Readers!
 

The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.

 

The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.

 

Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.

 

To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
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Starlink now has over 10,000 users

Capitalism in space: SpaceX revealed yesterday that its Starlink internet constellation now has over 10,000 users in both the U.S. and elsewhere.

The update on Starlink’s customer base came in a petition to the FCC, with SpaceX asking that Starlink be designated an “Eligible Telecommunications Carrier” or ETC. The company noted that receiving this designation is necessary for Starlink to provide service to regions in “Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.”

SpaceX was awarded access to those regions under the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, an auction to bring broadband services to rural areas. The FCC in December awarded SpaceX with nearly $900 million in federal subsidies in the first phase of the auction.

“Designating Starlink Services as an ETC is in the public interest because it will enable the company to receive support that will facilitate rapid deployment of broadband and voice service to the Service Areas at speeds and latency comparable to terrestrial systems in urban locations,” SpaceX wrote in the filing on Thursday.

One of my readers, Steve Golson, emailed me yesterday to tell me he is one of those rural customers, as he is located in Maine.

We are at latitude 43.2°N which was too far south for their early beta program, but they’ve just opened it up to us. I signed up back in June 2020, when the Starlink beta signup first went live. Yesterday I received this email:

“Starlink is now available in limited supply in your service area. … Availability is limited so orders must be completed within 15 minutes of landing on the order page. If you are not able to order at this time, the Starlink team will continue to send updates as more capacity becomes available.”

I ordered right away, and I was notified that the dish shipped today, with delivery late next week by FedEx Ground. Cost is $500 for the dish, WiFi router, power supply, cables, mounting tripod. Monthy cost is $99. That’s the beta cost, but I suspect their final costs will be similar.

Now I’m getting a roof mount ready. You *really* need an unobstructed view of the whole sky. The very cool Starlink app (iOS and Android) shows you how much of your sky needs to be unobstructed.

He promises to give further updates as his service rolls out.

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.
 

2 comments

  • Cotour

    “ELON MUSK SENT ME A BOX” :

    Real world rural user reviews his use of the Starlink system:

    https://youtu.be/suqCktQwZvo

    He gives the system high marks.

  • Kyle

    Right now Comcast is the only game in town, dont like their service, too bad. However Starlink is getting closer and closer to offering similar prices and speeds, Comcast still got them beat, but who knows once Starlink is complete.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

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