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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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Satellite company Terran Orbital to build big satellite factory in Florida

Capitalism in space: The satellite company Terran Orbital announced yesterday it will build a large factory to manufacture more than a 1,000 small satellites per year.

At the Launch and Landing Facility, formerly known as the NASA Space Shuttle Landing Facility, Terran Orbital, the parent company of Tyvak and PredaSAR, plans to claim 10 hangars for what Space Florida calls “the world’s largest satellite manufacturing facility.”

“Not only will we be able to expand our production capabilities to meet the growing demand for our products, but we will also bring valuable space vehicle manufacturing opportunities and capabilities to the State of Florida, investing over $300 million in new construction and equipment,” Marc Bell, Terran Orbital co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “By the end of 2025, we’re going to create approximately 2,100 new jobs with an average wage of $84,000.”

It appears that Lockheed Martin is both a customer for these satellites as well as one of Terran Orbital investors.

Regardless, with that many smallsats in the pipeline for construction provides one explanation why investors have been flocking to finance new rocket companies.

Conscious Choice cover

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.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Tregonsee

    At least since the 1930s, it has been an implicit assumption in science fiction that eventually we would refer to Earth as Terra, or Tellus a very distant second. No doubt this is not the first, but the first I am aware of in the real world where Terran has been used. Well, with rockets landing vertically as God and RAH intended, I guess this was inevitable.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Relativity Space has smallsat launchers in the works named Terran-1 and Terran-R.

  • Edward

    When Google bought Skybox, they renamed it Terra Bella, although that was because it was located on Terra Bella Avenue.

  • Jay

    You are correct, Google does name their sites and projects after the locations of construction or natural landmarks.

  • Edward

    Come to think of it, Skybox may have chosen Terra Bella Avenue over other possible locations because of the street name. Who wouldn’t want to locate an Earth observation company on a street called “Beautiful Earth?”

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