket Lab three launchpads, two in New Zealand (both operational) and one in Virginia (delayed due to the NASA bureaucracy but about to go operational).

Rocket Lab is now tied with five other rocket operations, 4 private and 2 government, all with a single launch in ’22. The leaders in the 2022 launch race remain unchanged:

8 SpaceX
4 China
2 Russia

The now U.S. leads China 12 to 4 in the national rankings. At this same point in 2021, the U.S. had only completed 8 launches, so the pace this year is significantly higher. If this pace is maintained, the U.S. will complete 72 launches, which will just break the country’s best previous year of 70 successful launches in 1966. This total would also more than double the average yearly launch total for U.S. since 1966.

Chandra’s camera remains in safe mode

Though engineers have improvised a work-around that has allowed most of instruments on the Chandra X-Ray observatory to resume science operations, the power supply problem in the telescope’s high resolution camera (HRC) that occurred on February 9th remains unresolved, leaving that camera in safe mode.

The Chandra science instrument and engineering teams continue to analyze the cause of the HRC power supply issue, as well as potential approaches to enable the HRC again. The spacecraft is otherwise healthy and operating normally.

Chandra has been flying now for more than two decades, well past its original mission. For it to begin to have these problems is not surprising, though it will be a great tragedy if it fails just as the James Webb Space Telescope is about to go operational. Ideally astronomers want data from both, as well as Hubble, to cover a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum, from the optical to the infrared to X-rays.

Today’s blacklisted American: Jan 6th demonstrator apparently commits suicide due to Biden administration persecution

Matthew Perna, dead because he expressed his opinion
Matthew Perna, now dead because he simply expressed an opinion

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em: Matthew Perna, one of the vast majority of demonstrators who came to the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to peacefully protest the installation of Joe Biden as president, has now apparently committed suicide at the age of 37 because of the Biden administration’s endless persecution, slander, and legal attacks against him.

From his obituary:

He attended the rally on January 6, 2021 to peacefully stand up for his beliefs. After learning that the FBI was looking for him, he immediately turned himself in. He entered the Capitol through a previously opened door (he did not break in as was reported) where he was ushered in by police. He didn’t break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone, as he stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures.

For this act he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him. Many people were quietly supportive, and Matt was truly grateful for them. The constant delays in hearings, and postponements dragged out for over a year. Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured. Matt did not have a hateful bone in his body. He embraced people of all races, income brackets, and beliefs, never once berating anyone for having different views.

» Read more

China successfully launched rockets twice today

China successfully launched two rockets this morning, one a Long March-4C carrying an Earth observation satellite and the second a Long March-8, carrying 22 smallsats.

The Long March-8 is one of China’s next generation rockets, meant to launch from its coastal spaceport and use less toxic fuels. Also, according to the state-run press article, its manufacture process is aimed at allowing for a launch rate of once per week.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

8 SpaceX
4 China
2 Russia

The U.S. leads China 11 to 4 in the national rankings.

Ingenuity’s 20th flight a success

According to a tweet released tonight by JPL, the 20th flight of Ingenuity on Mars was a success, lasting 130 seconds and traveling about 1,283 feet.

The tweet includes a short video showing the helicopter taking off and then landing, at the same spot, which I am sure is not of this flight but from a previous test that simply went up and down. The flight just completed took off and headed mostly to the north, slightly west, and landed in a different spot entirely.

Expect more information to follow.

Russia suspends Soyuz-2 launches from French Guiana

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, announced today that Russia is suspending all Soyuz-2 rocket operations with Arianespace at French Guiana in response to the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) over Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners over organising space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel… from French Guiana,” Dmitry Rogozin, chief of the Russian space agency, said on messaging app Telegram.

The next planned Russian launch from French Guiana for Arianespace is set for April, launching two EU GPS-type satellites. That launch is now in question. Russia only has 87 engineers in French Guiana, but whether Europe can launch without them is unlikely.

Russia’s other Arianespace commercial customer, the satellite constellation OneWeb, is owned jointly by the United Kingdom and private Indian investors and has a launch scheduled from Kazakhstan in March. While Russia probably intends to proceed with that launch, Arianespace, the EU, and the UK government might respond to Russia’s actions today by cancelling it in turn.

