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India launches 36 OneWeb satellites

India’s space agency ISRO tonight successfully launched 36 OneWeb satellites using its LVM-M3 rocket, the largest version of its GSLV family of rockets.

This launch completes OneWeb’s constellation, with 618 satellites now in orbit, allowing them to now offer internet access worldwide in competition with Starlink. After Russia broke its contract and confiscated 36 OneWeb satellites, the company contracted SpaceX and ISRO to launch the satellites necessary to complete the constellation, with SpaceX doing three launches and ISRO two.

This was India’s second launch in 2023. The leaders in the 2023 launch race remain the same:

20 SpaceX
11 China
5 Russia
3 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise still leads China 23 to 11 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 23 to 19. SpaceX by itself now trails the entire world, including other American companies, 20 to 22.

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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  • Richard M

    Speaking of launch cadence, Elon tweeted out an interesting response to the success of launch #20 yesterday:

    “20 launches done, 70+ for rest of year”

    It’s unclear if this only speaks to Falcon launches, or if it includes Starship, too.

    “90 plus” might be a little short of his announced goal of 100 this year, but it will still utterly lap the field. They really have become the juggernaut. Where will they be five years from now?

  • Appreciate the “in orbit” nomenclature. It’s a bit nostalgic since I’ve felt slightly alienated over all the talk about being exclusively “on orbit” during recent decades….

  • Edward

    Michael McNeil,
    The way my colleagues and I have always used the terms “in orbit” and “on orbit” is that one of our satellites was “on orbit” once it was in the correct place and was actively stationkeeping. “On orbit” and “on station” seemed synonymous.

    I used to build geostationary commercial communication satellites. So, as we watched one of our satellites launch (even before YouTube, launch companies often provided live coverage, similar to what we see with the commercial launchers today), once the upper stage was in its temporary parking orbit, the satellite had made it “to orbit.” Once the stack reached the equator and the upper stage performed its second burn and released the satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, the satellite was still “in orbit” but had not yet reached its designated location in geostationary orbit. As with today’s broadcasts, television coverage ended with the release of the satellite, because the launch company had done its job, and the rest was up to the satellite to perform correctly.

    Retired geostationary satellites are raised to a higher orbit before being shut down, keeping them in orbit but no longer on station.

  • ISRO deserves every ounce of appreciation here. Getting goosebumps everywhere. What a proud moment. Bravo ISRO

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