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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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China creates company to build mega-satellite constellation

The new colonial movement: Late last month China officially created a company to build its own mega-satellite constellation, consisting of 13,000 satellites to provide internet access globally, to compete with the commercial constellations being built by SpaceX, OneWeb, and (someday) Amazon.

Spectrum allocation filings submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by China in September last year revealed plans to construct two similarly named “GW” [Guowang] low Earth orbit constellations totaling 12,992 satellites. The filings indicate plans for GW to consist of sub-constellations ranging from 500-1,145 kilometers in altitude with inclinations between 30-85 degrees. The satellites would operate across a range of frequency bands.

Currently no details have been released on the contractors to be involved in the constellation. Notably the China Satellite Network Group will exist independent from and parallel to China’s main space contractors, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC).

The apparent independence of China Satellite Network Group from CASC and CASIC indicates that other actors, such as other state-owned enterprises and commercial sector space companies could be involved in the construction of the constellation.

Not only does the creation of this company suggest a power-struggle within China’s government, it illustrates the intensifying competition internationally over space. While commercial satellite constellations like SpaceX and OneWeb will be able to provide their services to China, they will also be outside the control of that nation’s dictatorship. If their citizens use them they will have free access to information, something that China’s leaders refuse to allow.

Thus, the political decision in China to build their own constellation. It will also give China the ability to exert its influence worldwide by offering an alternative to the commercial western constellations, one that other dictators can control as well.

Expect more whining from astronomers about how this constellation of satellites will add to their woes. Instead of whining, might they finally decide to at last consider building in-space telescopes, where there is no atmosphere to fog their view and no satellites blocking their vision?

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.

One comment

  • “Expect more whining from astronomers about how this constellation of satellites will add to their woes. Instead of whining, might they finally decide to at last consider building in-space telescopes, where there is no atmosphere to fog their view and no satellites blocking their vision?”

    I think the astronomical community will be forced into space-based observations. It doesn’t look like thousands of satellites are just going to drop out of the sky. Launch rates and boosted mass are only going to increase, and I’d say that the astronomers have already lost; they just don’t know it, yet.

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