Arizona court kills local government’s real estate deal for World View

The Arizona court of appeals last month ruled that a land deal between Pima County and the high altitude balloon company World View was unconstitutional, and could not go forward.

Per the agreement, the county would fund the construction of facilities, including a 135,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, with office spaces and a launch pad, on property it already owned. World View would then lease the property from the county for 20 years. In return, the company would hire more than 400 employees, with an average salary of over $55,000, and spend $32.3 million on equipment.

Twenty years of lease payments were expected to total around $14 million, estimated to be the property’s value at that time. World View would then have the option to buy the facility for $10.

Six years ago the Goldwater Institute sued, saying this deal was illegal according to the state’s constitution. Last month the court agreed, killing the deal.

Since World View remains in operation in these facilities, Pima County will have to renegotiate at market rates. How that will effect the company itself, which now hopes to begin flying near-space tourist flights by 2024, charging $50K per person, remains unknown.

Another Indian rocket startup tests engine

According to India’s space agency ISRO, it recently provided the facilities for the Indian rocket startup company Agnikul Cosmos to complete a static fire engine test of its second-stage rocket engine.

The agency fired Agnikul’s fully 3D-printed second-stage rocket engine Agnilet for a duration of 15 seconds. Agnilet is a regeneratively cooled 1.4 kN semi-cryogenic engine that uses Liquid oxygen and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) as propellants. According to Agnikul, the engine is capable of generating 3kN of thrust at sea level and would propel the upper stage of Agnibaan, the company’s under-development launch vehicle.

The company had said it hoped to complete its first launch this year, but that appears highly unlikely. Nonetheless, it has raised at least $14.1 million in investment capital.

Thus, it appears India now has two private rocket companies gearing up for launch in ’23, Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot.

Tianzhou-4 freighter undocks from Tiangong-3, while Tianzhou-5 prepares for launch

Chinese engineers have undocked the Tianzhou-4 unmanned freighter from their Tiangong-3 space station, even as other engineers complete the stacking of Tianzhou-5 on its rocket and move it to its launch site.

Tianzhou-4 remains in orbit. At some point it will be de-orbited to burn up over the ocean, but China’s state-run press has not said when. In the past engineers have kept these cargo freighters in orbit after undocking for long periods in order to test their capabilities.

Though the launch date for Tianzhou-5 on its Long March 7 rocket was also not revealed by today’s press report, earlier reports suggest the launch is targeting November 12th.

Virgin Orbit’s first launch from UK delayed by red tape

We’re here to help you: The first launch of a satellite from the United Kingdom, launched by Virgin Orbit by taking off from a runway in Cornwall, is experiencing prolonged delays getting its license approved by the British bureaucracy.

While the company says there are no specific issues holding up approval, the permit remains unapproved. Virgin Orbit had hoped initially to launch in the summer, but could not, and this delay has also delayed its later launches and thus reduced its profits in 2022, forcing it to obtain extra investment capital from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in order to pay the bills.

Meanwhile, the British bureaucracy struggles to issue the licenses.

The delays have attracted the attention of a House of Commons committee, which released a report Nov. 4 criticizing those delays and calling for more personnel to be assigned to reviewing license applications. “For this initial set of licence applications, the Department for Transport must provide additional resource to the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] to ensure that the licensing process does not impede the feasibility of a launch this year,” the report stated.

A source familiar with the CAA’s licensing activities, speaking on background, noted that the CAA now had about 50 people working on license applications, up from the 35 mentioned in the report. That included one person seconded to the CAA from the U.S. Federation Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

As always, private enterprise gets it done, while government requires dozens of people and months to simply fill out forms. Worse, we all know the CAA is going to say yes. The delay is simply a game to justify its existence, not to really accomplish anything.

SLS launch delayed until November 16

In order to give them time to make sure all is right after the coming tropical storm, NASA managers have decided to delay the first test flight of SLS two days until November 16.