Meanwhile, there are hints coming from the Ukraine that Russia’s invasion is beginning to bog down. If so, expect Putin to try to negotiate a quick settlement, whereby he insists that the Ukraine abandon its effort to join NATO and commit to allying itself with Russia. Based on the poor support NATO provided in this war, expect the Ukraine to agree in some manner.

Scientists: Martian topography in one region suggests the past existence of lakes and river networks, but not a large single ocean

Based on a just published paper, scientists using orbital topography data and imagery have concluded that more than three billion years ago on Mars ancient rivers in the transition zone between the southern cratered highlands and the northern lowland plains fed into numerous lakes in the lowlands, not a single large ocean as some scientists posit.

From their abstract:

The northern third of Mars contains an extensive topographic basin, but there is conflicting evidence to whether it was once occupied by an ocean-sized body of water billions of years ago. At the margins of this basin are the remnants of deltas, which formed into water, but the size and nature of this water body (or water bodies) is unclear, and detailed investigations of different regions of the basin margins are necessary.

In this study, we use high-resolution image and topographic datasets from satellites orbiting Mars to investigate a series of water-formed landforms in the Memnonia Sulci region, set along the boundary of Mars’s northern basin. These landforms likely formed billions of years ago, providing evidence for ancient rivers and lakes in this region. The geologic evolution of these rivers and lakes was complicated, likely influenced by water-level fluctuations, changes in sediment availability, and impact cratering. Our topographic analysis of these rivers and lakes suggests that they terminated in a series of ancient lake basins at the boundary of Mars’s northern basin, rather than supplying a larger, ocean-sized body of water. [emphasis mine]

Overview map

The Memnonia Sulci region is in the cratered highlands just south of the Medusae Fossae Formation, the largest volcanic ash deposit on Mars. The region of study in it is marked by the blue dot in the overview map to the right.

The study does not preclude the possible existence of a northern ocean on Mars, but it says that at least in this region at the equator, it did not exist. Instead, the various river valleys drained into separate smaller and relatively short-lived lakes.

Pushback: Professor, fired for having an opinion, sues university

Gregory Manco
Gregory Manco, a fighter for free speech

Don’t comply: Professor Gregory Manco, fired a professor at St. Joseph’s University because he publicly expressed some opinions, has now sued the university and six individuals (including one student whom Manco never even taught) for discrimination, breach of contract, negligence, defamation, slander, and civil conspiracy.

Manco’s story was covered twice previously in my daily blacklist column, first in March 2021 when he was suspended for having opinions the university did not like, and then in August 2021 when the university fired him for having those opinions.

Manco however is not bowing to this ill treatment. His complaint outlines in detail how the college and these individuals conspired to destroy him through false statements and slanders. He is demanding a full financial recovery for the loss of income plus compensatory and punitive damages for their actions.

Read his complaint, especially the section outlining the facts of the case. It is most revealing, especially at the level of viciousness and dishonest against Manco by these individuals, documented by screen captures of emails and texts. Worse, it appears the university in public endorsed their lies, despite that fact that its own investigation had exonerated Manco on all counts.

Based on the facts of the case, Manco is likely to win, and win big. The best part of his suit is that he is demanding damages from the actual individuals who defamed him, not just the university itself. People who nonchalantly slander others for the purpose of destroying them must be made to realize that this bad behavior will only result in their own destruction. Only then will these blacklisting tactics cease. Kudos to Manco for fighting back.

SpaceX successfully launches 50 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX today successfully launched another 50 Starlink satellites using its Falcon 9 rocket.

The first stage, on its fourth flight, landed successfully on the drone ship in the Pacific. The fairings completed their third flight. The satellites themselves have not yet been deployed, as of this moment. Deployment is expected in about an hour.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

8 SpaceX
2 China
2 Russia

SpaceX is so far maintaining a launch rate of one launch per week in ’22, as the company had predicted.

Curiosity images the Martian version of a cave formation

An helictite on Mars?
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken today by Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), a camera designed to get close high resolution images of very small features on the surface.

