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I am now in the second week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you to everyone that donated so generously last week. I hope week two will do as well.


Your donations and subscriptions have allowed me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.


Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.


In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.


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European weather satellite company cancels launch contract with Ariane-6, switches to SpaceX

We now know the reason why an Arianespace official on June 26th demanded new legislation requiring all European payloads to launch on European rockets. Today it was revealed that the European weather satellite company Eumetsat has canceled a launch contract on an Ariane-6 rocket and instead switched to SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

Late yesterday, French news outlet Le Monde reported that the executive committee of Eumetsat, the European meteorological satellite agency, had asked the agency’s board of directors to cancel a contract it signed with Arianespace four years ago to launch its Meteosat MTG-S1 satellite. The mission would have been flown aboard the third Ariane 6 flight, which is expected to be launched in early 2025. The satellite will now be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Not surprisingly, another French official today — Philippe Baptiste, the head of France’s CNES space agency — once again demanded action to require European companies to use European rockets. In his whining however he revealed an amazing inability to understand why this decision was made.

“How far will we, Europeans, go in our naivety. … I am impatiently waiting to understand what reasons could have led Eumetsat to such a decision at a time [when] all major European space countries as well as the European Commission are calling for launching European satellites on European launchers.”

The reasons why are quite obvious, and if this guy can’t recognize them then there is little hope the European Ciommision will ever figure out how to compete. Not only is the cost for a Falcon 9 launch likely one third that of an Ariane-6, it is a proven launcher. Ariane-6, four years behind schedule, won’t make its first launch until July 9, 2024, assuming all goes as planned. Eumetsat officials probably decided they couldn’t afford the extra cost and risk.

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 print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

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


  • GeorgeC

    Also isn’t the technology in the satellite much more important for competitive and prestige value than the launch?

  • M. Murcek

    It seems ridiculous that we are told over and over by the people shilling for the war in Ukraine that the eurines are afraid of Russia. If anything Europe seems to want to become USSR II.

  • BLSinSC

    Gee, I guess they didn’t consider contacting BOEING ! What really irks me is the TAXPAYERS’ funds that have been wasted by OUR NASA! There’s nothing the Government can do better than private businesses – at least the private businesses that don’t depend on Our Gov’t! We in the USA are SO fortunate to have an AMAZING AFRICAN AMERICAN leading so many segments of industry!

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