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I am now in the third week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you to everyone that donated so generously in the past two weeks. I cannot express how much it means to me, especially since you do not have to donate anything to read my work.

 

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China to launch its second lunar relay communications satellite next year

China now plans to launch its second Queqiao lunar relay communications satellite early next year in order to support several upcoming missions, including Chang’e-6 mission to bring samples back from the far side of the Moon.

Queqiao-2 is set to launch on a Long March 8 rocket from the coastal Wenchang spaceport in early 2024, according to Zhang Lihua of DFH Satellite under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), the satellite’s developer. The 1,200-kilogram satellite will feature a 4.2-meter-diameter parabolic antenna and a mission lifetime of more than eight years, Zhang said during a presentation at the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Baku, Oct. 3.

It will also be used later to provide relay communications to two additional Chang’e missions to the Moon’s south pole.

The satellite is an upgrade from the first Queqiao relay satellite, which is still operational but now at one of the Lagrange points rather than in orbit around the Moon. This new satellite is intended to be the first in a future constellation of lunar communications satellites, and is also being considered for the same use at Venus and Mars.

Once again it seems that China’s long term plan for the exploration of the solar system is not only rational and carefully thought out, it is also being implemented with increasing speed. Meanwhile in the U.S. our federal government seems schizophrenic, with one agency (NASA) trying to put together a long term plan using commercial space while other departments (FAA, FCC, Fish & Wildlife) doing everything they can to stymie this effort.

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 print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
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

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