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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.


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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX early this morning successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit using its Falcon 9 rocket.

The company also successfully used a first stage for a record ninth time, landing it on its drone ship in the Atlantic. The booster did all nine flights in just over two years.

The 2021 launch race:

8 SpaceX
6 China
3 Russia
1 Rocket Lab
1 Virgin Orbit
1 Northrop Grumman
1 India

The U.S. now leads China 11 to 6 in the national rankings.

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.


  • Patrick Underwood

    I read on NSF that this first stage, 1051, has now lifted more mass into orbit than any single booster in history, surpassing Skylab’s S-1C.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Thinking further, this means that, on the Artemis launch schedule, a single F9 S1 could put more payload up than SLS in the same time period!

  • Ray Van Dune

    And even more impressive, the SpaceX announcer was again that beautiful blonde lady engineer! Vaarroooom! She certainly ignites my interest!

  • All this is fine to think about Man’s conquest of space. That being said, I am a star watcher, satellites travelling through low Earth space is annoying.

  • Jeff Wright

    That was why I liked the Orbital Antenna Farm concept.

  • Chris

    Hi bob,

    So I wonder if a satellite count is also appropriate? Perhaps by country or just the major communication webs.
    My suggestion centers around how far is SpaceX ahead of the next competitor or how many more satellites – that are active – is the US ahead or behind China or Russia?
    I am not sure where to find this data.

  • Chris: My focus is the launch industry, something that for far too long was ignored by space and science reporters and experts. While what gets launched is of course of interest, I think it right now is more important to see who is gaining the ability to launch things, fast, efficiently, and at low cost.

    All else becomes irrelevant otherwise — as we have seen for the past fifty years.

    So, if you want to keep count of satellites, go for it. Another reader, LocalFluff, had started to add a count for payload, but has apparently stopped. All this requires work that I don’t have time for.

  • Chris

    Fully understood Bob

  • Jay

    A couple sites to check are: which you can sort by country and I use these for tracking.

    If you are talking about competitors to the Starlink system- currently at 1197 operational satellites (6 have failed), Oneweb is the next closest with 110 satellites.

  • Jeff Wright

    Thor/Delta iterations still holds a bit of a lead, except for R-7. Falcon is gaining on them.

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