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SpaceX successfully launches another 60 Starlink satellites

SpaceX early today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to place another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing that constellation to over 1,300 satellites.

The first stage landed successfully, for the sixth time. Both fairing halves were also reused, and their recovery method has now been simplified:

SpaceX has recently appeared to adjust its fairing recovery strategy. The ships previously dedicated to fairing catch attempts, GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree, have been stripped of their nets and arms, a possible sign that dry fairing recoveries will no longer be attempted. Post-splashdown recovery has proven to be fairly successful, as recent missions frequently use fairing halves that have flown once if not multiple times before.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

9 SpaceX
6 China
4 Russia
2 Rocket Lab

Counting all launches, the U.S. now leads China 13 to 6 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.


  • mkent

    This was an important launch. With it SpaceX will be able to complete their interim configuration of 72 orbital planes of 18 satellites each. Once these satellites reach their operational orbits and complete on-orbit checkout, SpaceX should be able to start initial internet service almost everywhere. There will still be some signal drop-outs, depending on local geography, but they should be of pretty short duration.

    With five more Starlink flights SpaceX will be able to complete their initial constellation of 72 planes of 22 satellites each, allowing them to offer full service over most of the globe. Two Starlink flights in April (along with Crew 2) and three in May will do it.

    Then they wait on the FCC. The other orbits they have authorization to use they no longer want, and the FCC hasn’t approved their new configuration. The timing might work out. SpaceX has three non-Starlink flights a month from June through August, dropping down to two a month the rest of the year. Ramping up launches of a new Starlink design (the one with inter-satellite links) into new orbits starting in September might work out for everybody.

    An amazing feat if they can pull it off, and they’re getting really close now.

  • David K

    It is crazy that a single American company is launching more payloads into space than any country’s national space program. And there are several more companies coming online soon. Fortunately I do not think that the regulatory environment is going to change much regardless of who the NASA administrator is or which party holds power.

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