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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.


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Rocket Lab and China launch satellites successfully

Both the American company Rocket Lab and China have successfully placed satellites in orbit in the past day.

First, Rocket Lab successfully placed two Earth observation satellites for the company Capella yesterday. This was also its second launch from Wallops Island in Virginia. The company made no attempt to recover the first stage.

Next, China today used its Long March 3B rocket to place its own Earth observation satellite into orbit from its Xichang spaceport, located in the country’s northeast but far from the ocean. No word on whether the rocket’s first stage and four strap-on boosters crashed near habitable areas.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

17 SpaceX
11 China
4 Russia
2 Rocket Lab

For the rest of the year, I will only list the leaders with each launch update. At this moment, American private enterprise leads China 19 to 11 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 19 to 17. SpaceX alone now trails the rest of the world combined, including American companies, 17 to 19.

These numbers will likely change later today, as SpaceX has two launches scheduled in just a few hours. One launch will place two communications satellites in orbit for the Luxembourg company SES. The other will launch another 52 Starlink satellites.

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


  • sippin_bourbon

    SpaceX will dominate the year. That is a given.
    They are already on pace to well exceed last year’s total launches.
    Only a stupid move by the US Government could slow or stop them.

    Rocket Lab was a distant 2nd last year in the US , and is on pace to do it again, with ULA, Firefly and Northrup Grumman looking at nothing before April, and Relativity still working for their maiden flight, hoping for later this month.

    Astra, if they survive, was looking for Q4 to test launch 4.0? Virgin Orbit is what? On life support and fading? Will the UK Gov bail the out?

  • Typo (number): end of 2nd to the last paragraph (should be): “SpaceX alone” … “17 to 19.”

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