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China’s Long March 4B rocket launches Earth observation satellite

China early today successfully placed an Earth observation satellite in orbit, using its Long March 4B rocket.

This was China’s 42nd successful launch in 2021, which is two launches more than it had projected it would fly at the start of the years.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

42 China
25 SpaceX
18 Russia
5 Europe (Arianespace)

China now leads the U.S. 42 to 40 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.

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  • Jeff Wright

    They understand the need to support both hearty LV development and payloads. They are a unified front….and will likely pull ahead. sigh….

  • Gary


    The issue that China has is that behind all that bluster, it does appear to be a fragile political situation. That’s kind of the deal when you have a cult of personality leader. I’m just an amateur China student, but while they may appear to be unified, if the leader is toppled that could set off a domino reaction which has unpredictable impacts across society, including the space efforts. Maybe I’m naive, but I think our privately led efforts, with government involvement as necessary, will yield greater results in the long term over a totalitarian state. The Soviets arguably were ahead of us for a while, but couldn’t sustain it, in part because of the totalitarian nature of their society.

  • Alton

    Worst outcome, China has more than 230
    language groups with many more population divisions ALL held under the bonds of the Han.
    The Soviet Union was less diverse, with roughly 15 nationalized subunits.
    A spinning of Red China into portions each wanting what Hong Kong almost had and Taiwan barely has today Will Be a sight to behold….. Hopefully without dozens or hundreds of nuclear fireballs.

  • Jeff Wright

    Thomas Orlik’s “China:The Bubble That Nevet Pops” seems to be vindicated,

    The soccer riot that started with the toppling of the Berlin Wall came to a dead stop due to a culture based on orderliness and stability. They found a way to separate Glastnost from Perestroika.

    Russia always needs a strong man “on top.”

    China is different. In some ways, they remind me of America in the 50’s. I remember seeing an audience where some kids were doing a Western style dance…and the scowls on the faces!

    The collapse of the Soviet era was as much about blue jeans and rock n’ roll as it was Reagan or the Pope.

    I’ve heard folks talking about China’s collapse for too long. What they have made on masks alone will see them through. Going to China was the worst thing Nixon ever did. Whoever put the first job off American shores and onto the Chinese mainland should have been shot for treason right on Wall Street.

  • Jeff Wright

    Let me leave you with this.

    In America, conservatives love their country but hate their government.—-and liberals of course love their government but hate their country.

    The Chinese patriot—-like our WWII generation—-love their country AND their government…which makes them formidable.

  • Max

    “The Chinese patriot—-like our WWII generation—-love their country AND their government…”

    Or you will be shot, like in Tiananmen Square.

    Why is china launching so many earth observation satellites? Is that a euphemism for Spy satellites? Or are they for bill gates… satellites to watch for anyone who cuts down a tree? (how many carbon credits do you have in your wallet?)

    Here’s something interesting, we’re going to lunch at craft to impact an astroid? And they don’t even know if it’s a solid or a pile of rubble?
    Was Biden feeling left out when the other superpowers blew up satellites?

  • Max

    I forgot to add bill gates satellite link. What our supreme leader has in store for us…

    ( there are other confirmations but this one is most complete)
    Without 5G, the data stream won’t be quick enough for driverless planes, delivery trucks, cars.

    A newscast in turkey last year talking about The delay of 5G because of the jam in the Suez canal that led to billions worth of 5G components being destroyed.

    (it’s rare that I find conspiracy theories from other countries)

  • Jeff Wright

    The asteroid DART will target is a moonlet of a larger asteroid no danger to us

  • Max

    Lunches from Vandenberg tonight, but won’t hit it’s target (literally) until next fall.

    Is it too much to hope that it will have a remote sensing package to document the impact?
    spectral analysis, high gane camera and EM field detector?

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