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China’s Long March 6 launches two military technology test satellites

Using its Long March 6 rocket, China yesterday successfully placed two military technology test satellites into orbit, designed to test “new interference suppression technology for Ka-band mobile communications satellites.”

The launch occurred at one of China’s interior spaceports. No word on whether the rocket’s first stage crashed near habitable area.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

25 China
20 SpaceX
12 Russia
3 Northrop Grumman
3 Rocket Lab

The U.S. still leads China 30 to 25 in the national rankings.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


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  • Matt in AZ

    Bob, assuming all goes well with the upcoming SpaceX Starship flight, will its purposeful re-entry before a complete orbit rule it out from this list?

  • Matt in AZ: Y’know, that’s a great question that I had not thought of. I think if the flight is successful and Starship lands as intended, I will include it, as the only reason they aren’t going to orbit is I think for testing purposes. If it makes it to its targeted landing point it will mean it could have just as easily completed a full orbit.

    I am open of course to suggestions. What say my readers?

  • geoffc

    @RobertZ: So the SN20 flight is not supposed to be a complete orbit. The question is, do they hit the needed altitude, and speed for orbit.

    Even if they do not land, since it is not clear they plan to land the upper stage, rather just reenter, get the data. Ocean seems to be the target and unclear if they will have something to land on underneath it.

    All of which is to say, as much as I want it to count, I would vote for probably no.

  • William F

    I think you should keep strict criteria. Otherwise Lex Luthor will want you to count every amusement park ride on Blue Origin

  • mkent

    It all depends upon whether Starship makes orbit. If it makes orbit but brakes out of orbit before completing a single revolution, I will count it in my records. If it remains on a suborbital though long trajectory, I will not.

    I count Yuri Gagarin’s flight as an orbital flight because he made orbit, though he did not complete a single revolution with his craft. ICBM flights are suborbital trajectories even if they are intercontinental, so they don’t count.

  • Mark

    How strong is the possibility that the Chinese military test satellites are designed to test new interference tech against US military communications? Wonder what US Space Command thinks?

  • Jeff Wright

    With Northrup and RocketLab having 3 each…added to Musk gives me 26 launches of any size. What are the other 4? I would not count air launchs for anything less than than a Stratolaunch release…but I would count Starship as second stage. Tons to orbital velocity is what I would go by.

  • Jeff Wright: Virgin Orbit and ULA have two each. They don’t have enough to make the leader board.

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