Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

Court rejects Viasat’s effort to stop SpaceX Starlink launches

Capitalism in space? A three-judge panel on July 20, 2021 rejected Viasat’s request for a temporary injunction that would have stopped all SpaceX Starlink launches until Viasat’s lawsuit against that constellation is settled.

While this decision does not settle the lawsuit, it allows SpaceX launches to continue, and likely cause the case to be expedited in the courts. The decision also suggests that the court does not favor Viasat’s claims, which are somewhat dubious on their face, and appear designed merely to shut down a successful competitor through the use of the courts.

Viasat alleged that the FCC did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it approved SpaceX satellite launches because the commission “refused to conduct any environmental assessment.” Viasat told the DC Circuit court that SpaceX launches should be halted because of potential environmental harms when satellites are taken out of orbit; light pollution that alters the night sky; orbital debris; collision risks that may affect Viasat; and because “Viasat will suffer unwarranted competitive injury.”

The FCC by the way disputes Viasat’s claims, and filed its own brief defending SpaceX.

Viasat’s real concern is that its satellite internet service will be considered inferior to SpaceX’s and will thus lose customers to it. Too bad. Competition means you step up your game and do better, not go to court to try to shut down your opposition.

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9 comments

  • Diane Wilson

    “Competition means you step up your game and do better, not go to court to try to shut down your opposition.”

    Jeff Bezos could learn a lesson here. He’s already had a few opportunities to learn this.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “Viasat’s real concern is that its satellite internet service will be considered inferior to SpaceX’s and will thus lose customers to it. Too bad. Competition means you step up your game and do better, not go to court to try to shut down your opposition.

    Corruption is when you use the government (e.g. the court) to try to shut down your opposition.

  • Competition means you step up your game and do better, not go to court to try to shut down your opposition.

    Or to government regulators … “FAA, EPA … NASA is ready for your conference call …”

  • Jeff Wright

    I remember an Aviation Week letter to the editor about how engineers with decades of experience stay in cubicles where kids half their age in legal’ are several flights up in rooms with views.

  • “. Competition means you step up your game and do better, not go to court to try to shut down your opposition.”

    Wow, a pull quote. Can I play?

    Critical Race Theory, anyone?

  • Blair K Ivey: If you are asking for permission to quote me, feel free. As long as people don’t republish my whole post, reusing quotes is legal and appreciated. You do have to credit me of course.

  • Jeff Wright observed:

    “I remember an Aviation Week letter to the editor about how engineers with decades of experience stay in cubicles where kids half their age in legal’ are several flights up in rooms with views.”

    Not sure that’s a bug. Engineering happens between the ears, and walking the floor to see how that’s working. I was more jazzed by the factory floor, than views of the mountains.

  • Robert:

    Apologies. I had thought that your quote (in quotes) on your blog would be self-evident. Outside the forum, I would, of course, attribute credit.

  • Blair: No need to apologize. It was obvious that you were quoting me here. Your comment implied you wanted to use the quote elsewhere. I just wanted to make it clear you could.

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