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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX tonight successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites using its Falcon 9 rocket.

The first stage completed its fifth flight, landing successfully on the drone ship in the Atlantic. Both fairings were also used.

The 2021 launch race:

4 SpaceX
2 China
1 Rocket Lab
1 Virgin Orbit
1 Russia

The U.S. now leads China 6 to 2 in the national rankings. SpaceX had planned another launch later this morning, but they have delayed that launch one day until tomorrow.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

5 comments

  • geoffc

    Interestingly this was the Starlink-18 mission, which jumped ahead of Starlink-17 that has been delaying, one day at a time for over a week.

    Also it was a 27 day reuse (jan 7th was last flight) so fastest turnaround (previous 38 days on a mission earlier in Jan, and before that 51 days) so far. And it is on a downward trend of time to refurb, which also means it is cheaper to refurb since one of the main cost drivers is man-hours.

  • wayne

    geoffc—
    great factoids!

    Anyone done a back-o-the-envelope guesstimate on what the marginal cost to launch each starlink satellite, actually is?

  • Cotour

    Biden purposefully curtailing Musk and Spacex in order to give the Chinese an advantage?

    ” It is unlikely that the Biden administration seeks to continue that policy, as the Biden team attempts to stabilize deteriorating relations with Beijing over the next few years.”

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/feb/3/biden-cancels-elon-musks-adventures-in-space/

    Nah, Joe Biden would never do something to give the Chinese an advantage over America regarding space. Silly.

    I wonder if “The smartest guy”, Joe knows, his son Hunter, is advising him on China? Nah, again, silly.

  • Richard M

    SpaceX has become a space superpower all unto itself.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Elon needs to learn how to offer a bribe to the Bidens… offer to let Joe be ceremonial valet parking attendant on OCISLY, and Hunter can do the honors on JRTI.

    Pretty soon, Elon’s walking into the Oval Office saying “Those drapes have GOT to go!!”

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