A launch during a two-hour window that opens at 1:04 a.m. EST on Nov. 16 would result in a splashdown on Friday, Dec. 11. If needed, NASA has a back-up launch opportunity on Saturday, Nov. 19, and will coordinate with the U.S. Space Force for additional launch opportunities.

At the moment they have decided to keep the rocket on the launchpad, as they expect it will be able to withstand the predicted storm. If the predictions change however they still have the option to roll it back into the assembly building.

Pushback: Doctors sue to kill California law making it illegal to disagree with government

What the Democrats want to repeal
What the Democrats want to repeal.

I think today’s blacklist story about a lawsuit by five California doctors against a state law that was passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature and signed by Democrat governor Gavin Newsom, is a perfect blacklist story for today, election day.

Two years ago, at the beginning of the Biden administration, I noticed an immediate change in the behavior of Democratic Party politicians and their supporters. No longer were they whispering about their desire to silence their opponents. Suddenly they were open and aggressive about it, calling for blacklists and commissions, as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) enthused, “…to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.” Here is what I suggested they do:

Hey, Alexandria, I’ve got the perfect name for your congressional commission. Why not call it the House Un-American Activities Committee? You could subpoena right-wing writers and journalists to testify against their will in Congress, demanding to know their party affiliations. You could also set up lists of these proven conservatives so that businesses nationwide can blacklist them and keep them from working.

As it turned out, the Democrats did exactly this, though their commission was instead named the January 6th commission, supposedly focused on punishing anyone involved in the entirely legal demonstrations that occurred in DC that day. At no time in the past two years has that commission, or Biden’s Department of Justice, showed the slightest interest in investigating actual political violence. No, instead, the goal has been to persecute ordinary people and slander entirely innocent politicians.

Nor has the Democratic Party’s campaign against free speech and personal liberty been limited to this commission. I started my blacklist column at that time because the number of examples of blacklisting, censorship, and abuse of power by the left, both in and out of that party and among its supporters, had become so numerous I realized if I reported every case as it happened, my website would be swamped. Instead, I decided to cover one per day, to make it clear how much these thugs were normalizing this goonlike behavior. After two years, that column now lists more than four hundred examples of blacklists and abuse of power, almost all of which were done by the Democratic Party or its supporters on the left.

The law under dispute in California is a perfect example. Passed in September, 2022, it forbids any doctor from saying anything the government doesn’t like, or face the loss of their medical license for “unprofessional conduct.” Below is the bill’s specific but very vague wording, designed to allow the government to punish almost all medical professionals for anything they might say or publish, merely because someone in the government disagrees with it:
» Read more

JAXA test fires Japan’s new H3 rocket

Delayed two years because of engine cracks, Japan’s space agency JAXA yesterday successfully completed a static fire test of its new H3 rocket.

JAXA aims to conduct the first launch of an H3 rocket before the end of this fiscal year. The space agency will spend about two weeks analyzing data from the latest test to determine whether it was successful.

Two first-stage engines were fired for about 25 seconds during the test, causing smoke to billow from the base of the rocket towards the sea.

Assuming no new issues are found in the test data, Japan hopes to complete the first H3 launch in 2023.

India’s first private rocket company prepares for its first test suborbital launch

Skyroot, India’s first startup private rocket company, has now scheduled the first test launch of a suborbital version of its Vikram rocket for sometime between November 12the and 16th, depending on weather.

The rocket will be sent into space from ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre spaceport in Sriharikota, off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

The space sector was opened up to facilitate private sector participation in 2020. In 2021, Skyroot became the first space technology startup to ink an MoU with ISRO for sharing facilities and expertise.

…The company’s COO & co-founder, Naga Bharath Daka, said “The Vikram-S rocket getting launched is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle, which would carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of technologies in our Vikram series of space launch vehicles.” The four-year-old Skyroot has successfully built and tested India’s first privately developed cryogenic, hypergolic-liquid, and solid fuel-based rocket engines. The R&D and production activities extensively use advanced composite and 3D-printing technologies.

The company has raised $51 million in private investment capital, the most ever raised by a private Indian rocket company.

