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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.

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.

10 comments

  • 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

    Chris,
    A couple sites to check are: https://www.n2yo.com/database/ which you can sort by country and https://heavens-above.com/ 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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