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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.


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.


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SpaceX completes two launches today, from opposite coasts

The bunny marches on! SpaceX successfully completed two launches today.

First, its Falcon 9 rocket launched 22 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This was the launch that had been delayed several times by weather, and then by a tecnical launch abort at T-0. After several days of review, it lifted in the morning today with no problems, the first stage completing its eleventh flight, landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic.

Then, about ten hours later a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off in the evening Vandenberg in California, putting 20 Starlink satellites into orbit, 13 of which are said to be designed for direct cell-to-satellite capabilities. This first stage also completed its eleventh flight, landing on a drone ship in the Pacific.

This post is a bit late because we had a five hour power outage in my neighborhood tonight, caused apparently when someone drove into a utility pole and knocked it over.

The leaders in the 2024 launch race:

66 SpaceX
28 China
8 Russia
8 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads the world combined in successful launches, 77 to 42, while SpaceX by itself still leads the entire world, including other American companies, 66 to 53.

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


  • Jeff

    If I reread the NSF thread for Starlink 10-2 mission correctly…

    First there was an unknown delay called on June 12. On June 13 weather scrubbed the second attempt. The June 14th T-0 abort caused SpaceX to swap the booster (B1073.16) with another (B1078.11). While the swap was in progress, they launched the SES Astra 1P mission on June 20. Finally everything aligned with the June 23 launch.

    Busy time for the SpaceX teams.

  • Richard M

    If they keep this up, they are going to need another recovery drone ship!

    But with another Falcon 9/Heavy launch complex coming into operation at Vandenberg next year, that is probably inevitable.

  • Richard M

    It also looks like we are about to see the limits of reuse extended a little further this week, as booster B1062 is apparently being lined up for a launch at the Cape this week – probably Starlink 10-3 on Thursday. This would be a new record, a 22nd flight by a Falcon 9 booster.

    Darned thing is almost completely black from soot now. But it just keeps getting the job done.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Richard M,

    I, too, figured SpaceX might need to put a fourth – or even a fifth – ASDS in service by now. And that still may happen. But, as Elon told Tim Dodd on the latter’s most recent Starbase factory tour video, SpaceX has been figuring out ways to speed up the turnarounds of its existing ASDS fleet and, thus far, it seems to be keeping up with the ever-higher launch cadence. Fascinating to watch.

  • Michael

    Actually, considering the present and future plans for SpaceX launch activities I’ve wondered if they might have need for a third man-capable launch pad – starship aside.

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