Hurricane threatens SLS on launchpad

A storm, now rated subtropical, that is expected to cross the east coast of Florida on November 10th with the possibility that it could strengthen into a hurricane now threatens NASA’s SLS rocket that is on its Florida launchpad preparing for its first test flight on November 14, 2022.

A map of the storm’s presently predicted track can be seen here.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is currently in a HURCON (Hurricane Condition) IV status, which includes implementing checklists and preparations for the storm as the agency continues to prioritize its employees in the Kennedy area. Based on current forecast data, managers have determined the Space Launch System rocket and Orion will remain at Launch Pad 39B. Teams at Kennedy will continue to monitor the weather, make sure all personnel are safe, and will evaluate the status of the Monday, Nov. 14, launch attempt for the Artemis I mission as we proceed and receive updated predictions about the weather.

Depending on the storm’s track in the next 24 hours, as well as its strength, NASA managers have the option of returning the rocket to the assembly building to protect it. If they do so, however, it is certain the November 14th launch date will be scrubbed. As they have a window of a number of additional dates [pdf] through November 27th, I suspect they will then aim for one of those dates.

One of two solar panels on Cygnus capsule fails to deploy

The failure of one of the two solar panels on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule to deploy today shortly after launch might cause some issues with getting the spacecraft docked to ISS.

Northrop Grumman has reported to NASA that Cygnus has sufficient power to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to complete its primary mission, and NASA is assessing this and the configuration required for capture and berthing.

The capsule does not dock directly with the station, but is instead grabbed by a robot arm, which then brings it into its port. The grapple point that the arm uses is on the end where the solar panels are, with the docking port at the capsule’s other end. What is not presently clear is whether that point is blocked by the undeployed panel.

Pre-election repost: Who and What to vote for in Arizona in 2022

Because I led a cave trip yesterday (and was also the oldest person on the trip by at least two decades), I am kind of beat today. I might get some energy later in the day to write up a blacklist column, but right now I don’t have the mental strength to do it.

So instead, I am reposting my voting recommendations for Arizona. While these recommendations cover the statewide elections, they are also tailored to my specific location in Pima County in southern Arizona. If you are in Arizona but in a different county you will simply have to do some of your own research. O the horror!

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Who and What to vote for in Arizona in 2022

Liberty enlightening the world
The citizen is sovereign, and your vote demonstrates that power

I first posted my election choices in Arizona on October 11, 2022, the day before the start of early mail-in voting in this state. However, I am now posting my choices again because there were two propositions (#128 and #130) then that I was unsure about how I wished to vote. I have now done a bit more research, and made my choices. I think my analysis will be useful to my readers.

I have also included more information about the candidates running.

I want to once again emphasize that though I am not partisan, based on the steady decline of thought in the Democratic Party combined with its increased passion for arresting and violently harassing its opposition, I cannot at present vote for anyone in that party. I wish this was not the case, but I also believe strongly that if American voters throw out as many Democrats as possible in November, it will allow for that party to reform itself. With the defeat of its present leadership, the party will be faced with a stark choice: find new leaders, shift gears, or die (allowing a new party to replace it). With any of these options, the voters would be provided with a new choice in future elections, coming from a different direction.

As a perfect example of the mindless corruption that has now taken over the Democratic Party, witness President Joe Biden’s statement this past weekend throwing his full support behind the castration and mutilation of children in order to change their sex, as advocated by the “trans” movement — which in plain English is a movement of cross-dressers demanding more power over everyone else.

The president denounced Republican states that have passed laws attempting to ban or limit sex change surgeries and transition treatments – like hormone blockers – for children who identify as non binary or transgender. Biden spoke with a panel of six progressive activists for the NowThis News presidential forum on Friday, which aired on Sunday. One of the six panelists was TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney who is documenting their transition from a male to trans woman.

When asked if red states should have the right to pass laws limiting access to gender-affirming treatments, Biden said: ‘I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to do that.’

‘As a moral question and as a legal question, I just think it’s wrong,’ the president added.

