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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

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Ariane 6 gets OneWeb launch contract

Capitalism in space: Arianespace announced this week that it has signed a three-launch contract with OneWeb that will use its new Ariane 6 rocket, including the rocket’s maiden flight.

The launch service agreement specifies the use of the qualification launch of the Ariane 62 version, scheduled for the second half of 2020; the two Ariane 6 options (either in its 62 version, accommodating up to 36 OneWeb satellites, or in the 64 version, up to 78 OneWeb satellites) will be utilized starting in 2023.

The OneWeb satellites will be launched by the first Ariane 62 into a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers before raising themselves to their operational orbit.

Because OneWeb is in direct competition with SpaceX for building the first space-based internet satellite constellation, it has looked for other launch companies to put its satellites in orbit. Thus, the business to launch the company’s planned 650-plus satellite constellation has gone to Arianespace, Russia, Virgin Orbit, and others. This in turn appears to have saved Ariane 6, which is going to be more expensive than SpaceX’s rockets and was therefore having trouble getting launch contracts.

Isn’t competition wonderful? It looks like it is going to take us to the stars.

Conscious Choice cover

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.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • geoffc

    I assume Ariane 6 will have the same 5m fairing as Ariane 5, but is the extra number mass or volume limited? 36 vs 78 is quite a difference.

    I do wonder how Starlink is going to compare in size to OneWeb.

  • Dick Eagleson

    In terms of total sat population on-orbit, Starlink is planned to be several times larger than OneWeb – nearly 12,000 satellites in two deployment phases of 4,500 and 7,500 birds, respectively, vs. less than 3,000 in two phases of 650 and 2,000 when fully built out. The individual birds in the OneWeb constellation will mass about 150 kg each. The Starlink birds will probably be somewhat larger.

    The Starlink birds will also incorporate laser cross-links making each bird a router and the entire constellation a redundant mesh network that minimizes transmission latency. The OneWeb birds will lack this feature and rely much more on ground-based equipment to handle routing. This will result in longer end-to-end transmission latencies than Starlink. This “feature” of OneWeb was apparently insisted upon by the Russians and Chinese as the price of OneWeb entry into their domestic markets. Both nations censor their domestic internets. In-space routing would allow users to entirely bypass both “The Great Firewall of China” and its Russian equivalent.

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