The Curiosity image site does not provide a scale, but MAHLI, located at the end of the rover’s robot arm, is capable of resolutions as small as 14 microns per pixel. Since a micron is one thousandth of a millimeter, and the original image was 1584 by 1184 pixels in size, that means the entire image is likely only slightly larger than 18 to 25 millimeters across, or slightly less than an inch.

This feature, which closely resembles a cave helictite, is thus about a quarter inch in size. Helictites, which in caves often resemble wildly growing roots, are nonetheless made of calcite, not organic material. They grow wildly because the water is being pushed out from their center is under pressure, so that as it drips away from the formation it leaves its calcite deposits randomly, causing the formation to grow randomly.

MAHLI also took what looks to be an infrared or heat image of the formation, which appears to show that the tips of the branches are at a different temperature, I think cooler, than the rest of the formation.

While seeping water causes helictites on Earth, what formed this thing on Mars is beyond my guess. It sure looks cool however.

Space spat between Biden and Rogozin over Russian invasion of Ukraine

Yesterday saw harsh words expressed by both President Biden and the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, concerning the partnership of the two countries at ISS, with Biden imposing sanctions and noting these will specifically harm Russia’s space industry, and Rogozin responding by threatening to dump ISS on either a U.S. or European city.

In Biden’s statement, he said, “We estimate that we will cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports, and it will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It will degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program,”

Rogozin’s response came in a series of tweets on Twitter, with his most bellicose statements as follows:

Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?

This is how you already do it by limiting exchanges between our cosmonaut and astronaut training centers. Or do you want to manage the ISS yourself? Maybe President Biden is off topic, so explain to him that the correction of the station’s orbit, its avoidance of dangerous rendezvous with space garbage, with which your talented businessmen have polluted the near-Earth orbit, is produced exclusively by the engines of the Russian Progress MS cargo ships. If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe? There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?

Meanwhile, it isn’t Russia’s space industry that will suffer the most from this invasion, but Ukraine’s. For example, the American company Launcher, which has had a software team in the Ukraine, has moved most of that team to Bulgaria for their safety.

As a precaution given the escalating political situation, during the last few weeks, we successfully relocated our Ukraine staff to Sofia, Bulgaria, where we opened a new Launcher Europe office. We also invited their immediate family to join them in this move and funded their relocation expenses. We continue to encourage and support five of the support staff and one engineer who decided to remain in Ukraine.

The company’s press release makes it clear that it is no longer dependent in any way with facilities in the Ukraine.

Launcher’s actions will not be the last. Expect all Western commercial efforts linked to the Ukraine to break off ties in order to protect their investments. Moreover, if Russia should recapture the Ukraine entirely, it will likely not give much support to its space industry, as Roscosmos has developed its own Russian resources in the past two decades and will likely want to support those instead.

Thus, the expected destruction of that country’s aerospace industry by Russia’s invasion proceeds.

Stratolaunch’s Roc successfully completes 4th test flight

Capitalism in space: Stratolaunch’s Roc airplane, the largest ever flown, successfully completed its 4th flight yesterday, testing for the first time the retraction and extension of its landing gear.

The flight lasted one hour and forty-three minutes.

The company is now aiming to begin full operations in the second half of ’23, when it hopes it will also be dropping versions of its Talon-A test vehicle from the bottom of Roc to perform hypersonic tests for the military as well as commercial companies.

SLS launch delayed again

As expected, NASA announced yesterday that it will be unable to launch its SLS rocket on its first unmanned test flight in April, as the agency had hoped, and is now evaluating a May launch date instead.

“April is not a possibility. We’re still evaluating the tail end of May,” said Tom Whitmeyer, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development. “But I want to be really careful once again, being straightforward with you. You know, we really need to get through this next few weeks here, see how we’re doing.”

The next possible windows for launch are from May 7-21, June 6-16 and June 29-July 12.

March 16th is still being targeted for the rocket’s full launch countdown dress rehearsal. Since the agency has said it will need about a month to assess the results of that dress rehearsal, the May launch window is exceedingly unlikely. Based on the slow pace NASA has set throughout this entire project, I predict that the launch will not occur before June, with the excellent chance it will be delayed to the summer. And this is assuming the dress rehearsal goes perfectly.

