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SpaceX successfully launches another 60 Starlink satellites

Capitalism in space: SpaceX today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to place another sixty Starlink satellites in orbit, bringing that constellation to over 1,700 in orbit.

The first stage was making its second flight, and landed successfully on the drone ship in the Atlantic. Both fairings were reused, with one making a record fifth flight. Though the rocket has not yet deployed the satellites as I write this, it is expected in about a half hour and based on past history, should proceed with no problems. If there is an issue I will report it immediately.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

16 SpaceX
13 China
7 Russia
2 Rocket Lab

The U.S. now leads China 22 to 13 in the national rankings.


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.


  • Willi

    The Falcon 9 going transonic made for an outstanding moment in the video.

  • Willi: Yeah, I really thought something had gone wrong at that moment. But no, simply breaking the sound barrier with some oomph.

  • Jeff Wright

    I didn’t see the video…planes at that speed often have a condensation cone around them based on humidity. Is this what happened? If so- Musk should splice it with the prior landing footage. Tornadoes can lack a condensation funnel in low humidity-you look for the debris swirl.

  • Willi observed: “The Falcon 9 going transonic made for an outstanding moment in the video.”

    A bit of an understatement, that. It sounds from the commentary that every single SpaceX employee was going ” Oh _ _ _ _!” Just a momentary catch in the voice, but speaks volumes.

    That stuff never gets old.

  • Scott M.

    Scott Manley just published a short video describing the physics behind this phenomenon. He includes a nice clip of the same thing happening during the Solar Dynamic Observatory launch.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I also noticed that the SpaceX employees’ cheering was especially loud after MECO and stage sep… events that have typically earned polite golf-claps lately! A lot of folks got a real scare.

  • Edward

    The link to Manley’s video on the unusual transonic shock wave: (1 minutes)

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