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China completes two launches

China today successfully completed two launches, using from different spaceports its Long March 2C and Long March 3B rockets.

The 2C launched a two demo internet communications satellites designed to eventually be used in a large constellation similar to the constellations of SpaceX and OneWeb. The launch also included a third unidentified communications satellite.

The 3B placed in orbit what is believed to be a military reconnaissance satellite.

Both rockets dumped their first stages somewhere in the interior of China. No word on whether those stages carried parachutes or grid fins to better control their landing, or crashed near habitable regions.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

29 China
20 SpaceX
13 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman

The U.S. still leads China 31 to 29 in the national rankings.

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


  • Jeff Wright

    Unless it’s rods from god…it should be revealed to just us

  • Max

    “Rods from God”

    That phrase has come up once before, we were discussing the best way to place seismic/weather stations all across the surface of Mars from orbit.
    Hundreds of rods can be ejected towards Mars in a regular pattern as the probe approaches orbit before breaking maneuver. A small parachute will slow the probes down for the right impact speed. The parachute or ribbon will be made from flexible Solar panel to power the devices that emerges from the impact tube with the seismic station remaining inside.
    The same method could be used to search for water and to launch helium balloons with cell phone miniaturized electronics for taking pictures, weather and wind patterns. A larger balloon can hold a battery big enough to steer the balloon in directions of scientific interest. A small compressor can control the balloons altitude, and a small laser can perform spectral analysis of unusual materials, or descend into windows opening into lava caves.
    Children’s drones are pre-programmed on a selection list for most of these capabilities. Autonomous maneuverability to capture details of interesting objects that fit a certain profile.
    Balloons can drift across the entire landscape of mars except atop the tallest volcanoes.

    Venus and titan could be explored this way also.

    In “The moon is a harsh mistress” The descendants of criminals enslaved on the moon won their freedom from earth by throwing rocks at the earths spaceports.
    The kinetic energy of each rock was like an atomic bomb with no radiation. Highground is everything in this type of war.

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