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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.

 

There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.

 

You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
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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.

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

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.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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