Today’s blacklisted American: 9-year-old boy denied kidney transplant because donor hasn’t gotten COVID jab

The Bioethics group that wants to kill a little boy
The Cleveland Clinic’s Bioethics group that wants to kill a little boy.
Click to go to its website to contact them.

They’re coming for you next: A nine-year-old boy has been denied a kidney transplant by his hospital because his donor, who also happens to be his father, has not gotten any COVID shots.

Nine-year-old Tanner Donaldson suffers from stage 5 chronic kidney disease and urgently needs a kidney transplant. Miraculously, his father, Dane, is a perfect match to donate one of his kidneys. In early 2018, Cleveland Children’s Hospital approved the transplant. Shockingly, however, the hospital is now denying Tanner’s transplant following the execution of a “cruel, illogical, and unscientific” policy that demands the donor—but not Tanner—to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Both the father and the child have gotten and recovered from the Wuhan flu, and thus have natural immunity, which is one reason the father doesn’t want to get the jab. Furthermore, he considers the risks of the shot far outweigh its benefits. As the family’s lawyer noted in a letter to Jane Jankowski, Interim Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Bioethics that made the decision blocking the transplant operation:
» Read more

The deadly impact of Russia’s Ukraine invasion on commercial space, on ISS, and beyond

The International Space Station
The Russian invasion might be signaling the end of the ISS partnership.

Though the international ramifications of the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia in the past week will be far reaching and hard to predict, we can get a hint by reviewing the impact on Russia’s long-standing partnership on ISS as well as the effect the invasion will have on a number of commercial enterprises dependent on both Russian and Ukrainian space rocketry.

The International Space Station

All signs so far from the western partners on ISS indicate that they are guardedly hopeful that the cooperation with Russia will continue unimpeded. According to two stories (here and here) describing a panel discussion today at George Washington University Space Policy Institute, state department officials expressed complete confidence that the partnership at ISS will continue without interruption, as it did in 2014 when Russia invaded the Crimea, taking it from the Ukraine. From the first link:
» Read more

Ingenuity update: Dust storm caused issues; 20th flight upcoming

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

According to the Ingenuity engineering team in an update today, the Mars helicopter is getting ready for its 20th flight, scheduled for no earlier than today, even as the team successfully dealt with dust that settled on the helicopter’s various parts prior to flight 19.

The dust storm did, however, leave the Ingenuity team with two additional challenges to deal with: a dirty navigation camera window and dust in the swashplate assemblies.

Comparing navigation camera images taken before and after the dust storm revealed that the storm deposited debris on the ground-facing navigation camera window, specifically around the periphery of the camera’s field of view. Debris on the navigation camera window is problematic because Ingenuity’s visual navigation software may confuse the debris with the actual ground features that it tries to track during flight, which can cause navigation errors. Fortunately, Ingenuity’s software provides a tool for dealing with this issue: The team can provide an updated image mask file that tells the visual navigation software to ignore certain regions of the image. The operations team made use of this feature and performed an image mask update late last month.

The dust storm also deposited dust and sand in Ingenuity’s swashplate assemblies. On Mars as well as on Earth, a helicopter’s swashplates are very important because they control the pitch (angle from horizontal) of the rotor blades, which is essential for stable and controlled flight. Ingenuity’s swashplate issue was first detected when the rotorcraft reported a failure during its first automated swashplate actuator self-test since the dust storm on Jan. 28, 2022 (Sol 335 of the Perseverance mission). Data revealed that all six swashplate servo actuators were experiencing unusual levels of unusual levels of resistance while moving the swashplates over their range of motion.

The engineers subsequently tested a procedure, planned before launch, for cleaning the swashplates, and found that it worked.

The data from that activity showed a significant improvement – a reduction in servo loading, so the team followed it up with seven back-to-back servo wiggles on Sol 341. Remarkably, by the end of that activity, Ingenuity’s servo loads appeared nearly identical to nominal loads seen prior to the dust storm.

After dealing with both dust issues, flight 19 proceeded successfully, as planned.

