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SpaceX successfully launches 52 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: Using its Falcon 9 rocket SpaceX today successfully put another 52 Starlink satellites into orbit.

The first stage successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic, completing its fourth flight. The two fairing halves each completed their fourth and fifth flights, respectively.

Note: The Biden administration yesterday gave SpaceX the okay to activate Starlink in Iran, in order to provide that country’s citizens an option for obtaining information blocked by its government.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

43 SpaceX
38 China
12 Russia
7 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads China 60 to 38 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 60 to 58.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Ray Van Dune

    I wonder, could SpaceX retire the Falcon 9 in favor of Starship before anyone else even puts a reusable orbital booster into service?

    If somebody forced me to bet, I’d have to bet “yes”. The only reason I would hedge is because the F9 may well continue in use long after Starship is in production, since it is comparatively cheap and easy to use, perhaps especially in a quick-reaction role.

  • mpthompson

    Ray Van Dune, if Starship works as planned, the Falcon 9 will be retired because it simply won’t be able to compete in cost with a fully reusable rocket. Consumables for a Starship launch are probably in the low-millions at most while consumables for every Falcon launch are still somewhere north of $10 million mainly because the second stage is not reusable. That is indeed cheap compared to other systems, but I’m pretty sure SpaceX doesn’t want themselves or their customers to spend this money if they don’t have to.

    NASA and DOD will likely want Falcon launches longer than SpaceX would prefer, but virtually everything else will switch to Starship as soon as practical. You can be sure that SpaceX will be lobbying customers very hard once Starship is a proven entity.

  • Ray Van Dune

    mpthompson, your points are completely valid, but my real issue is that the rest of the industry seems to be so woefully behind, that it seems they will be putting SpaceX is the position of having to invest in maintaining legacy versions of its own products.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Predictions on the cost of Starship launch are just that, predictions. But F9 could continue to be useful for missions that do not go to the same orbit Starship is servicing. It may not be cost effective to send the entire starship to polar orbit for a hypothetical 15 ton payload. I mean they could wait until there are 10 or 15 customer payloads, but that means waiting until they are all flight ready, and can be aggregated.

  • Dick Eagleson

    This most recent Starlink launch also set a record which I have seen remarked upon nowhere – the first 6-day pad turnaround in SpaceX history. Slightly less than 6 days, in fact. And SpaceX is getting ready to do a second 6-day turnaround of SLC-40 back-to-back. The next launch there is now scheduled for Sept. 30.

    SpaceX seems well on the way to meeting or exceeding its announced 60-launch goal for all of 2022. There is even a decent probability that SpaceX, by itself, will meet or exceed the all-U.S. “silver medal” record for annual launches of 64 set in 1964.

    SpaceX has already announced that its 2023 goal is 100 launches – 30 more than the 70 the entire U.S. managed to do during its previous busiest year in space, 1966. If SpaceX manages to keep putting together 6-day turnarounds for SLC-40, that pad, alone, could account for nearly as many launches in 2023 as SpaceX is looking to accomplish from all of its pads this year. With a rising launch cadence at its Vandy pad, a robust slate of Dragon and FH launches from LC-39A next year and the potential for multiple orbital Starship launches from Starbase, that 100-launch goal may actually prove conservative.

  • Edward

    Ray Van Dune asked: “I wonder, could SpaceX retire the Falcon 9 in favor of Starship before anyone else even puts a reusable orbital booster into service?

    Probably not. Dragon needs Falcon 9, and SpaceX is contracted to use Dragon to go to ISS into 2030. Meanwhile, New Glenn and Neutron are likely to become operational long before then.

    I am disappointed at the low number of reusable rockets currently in development. The reusable ones are likely to be lower price and certainly will be able to have much higher launch cadences than the expendable rockets. The companies that reuse their rockets will be the market leaders. The others will have to catch up or leave the launch market.

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