This corruption in the Democratic Party has also made the Republican Party unreliable, which is why the Republican slate in Arizona is so important. All of the state’s major candidates (governor, senate, secretary of state, attorney general) are not from the established party. They are mostly Trump outsiders, who are running on platforms calling for major reform. Giving them all a win will send shockwaves throughout the political landscape, on both sides of the political aisle. The establishment controlling both parties might finally realize they must pay attention to the citizens of the country, not their own wishes.

All these factors suggest that this is a truly significant election. or as Doug Ross noted in this excellent essay:

This is our generation’s fork in the road and the stakes of our decision could not be higher. If we are to protect our society from the inevitable decline and despotism that has infected so many societies since the beginning of time, in whom should we trust? If we are to shield our children from the tyranny against which our founders fought and so many Americans shed blood, in whom should we put our faith?

I contend that we must fight the anti-Constitutional counter-revolution using every political tool at our disposal. We must pledge to return our country to the rule of law, as it was originally defined by our founders and codified in the Constitution. For anything less condemns our descendants to the fate that Thucydides described. The choice is clear. The question is simple.

Which road will you choose?

Thus, below are my updated final election choices. Note too that I have not contributed any money to any of these candidates, nor have I received any money from any candidate or party as well. These opinions are solely my own.
» Read more

Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket launches Cygnus freighter to ISS

Capitalism in space: Early this morning Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket successfully completed its second launch this year, lifting off from Wallops Island and carrying a Cygnus freighter for ISS.

This launch is also the next-to-last for this version of Antares. Northrop Grumman is using up the last few first stages built in the Ukraine that use Russian engines, after which it will send the next three Cygnus capsules into space using SpaceX’s Falcon 9. It hopes to introduce a new Antares using a Firefly first stage following that.

The leader board in the 2022 launch race remains the same:

51 SpaceX
48 China
19 Russia
9 Rocket Lab
7 ULA

American private enterprise still leads China 73 to 48 in the national rankings, but trails the rest of the world combined 76 to 73.

Midnight repost: How the localized nature of Democrat vote tampering will influence the 2022 election

I first published this essay back in mid-July, because I thought it important to outline in detail the nature of the election tampering we should expect to see on Tuesday, November 8th, and how that tampering might be used by the corrupt urban Democratic Party to create undeserved victories in several states.

That analysis remains spot on, though it does appear that in some states, such as Wisconsin and Arizona, enough work as been done to mitigate or prevent the worst fraud. Republicans and other independent organizations in these states especially have taken actions comparable to what I recommended, and are aggressively monitoring the election process to make it much more difficult for election tampering to take place.

I think Americans however need to reread this essay, so that they understand well exactly what is going on when the results are delayed (as predicted by Joe Biden in one of his many ugly speeches last week) in states like Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, and Michigan. And if it looks like Democrats will lose in Oregon and Washington expect delays there as well. Those delays will be aimed at changing the results so that the Democrats do not lose.

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How the localized nature of Democrat vote tampering will influence the 2022 election

Based on the ample evidence of election fraud, corruption, and vote tampering done repeatedly by Democrats nationwide during the 2020 election, we can expect these politicians and their minions to commit similar election crimes in the upcoming 2022 mid-term elections, especially because the effort by some Republicans to reform their state election systems in the key purple states was so effectively blocked by Democrats, by many quisling Republicans, and by a willing leftist press.

It is however important to understand where that election tampering was done in 2020 in order to understand the election fraud to come, as well as creating a strategy to prevent it. As real estate agents like to say, “Location is everything!”, and it appears this applies to election fraud as well.

Summary slide outlining Powell voter fraud allegations
The 2020 fraud in Democratically-controlled Fulton County (Atlanta), Georgia.

In 2020, in states that were purple and where the final result was in doubt, the Democrats took advantage of their total control of the local urban voting districts in those states — where there are very few Republican voters — to tilt the results. In such places (Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix) the government is essentially a one-party Democrat operation. Many election districts in these cities have no Republican election judges at all. If the Democrats wish to commit election fraud, there is no one looking over their shoulder to question them, with some districts actually taking aggressive action in 2020 to illegally keep Republican poll watchers out.

