India’s PSLV rocket successfully placed nine satellites into orbit today, completing that country’s second launch in 2022.
Since the Wuhan panic arrived in 2020, India’s space program has slowed to a crawl. Beforehand, it had been averaging six launches per year with the expectation that in 2020 it might double that number. Furthermore, the PSLV rocket had been a major player in the emerging smallsat market, routinely putting one to three dozen smallsats into orbit with each launch, with one launch in 2017 putting a record 104 smallsats into orbit.
Then the Wuhan panic arrived and everything stopped. Today’s PSLV launch was only its fifth launch since 2019. With almost all launches canceled, India’s smallsat business moved to SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and other rocket companies that did not panic and continued to launch.
Today’s launch however might signal a renewal. It was not managed by India’s old space agency, ISRO, but a new government agency called NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), which is supposedly focused on encouraging the growth of India’s commercial aerospace sector, independent of the government. Whether a government agency can accomplish such a task in India remains entirely unknown.
The leader board in the 2022 launch race remains the same:
4 Rocket Lab
American private enterprise still leads China 37 to 21 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 37 to 34.
A ULA Atlas-5 launch later today could change these numbers.
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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.
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