The overview map above shows the present location of Perseverance as the red dot, the present location of Ingenuity by the green dot, and the approximate landing site for the helicopter’s 20th flight by the black dot. The tan dotted line shows Perseverance’s planned route.

Perseverance itself has been traveling fast since Ingenuity’s last flight on February 9th, almost completely retracing its steps to return almost to its landing site.

Viet View – In The Year 2525

An evening pause: This is a cover of the classic Zager and Evans 1960s song. It also cleverly uses material from numerous post-1980s sci-fi movies to match the words. Overall, those movies portray a brave new world future (as Huxley saw it), humorless, soulless, and inhumane — as does the song.

Hat tip Bob Robert.

Trudeau’s grab of the bank accounts of his political enemies might have crashed the Canadian banking system

The decision by the Trudeau government in Canada to freeze the bank accounts of the truck convoy protesters and their supporters now appears to have backfired monumentally, so much so that it has threatened to possibly crash the Canadian banking system as people apparently began rushing to withdraw their money out of fear it will be taken from them.

What might seem like a great tool for political punishment has long term consequences, especially if people start withdrawing their money and/or shifting the placement of their investments to more secure locations away from the reach of the Canadian government. Considering the rules of fractional banking and deposits, it doesn’t take many withdrawals before the banks have serious issues.

Is this happening? It appears it might be, though the Trudeau government and banks appear to be trying to hide it. The first indicator was the sudden several hour shut down of all web access to Canada’s five major banks shortly after the bank freeze was announced. The available data, though limited, suggested that the banks had suddenly experienced a run of customers withdrawing money, and shut down access temporarily to try to stem the tide.

The next indicator is the decision yesterday to unfreeze almost all of those bank accounts. That decision, along with Trudeau’s announcement today that he is revoking his emergency powers, suggest that the banks had put pressure on him to act, because the withdrawals had not ceased, and if he didn’t act the entire system would have crashed.

Whether Trudeau’s actions will end the panic however is quite unclear. I know that if I had any cash in a Canadian bank I would right now be looking to put at least some of it elsewhere. The same thought applies to American banks, as their recent effort to shut down accounts of conservatives like Mike Lindell suggests that many banks will go along with a similar order by the Biden administration. And with an American truck convoy just now gearing up and heading for Washington, no one should be surprised if such a draconian action is just over the horizon.

Dry barren ground in Martian northern lowlands?

Dry barren ground in the Martian northern lowlands?
Click for full image.

Today’s cool image is intriguing because of what appears to not be there, rather than what is there. The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on November 3, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

At first glance it appears to show a very dry, barren surface. At its base are many parallel grooves running from the southwest to the northeast. On top of these grooves are several more recent crater impacts, as well as several patches of higher bedrock that appears to have been hard enough to resist whatever erosion process caused the groves.

Yet, based on the overview map below, the location of this photo should not be dry and barren, but instead home to a near-surface ice sheet covering everything.
» Read more

Pushback: Federal court grants injunction against United Airlines COVID shot mandate

United Airlines: Run by fascist clowns
United Airlines: Run by fascist clowns

Our body, our choice! A federal court of appeals, in a 2-1 ruling on February 18, 2022, overruled a lower court judge and granted an injunction halting any punitive action by United Airlines against any employee who refuses to get a COVID shot because of religious or medical reasons.

The Fifth Circuit judges ordered the case to go back to Pittman for review. With Pittman’s concerns about irreparable harm assuaged, he will consider remaining preliminary injunction factors and ultimately decide whether unvaccinated employees with exemptions will return to work.

In November, Pittman notably told United Airlines employees that besides their inability to prove irreparable harm, their “arguments appear compelling and convincing at this stage. … United’s mandate thus reflects an apathy, if not antipathy, for many of its employees’ concerns and a dearth of toleration for those expressing diversity of thought,” he wrote in part. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words illustrate the general intolerance of the left in imposing its mandates these past two years. Anyone who disagrees with them is considered a non-human who deserves no rights and can be oppressed and destroyed in any way the left sees fit.