Thus we saw strong evidence in all of these cities of pro-Democrat ballot-stuffing, of all types, from fake ballots to ballots counted multiple times to evidence the votes on the ballots themselves were changed by computer. The fraud however was strongly localized to these urban centers controlled by Democrats. The vote tampering was able to tilt the statewide results. but not the local contests.

For example, Democrat mayors in Wisconsin teamed up to have drop boxes placed illegally in unsupervised locations, where Democratic Party mules could stuff them with thousands of harvested ballots. The Wisconsin Supreme Court finally ruled on July 8, 2022 that these boxes were illegal, and violated the plain language of the state’s election laws:
» Read more

Iran test launches first stage of new solid-fueled rocket

According to Iran’s state-run press, on November 5, 2022 it successfully completed a test launch of the first stage of its new Ghaem-100 solid-fueled rocket.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division which developed the Ghaem 100, said the rocket would be used to launch Iran’s Nahid satellite for the telecommunications ministry, state media reported.

Saturday’s operation tested the first sub-orbital stage of the rocket, the reports added.

There are so many unknowns about this story it would be foolish to speculate.

Long March 3B launches communications satellite

China’s Long March 3B rocket today launched a communications satellite from one of its interior spaceports.

No word on where the first stage landed. The satellite replaced one that had failed in 2019 immediately after launch.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

51 SpaceX
48 China
19 Russia
9 Rocket Lab
7 ULA

American private enterprise still leads China 72 to 48 in the national rankings, but trails the rest of the world combined 76 to 72.

A scheduled Antares launch of a Cygnus capsule from Wallops Island in Virginia was scrubbed today because a fire alarm when off in the capsule’s control center in Dulles, Virginia. It has been rescheduled for wee hours of tomorrow.

Pushback: “I do not consent to your attempt to blacklist me.”

Victory
Image by freepik

Last night I discovered personally that every blacklisted person in America has a great deal of power. You need only exert that power to make the bullies who are trying to destroy you helpless and confounded.

First some background. In December 2021 I was blackballed by most of the Arizona caving community because I had disagreed with their decisions to discriminate against anyone who had not gotten a COVID shot. I and a number of other people had objected to the demands of these clubs that we be jabbed in order to come to a caving event. We considered such a rule discriminatory, even as it illegally demanded private medical information. We also tried to explain to the organizers that this policy made no sense because the evidence last year had already showed that the shots provided no protection against the virus.

Their answer: I along with two others were blacklisted from all further organized caving activities for the next two years.

Since then I have been mulling how I should react. I never accepted this vindictive action. Not only had it been done in violation of the actual bylaws of these organizations, it was especially vicious because it was done by people whom I had thought were close friends. I had now discovered they were not my friends, but responding in hate goes against my nature. The true oppose of hate is utter disinterest, and it has my goal over the last ten months to put aside my baser emotions and reach this more civilized state of mind.

Anyway, last night one of the Tucson cave clubs that had blacklisted us was having its monthly public meeting, in a pizza place. Since the president of that club had sent out a public invitation saying that all were welcome, I decided it was time to show up. Essentially, I had decided to follow the advice of journalist Matt Walsh, who when attacked for criticizing the purveyors of the queer agenda for their campaign to mutilate and castrate little kids, told them this:
» Read more

Long March 5B core stage crashes in Pacific

According to a tweet from the U.S. Space Force, the out-of-control core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket has come down in the Pacific Ocean sometime around 4 am (Mountain).

#USSPACECOM can confirm the People’s Republic of China Long March 5B #CZ5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere over the south-central Pacific Ocean at 4:01am MDT/10:01 UTC on 11/4.

The exact location has not yet been revealed, nor do we know yet if any pieces landed on any habitable islands. The odds however of the re-entry causing any damage or injury now appears nil, which is a fortunate thing considering the risks China asked everyone else to take.

