Scroll down to read this post.

 

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.

 

Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.

 

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
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

 

You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


Pentagon wants to buy from SpaceX its own 100-satellite Starshield constellation

The Pentagon is so impressed with its experience using SpaceX’s Starlink system as well as its military-hardened version dubbed Starshield that it is negotiating the purchase from SpaceX of its own 100-satellite Starshield constellation.

Col. Eric Felt, director of space architecture at the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration, said the plan is to acquire a constellation of Starshield satellites by 2029, contingent upon receiving the necessary funding appropriations from Congress.

Speaking at SAE Media Group’s Milsatcom USA conference on June 10, Felt noted that the military has been an avid consumer of SpaceX’s commercial Starlink services, but also wants to take advantage of the company’s dedicated Starshield product line and procure a government-owned constellation. In a briefing slide presented at the conference, titled “Satcom 2029,” Felt showed the DoD’s notional future satcom architecture including more than 100 Starshield satellites.

If approved for funding from Congress, this Starshield constellation would be used in conjunction with other military communciations satellites, which could also include satellites provided by other satellite companies such as Amazon and its as-yet unlaunched Kuiper constellation. The main advantage for such a system is redundancy. It is very difficult for an enemy to take the system down, since it uses so many small satellites. It is also cheaper to maintain and upgrade.

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

6 comments

  • Ronaldus Magnus

    Well, how about a good ol fashioned swap. For every five StarLink satellites, the administration provide two SuperHeavy AND Starship launch licenses, in both Boca Chica and Florida. It is ‘fair’ and ‘equitable.’

  • David K

    I wonder how long it will take for them to want “earth observation” satellites, “space junk removal” satellites, etc. There is a lot that similar constellations can do with military applications.

  • mkent

    The Pentagon is already developing its own LEO comsat constellation which, unlike Starlink, is compatible with most of the radio links already in use by the military. 19 prototype satellites have already been launched, development testing should be complete, and operational testing is scheduled for this summer. If all goes according to plan, launches of the operational satellites should commence this fall.

    What would Starlink do that the PWSA can’t?

  • pzatchok

    Its cheaper and now.

  • mkent

    ”Its cheaper and now.”

    No, it’s not. Just the opposite. The PWSA prototypes are already on orbit undergoing operational testing right now with operational satellite launches only months away. Starshield won’t launch until 2029.

  • pzatchok

    If the military is offering to buy it then it must already be in testing and proven enough for them.

    Plus their requirements might have changed.
    They might want something as simple for Space X to make as a starshield satellite with military only encoding and frequencies. Switching out the transmitters and receivers would be nothing for them. They are already making and flying them for the Ukraine and other world customers.

    “The PWSA prototypes are already on orbit undergoing operational testing right now with operational satellite launches only months away”

    Look at what your saying. They might be failing the testing and as we know, other than Space X, rocket launches are never “just” months away.

    19 prototypes is a waste of government money.

    Fast manufacturing is something some companies get and some do not.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *