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SpaceX successfully launches commercial satellite

Capitalism in space: SpaceX has successfully launched a commercial satellite using a previously flown first stage.

They did not attempt to recover the used first stage as it was one of their older stages, which they are clearing out as they move to the final Block 5 version of the Falcon 9.

The top leaders in the 2018 launch race:

16 China
11 SpaceX
5 Russia

In the national standings the U.S. has moved back ahead of China, 17-16.

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.


  • Sayomara

    I seem to remember reading somewhere a while back the next Falcon heavy launch is going to use two block 5 side busters. If that is the case they will need a few. Which at this point only one block 5 has been recovered and that is going to be torn down for engineering reasons.

    Considering the slow roll out of the Block 5 it seems Spacex is having some issues. But I guess better slow and steady than your rocket blowing up. We haven’t heard anything about central booster for the next falcon heavy being tested either. Just seems a lot less news than we normally hear from Spacex. Or i could have missed it

  • David

    Sayomara, what is this “slow rollout” you speak of? One of the high level SpaceX engineers was quoted as saying the Block 5 development campaign was their most successful and fastest major project to date, beating all their previous upgrade and development cycles. They had a backlog of block 4 boosters in storage that they would obviously want to fly just to free up that barn space, and they are producing Block 5 boosters to take over once those are all gone. There is only 1 more block 4 booster left in the queue, after that it’s all Block 5. You’re assuming that they are “having some issues” because, what? This is actually looking like a quite successful and rapid rollout. Are you just anti-SpaceX, or have your expectations been raised so high that you just expected to see an instant conversion to nothing but block 5 launches every week once the first one flew?

  • Diane Wilson

    I believe Elon said he had only one more usable flight-proven booster in inventory. So they’ll need Block 5s for July manifest.

    I can believe that early Block 5s will get extra testing, but I haven’t heard anything about new Block 5 boosters at McGregor. The lack of news is curious.

  • Gene


  • Michael

    Is a block 5 a block 5 without the new copv or in reality a block 5 test bed?

    Does anyone know the status of the new copv?

  • Diane Wilson

    Last rumor I read was that the new COPV would fly on the first Dragon 2 demo flight, in August.

  • sayomara

    David I was mostly talking about the delays with the BANGABANDHU SATELLITE-1 launch. The Launch was delayed almost 6 weeks. Clearly something wasn’t working right to have almost a month of delays. I would rather they get it right than something blowing up but there have clearly been delays

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