Today’s blacklisted American: Instagram bans pro-life student group at Auburn for being pro-life

Orwell's 1984: Instagram's instruction manual
Instagram’s instruction manual.

The modern dark age: After the Students for Life at Auburn University posted an announcement on Instagram promoting the annual March for Life anti-abortion protest in Washington, DC, Instagram immediately banned the organization, claiming simply that “Your account, or activity on it, doesn’t follow our Community Guidelines on business integrity.”

When the students appealed this decision — noting that the accusation made no sense — Instagram responded with an even more bogus and absurd explanation.

Auburn SFL, in a statement provided to The College Fix on Tuesday, said that on Oct. 13, their social media director appealed Instagram’s decision and asked for further clarification. The next day, Instagram responded saying that a potential reason for the ban was that the group “pretended to be someone else,” student President Gwen Charles said via email. [emphasis mine]

Note the highlighted word. Apparently Instagram itself doesn’t know why its banned the Students for Life account. Or more probably, it does know (“We can’t allow these Republicans *yuch!* free to say anything they want!”) but recognized it couldn’t admit this publicly.
» Read more

FCC chief proposes agency reorganization of its space-related bureaucracy

At an industry conference today the head of the FCC announced her plan to reorganize and enlarge the agency’s space-related operations.

In a speech at a Satellite Industry Association event, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced her intent to reorganize the commission’s International Bureau into a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. That reorganization, she said, would give satellite licensing and regulatory work greater prominence and access to more resources. “The organizational structures of the agency have not kept pace as the applications and proceedings before us have multiplied,” she said, saying that the FCC has applications under consideration for systems totaling 64,000 satellites. “You can’t just keep doing things the old way and expect to lead in the new.”

Having a bureau devoted to space, she said, would go hand-in-hand with efforts to increase staffing and develop new regulations for space systems. “This organization will help ensure that the new Space Bureau and the Office of International Affairs stay relevant, efficient and effective over time.”

As noted at the article at the link, this reorganization appears tied to the FCC’s to expand its regulatory scope, including an attempt recently to regulate satellite operations and space junk that is clearly beyond its statutory authority. The agency’s chief counsel, Umair Javed, denied this in a quote in the article, but anyone who believes this denial is quite naive. Government agencies always try to increase their power, and if no one challenges them they are always willing do so, even into areas the law doesn’t permit them to go.

It is also clear that no one in the Biden administration has any plans to challenge Rosenworcel’s empire-building.

Sunspot update: The pause in the ramp up to solar maximum continues

NOAA has once again published its monthly update of its monthly graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. Below is that November graph, annotated by me with some additional details added to provide context.

Though sunspot number continued to be much higher than the prediction (almost double), October saw almost exactly the same number of sunspots as seen in September, which is why this new graph seems almost identical to last month’s.

In other words, the pause in the ramp up to solar maximum, first noted in August, continues.
» Read more

Mengtian moved to its permanent port on Tiangong-3

Tiangong-3 station, when completed

Chinese engineers today successfully shifted the new Mengtian module from its docking port to its permanent port to the side, thus completing the assembly of the major components of the Tiangong-3 space station. Shortly thereafter the six astronauts on board the station opened the hatch and entered the module.

The graphic to the right shows the station’s final arrangement, T-shaped. The station however is not fully complete, as the large vertical solar panels have not yet been installed. Based on past station work, these will probably have to be shipped up later, and installed during space walks.

NASA delays first manned Starliner mission again

NASA today announced that it has rescheduled the first manned demo mission of Boeing’s Starliner capsule to ISS from February to April, 2023.

The agency attributes the two month delay to scheduling conflicts with other visiting spacecraft at ISS. This might be true, but it also could be that Boeing wanted a little extra time to finish out the work it still needs to do to fix the anomalies that occurred on the unmanned demo mission, as well preparing the new capsule for launch.

This flight will carry two astronauts to ISS for about two weeks. The press release also noted this interesting tidbit:

The previously flown crew module, named Calypso, will be connected to a new service module later this year.

