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China launches “test satellite for satellite internet technologies”

China today launched what it described as “a test satellite for satellite internet technologies,” its Long March 2C rocket lifting off from its Jiuquan spaceport in the northwest of China.

No word on where the lower stages crashed, both of which use very toxic hypergolic fuels. Nor was there any additional information about the satellite, though the description suggests this is a prototype satellite for a Starlink-type constellation, several of which China’s government has proposed building.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

96 SpaceX
66 China
19 Russia
8 Rocket Lab
7 India

American private enterprise still leads China in successful launches 110 to 66, and the entire world combined 110 to 103. SpaceX in turn trails the rest of the world (excluding other American companies) 96 to 103.

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


  • Mark

    Too bad we don’t count booster launches instead of missions. Sx: 96+2 SH+10FH side boosters=108 :-) Sx cracked 100 booster launches after all.

    Happy New Year all.

  • Richard M

    I still am just staggered that SpaceX has managed 96 orbital launches this year. 96!

    Imagine if you could have given Michael Gass a crystal ball to see that coming, back in 2013. What would he have thought? “There’s something out of whack with this ball, man!”

  • Jeff Wright

    Poor Gary Hudson…no one listened to him and it took an Internet billionaire to do this because he couldn’t get the Wall Street hacks to bite.

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