United Airlines itself demonstrated its support for this intolerance when in December 2020 it kicked a family off a plane because the parents could not keep a mask on their two year old. As I wrote then,

You must watch the video to see how crazy and irrational this is. The father is holding her with a mask covering her face, even if it isn’t on her. More important, children don’t get COVID-19. Children don’t infect others. And the child is clearly not sick. To demand a mask on her makes no sense.

The lawsuit on which the judges ruled above is part of a pushback by United employees against the company’s rules that placed more than 2,000 people on unpaid leave, with many still under United contracts that prevent them from seeking other work.

Sadly, I can’t advise my readers to choose another airline company. All the airline companies have been pretty much as oppressive as United these past two years, generally treating their passengers like cattle on the way to slaughter. It would seem there is room here for some real competition, offering employees a tolerant work environment and its customers a pleasant flight. Right now no one is doing it.

Astra releases update on February 10th launch failure

Capitalism in space: Astra yesterday released an update on its investigation into its February 10th launch failure at Cape Canaveral.

The update doesn’t provide any conclusions, but merely notes that the company has completed its review of all “video and telemetry” from the event, and has reconstructed a full timeline from that data.

It is now reviewing that timeline to create what engineers call “fault trees”, each a specific scenario path pointing at a possible cause of the failure. Once that cause has been identified, engineers can then propose a solution.

According to the press release, the company is already “implementing corrective actions”, though the release provides no information as to what the cause was or what they are doing to correct. It states instead that once the investigation and corrections have been completely, the company will then release a full report.

Meanwhile, it appears that at least six law firms are considering suing the company, which became a publicly traded company in July 2021. These law firms “…are seeking clients who lost significant amount of money after purchasing the stock.” The launch failure caused the stock value to drop significantly, and these law firms apparently think that the company has made false claims about its plans — such as its claim that it will eventually be launch 300 times per year — and wish to put together a class action lawsuit based on this accusation plus the drop in stock price.

Whether Astra can meet its goal of 300 launches per year is certainly at this time questionable. However, it is too soon to call the company a failure. Once it recovers from the launch failure and resumes launches — a process that for any new rocket company generally takes a few years — that stock price will certainly recover, and will rise with each successful launch.

Only should Astra fail to resume launches, or continue to fail with each launch, will the stock truly crash, and thus provide these law firms with a possible case.

At the same time, in a free society we are supposed to recognize the concept of “buyer beware.” If you buy a product or a stock, it is at your own risk. If you fail to do due diligence beforehand, your loss is your responsibility, not the company who made the product or whose stock crashed.

It appears, based on everything Astra has so far done, an investment in its stocks while quite risky has not been an unreasonable gamble, making the present case for these lawsuits somewhat weak. Time will tell however whether that changes in the future.

A thumbnail bio of George Washington

An evening pause: This day, February 22nd and the birthday of George Washington, was once celebrated yearly by Americans to honor the leader of the American army in the Revolutionary War, the leader in the effort to write the Constitution, and the country’s first president who had the humbleness to step down after two terms in office.

Congress in 1971 turned that celebration into the empty “Presidents Day” holiday, that means nothing and devalues the profound importance of Washington, especially when compared to the generally mediocre individuals — with the except possibly of Lincoln alone — who followed him in that office.

I choose to celebrate Washington instead, on this the actual anniversary of this birth. The video below is a short but succinct and accurate outline of his life. It only touches the surface of the man’s unfathomable importance to American history, but it is start.

Today’s blacklisted American: Seattle school board to hold segregated meetings to pick new school superintendent

Jim Crow celebrated in Seattle!
The return of Jim Crow, this time celebrated in the north, in Seattle!

“Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Issaquah School District, located in the Seattle suburbs, has decided to hold segregated-by-race meetings to pick its new school superintendent.

Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele is retiring, and the school board is looking for his replacement. The board is holding three separate meetings this month to hear from parents and guardians. But the first meeting makes it very clear who should attend.

The district bulletin lists the meeting in the following way: “Meeting for Parents/Guardians of Color and Parents/Guardians with Students of Color to Give Input About Superintendent Search, 6 p.m., Zoom.”

The other two meetings are listed this way: “Meetings for Parents/Guardians to Give Input About Superintendent Search, 9 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., Zoom.”

When challenged about this illegal policy, the board defended it as follows:
» Read more

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