Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work, as I take no advertisements nor accept any sponsors in order to keep the website clean, easy to read, and to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest. Your support leaves me entirely independent, able to say whatever I think while being free from censorship or reprisals.


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

Amazon’s first two Kuiper satellites in orbit worked exactly as planned

Amazon announced today that its first two Kuiper satellites, launched into orbit by ULA’s Atlas-5 rocket on October 6, 2023, have worked exactly as planned, thus allowing the company to begin building operational satellites.

With the prototypes’ testing in space now complete, Badyal said Amazon plans to begin building the first production Kuiper satellites in December and launch the first satellites for its network in the “latter part of the first half” of 2024. Badyal emphasized that Amazon wasn’t sure what performance to expect from the prototype satellites, since “you don’t know how well it’s going to work in space.”

“They’re working brilliantly,” Badyal said.

The need of Amazon to start launching lots of satellites next year — in order to meet its FCC license requirements to put half of its 3,000+ constellation in orbit by 2026 — puts great pressure on ULA, Blue Origin, and Arianespace to get their new but as yet unlaunchd rockets operating. All three have big launch contracts with Amazon, but none presently appear to have the capability to meet the demands of those contracts.

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 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


  • geoffc

    To be fair, ULA has reserved a bunch (10+?) of the last Atlas V’s for Kuiper. Then the rest of their contract is Vulcan. So your point is basically correct otherwise. There was a nit, I must pick it! (Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach gym).

  • Ray Van Dune

    Badyal emphasized that Amazon wasn’t sure what performance to expect from the prototype satellites, since “you don’t know how well it’s going to work in space.”
    “They’re working brilliantly,” Badyal said.

    Well, that settles that…

  • Col Beausabre

    Only 1498 to go!

  • pzatchok

    How many satellites per launch?

    Do they have even a little chance at making 1500 satellites in their time period or are they hoping to get the government to let them slide a little(or even a lot) on the approvals?

  • Jay

    If they are showing their due diligence in launching, most likely they will file an extension or pay a fine that they can easily afford.

    Col Beausabre, brings up a good point in his post. All those satellites that Kuiper sends up, will eventually come down. During the launch of the first batch of 1500, there will be losses. I do not know Starlink’s numbers, but they have deoribited the ones that failed and had to replace the ones lost during deployment. I remember they lost a number of them to a solar storm last year. I do not know the stats on Starlink’s losses.

  • pzatchok

    If the extension is easy to get I would make it harder to extend and if the fines easy to pay then I would make then hurt enough that they would not feel like some type of simple fee.

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 *