Apparently Boeing has decided to give names to these capsules, like SpaceX has. It also appears that the company and NASA are satisfied enough with the condition of the capsule after flying the unmanned demo flight to use it again for a manned mission.

Crash prediction for Long March 5B core stage narrows

Crash prediction
Click for original image.

List of the largest uncontrolled re-entries

This morning’s report by the Aerospace Corporation has narrowed the crash time and location for China’s out-of-control Long March 5B core stage to six orbits, about 8 hours, on November 4, 2022, with the prediction centered over a point in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The company’s graphic to the right shows the orbital tracks. Note that this prediction puts many habitable locations under risk, including parts of the United States, Spain, Africa, and Australia.

Since the crash is now expected tomorrow, expect further updates later today.

The second graphic to the right has also been created by the Aerospace Corporation. It shows the top 20 largest man-made objects that have fallen out-of-control from orbit. Four of the top six were dropped on the world by China, all within the past two years. All but one of the others occurred prior to 1987, before the U.S. and Russia took positive action to prevent such things. The one exception, Phobos-Grunt, was an unexpected failure, its rocket putting it into an unstable orbit rather than sending it to Mars.

China, like the U.S. and Russia, has signed the Outer Space Treaty. That treaty requires each signatory to control the objects it puts in space, and makes it liable for any damage caused by such objects. The U.S. and Russia have both tried very hard to abide by that treaty. China however has thumbed its nose at it.

We must wonder what China will do if this core stage kills someone when it comes down tomorrow.

American freedom sets a new yearly record for rocketry

Liberty enlightens the world
Liberty has now also enlightened the exploration of space

Capitalism in space: In 1966, more than a half century ago, the United States government was in a desperate space race to catch up with the communist Soviet Union, which for the previous decade had been first in almost every major achievement in space, from launching the first orbital satellite, the first manned mission, the first two- and three- manned missions, and the first spacewalk.

In 1966, the NASA and the U.S. military successfully launched 70 times in their effort to catch up, a number that has remained the record for more that five decades as the most American launches in a single year.

All but one of those seventy launches were either for NASA or the military, paid for and built not for profit but for achieving the political ends of the federal government. Many of those seventy launches were also short duration technology test satellites, whose purpose once achieved ended those programs.

By the end of the 1960s, this aggressive effort had paid off, with the U.S. being the first to land humans on the Moon while matching or exceeding the Soviets in almost every major technical space challenge. The need for such an aggressive government launch program vanished.

Thus, for the next half century, the United States rarely exceeded thirty launches in a single year. This low number was further reduced by the decision in the 1970s by the federal government to shut down the entire private launch industry and require all American manned and satellite payloads to be launched on NASA’s space shuttle.

Come 2011 and the retirement of the space shuttle, all this finally changed. The federal government began a slow and painful transition in the next decade from building and launching its own rockets to buying that service from the private sector. It took awhile, but that transition finally allowed the rebirth of a new American private launch industry, led by SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket.

Tonight, that SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket completed the 71st launch in 2022, breaking that 1966 record by placing in orbit a commercial communications satellite. And it did it with almost two months left in the year, guaranteeing that the record has not only be broken, it will be shattered.
» Read more

Vermont news outlet blacklists its own story to protect the queer agenda at a local school

WCAX: A modern news outlet, dedicated to censorship
WCAX: A modern news outlet, dedicated to censorship

Today’s blacklist story is a follow-up on an earlier blacklist story. In September officials running Randolph High School in Vermont banned all the girls from the school’s volley ball team from the girls locker room, so that a cross-dressing boy would have that girls dressing room all to himself.

At the time I noted how this action by the school was “so absurd that at first glance it is hard to believe.”

Well, the story has become even more absurd. The news outlet that first reported the story, WCAX-TV, decided in mid-October to blacklist its own story in order to protect and promote the queer agenda in the local schools.

