Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work, as I take no advertisements nor accept any sponsors in order to keep the website clean, easy to read, and to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest. Your support leaves me entirely independent, able to say whatever I think while being free from censorship or reprisals.


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

SpaceX launches another 49 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX tonight used its Falcon 9 rocket to launch 49 Starlink satellites into orbit.

The first stage successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, completing its 10th flight. SpaceX now has three four first stages that have completed at least ten flights. (The correction comes from a comment by one of my readers below.)

The 2022 launch race:

3 SpaceX
1 Virgin Orbit
1 China

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 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


  • Alton

    Watching their launches in real time NEVER gets old……..
    Was there person in Dec 1972 for the last crewed Apollo moon launch.

  • geoffc

    Core 1051 – 11 flights
    Core 1049 – 10 flights
    Core 1058 – 10 flights
    Core 1060 – 10 flights

    So yes, 3 at 10, but also one at 11. So 4 at 10 or more flights.

    1061 trails at 5 flights, and 1062 at 4 flights.

  • geoffc

    Nice infographic of all the flightworthy cores…

    Packs a lot of data into a small space.

  • Richard M

    As Eric Berger noted, this was SpaceX’s eighth rocket launch in 50 days. That’s better than a launch a week.

    Pretty amazing cadence.

  • Geoffc: Nice graphic. Indicates that SpaceX now has a fleet of 18 reliable boosters, with a number unused but ready to go if needed, and all capable of launching hundreds of times. Essentially, the company no longer needs to spend much getting a Falcon 9 ready for launch, making those launches incredibly cheap when compared to past launch costs.

  • geoffc

    Alas, they still need to make a lot of second stages, but they are smaller and simpler than first stages. But a much smaller cost than a full booster that is discarded.

    Consider… They launched 32 times last year, so while they introduced only 1 or 2 new first stages, they built 32 second stages!

    And this year is looking like more! So the factory is not idle at all, which is also good for keeping costs manageable. (Building one core every 2 years (cough SLS cough) is a recipe for cost overruns).

  • Questioner

    “Elon Musk’s Starlink Is Causing More Streaks to Appear in Space Images”

    “Photo-bombing Starlink satellites are increasingly complicating ground-based observations”

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 *