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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.


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December 11, 2023 Quick space links

Courtesy of BtB’s stringer Jay.




  • Ghana in Africa warns its citizens not to use Starlink illegally
  • Heavy fines are threatened. Ghana is the fourth African country to issue such a warning, after South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Senegal. Apparently the citizens of those countries are tired of bad phone and internet service, and have been bypassing their incompetent government to get it on the black market from private enterprise. In other words, they are exercising independence, and we can’t have that!


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


  • Jay

    Launch scrubbed due to ground issue. New scheduled launch tomorrow at 8:24 p.m. ET (01:24 UTC, 02:24 CET, December 12).

  • Jason Miller

    The article about Ghana and “illegal” Starlink use has me wondering. I thought Starlink service was supposed to be geofenced to countries & areas where the service was officially approved (with a few exceptions like Iran where Starlink is enabled but there is no hope of ever getting regulatory approval). Can anyone with a Starlink terminal just use it anywhere? I don’t see anything on their website explicitly answering what happens if you have “Global Mobile” service and you happen to venture into a country where Starlink is not officially allowed. Would it work as long as your account is domiciled in a country where Starlink *is* permitted? Or maybe the government of Ghana is just redundantly telling its people not do to something that is not possible to begin with.

    In the “Martime” section of their web site, it does say that “if a vessel strays into the waters of a country which prohibits Starlink from operating within it, our satellites will be unable to communicate with it effectively.” What is “effectively” supposed to mean? It’s all as clear as mud.

    P.S. In doing some searching on this topic, I saw a story stating that the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has demanded that Starlink cease operations in Iran. Imagine how surprised I am to learn that this UN body is doing the work of the mullahs in Tehran.

  • Jay

    I am sure some people have hacked the dish so it can be seen anywhere. Some people have been bringing their Starlink dishes out to the remote south Pacific islands with no problems at all. Also, there has been use of Starlink out of China.

    Remember that the U.N. made Iran the chair of the Human Rights Council last month!

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