But [on October 11th], links to the controversial story and a recording of the newscast from that night went instead to a page that read “404/Not Found.” When … asked about the missing content, WCAX news director Roger Garrity said the station took it down last week “to prevent others from using our reporting to attack people in the transgender community.

“We didn’t announce it then for fear it might further inflame the situation,” Garrity wrote in an email. “We are now working with LGBTQ advocates on a message to the community acknowledging the harm that was caused.” In response to follow-up questions, Garrity said the station was working with Outright Vermont and GLAAD to craft its message and would put it on the 6 p.m. newscast “as soon as we have it ready to go.”

» Read more

The crash of China’s Long March 5B core stage: first rough prediction

Long March 5B reentry prediction as of 11/2/22

The Aerospace Corporation has made its first rough estimate of the uncontrolled reentry of the core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket that launched the Mengtian module to its Tiangong-3 space station on October 31st.

The prediction at present is very uncertain, covering about 20 orbits (about 30 hours) centered on November 5, 2021 over the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Brazil, as shown in the graphic to the right. Though this prediction will eventually narrow down to less than one full orbit, it will never be possible to predict in advance the core stage’s exact impact point. As the margin of error shrinks, the predictions will come more frequently.

At this moment, however, the core stage’s orbit crosses over most of the habitable areas of the Earth, and thus all those regions are under threat.

Two Saudi passengers to fly on Axiom’s second commercial flight to ISS

According to one NASA official, Axiom now plans on launching two as yet unnamed Saudi passengers on AX-2, its second commercial flight to ISS scheduled to launch in May 2023 on a Dragon capsule.

The names of the two Saudis on the flight have not been released, she said, but that “we are working very hard with them on training already.” A slide for her presentation noted the two would be named after formal approval by the ISS program’s Multilateral Crew Operations Panel. That slide also stated that crew training for the mission started Oct. 17.

The Saudi Space Commission and Axiom Space separately announced Sept. 22 plans to fly two Saudi citizens on a future Axiom Space mission. However, while it was widely rumored the two would fly on Ax-2, neither announcement stated a specific mission. The Saudi statement said that one of the two people would be a woman but did not disclose how the astronauts would be selected.

Neither Axiom nor the Saudis have revealed the ticket price, though it probably runs somewhere in the range of $20 to $50 million per ticket, based on past known purchase prices by NASA and others.

Today’s blacklisted American: Amazon blacklists book because it says something someone at Amazon doesn’t like

Book banned by Amazon
Banned by bookseller Amazon.

The modern dark age: Amazon has without explanation removed a book about Islam, The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology and written by ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq, essentially blacklisting it from sale.

A search at Amazon confirms this fact. The book is no longer available there.

The publisher, New English Review, said this in its press release:

Amazon’s banning of the Warraq book follows on the heels of their earlier banning of another NER Press title, “Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal” by Peter McLoughlin, which chronicles the actions, or rather the inaction, of the police, social services, justice system and government in the face of the widespread phenomenon of very young British girls being groomed and then pimped out and held in virtual sex slavery by gangs of grown men.

…As usual, no specific reason has been given for this latest book’s removal. NER Press appealed and that appeal was denied within two hours. “The Islam in Islamic Terrorism” had been on sale since May of 2017 and “Easy Meat” since March of 2016. Both had over 85% five-star ratings and both sold well. Mr. Warraq is the author of 17 books and “The Islam in Islamic Terrorism” was also translated into Korean.

Nor are these two books the only books Amazon has banned. » Read more

Mengtian module docks with China’s Tiangong-3 space station

Tiangong-3 station, when completed

The new Mengtian module has docked with the main port of China’s Tiangong-3 space station.

The graphic to the right shows the planned design of the station. Mengtian however is not yet in its side port as shown, but in the main docking port in line with the core module where a Shenzhou crew capsule is shown docked. At some point soon the astronauts on board will use a small robot arm to move Mengtian from the main port to its side port. (This system is very similar to one the Russian’s used on Mir.)

Furthermore, the large vertically oriented solar panels have not yet been installed on the station. These will likely need to be delivered, and require spacewalks to deploy.

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