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Satellites In Orbit . . .

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SpaceX launched its second rocket November 10th, carrying a stack of Starlink satellites into orbit in a foggy flight, before sticking a booster landing at sea. The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:19 a.m. EST, marking the company's 25th launch of the year. It also marked this particular booster's ninth flight. "Falcon has landed," SpaceX Dragon propulsion engineer Youmei Zhou said during live commentary.

"This marks the 87th overall successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage." The launch attempt comes just 24 hours after SpaceX was forced to delay due to stormy conditions at the Cape. That morning started out with a layer of dense fog hanging over the launch site, which slowly dissipated once the sun came up. Sitting on the launchpad, the rocket was barely visible, but once it leaped off the pad and into the sky, the rocket was crystal clear against blue skies.

The successful liftoff marked the first SpaceX Starlink launch from Florida on one of its 229-foot-tall workhorse Falcon 9 rockets in six months. (SpaceX launched a Starlink mission from its California-based launch pad in September.) The company attributes the brief lull in Starlink launches to the roll out of new satellites, which are now equipped with laser-based systems to communicate with each other in orbit, and less with the ground.

About nine minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first stage returned to Earth, touching down on SpaceX's drone ship, for a successful landing. The ship, which was previously scheduled to support the launch of SpaceX's Crew-3 astronaut mission for NASA, which lifted off, swapped duties with its counterpart A Shortfall of Gravitas, which is SpaceX's newest ship. SpaceX officials said that due to the delays with the most recent crew launch, was forced to stay out at sea, braving waves ranging from 20 feet to 25 feet high.

Although the drone ships are designed to withstand those wave heights, the teams opted to switch out the ships (and the crew) so teams would be fresh for both launches. SpaceX's Starlink mega constellation is designed to provide high-speed internet coverage to users around the world below, particularly those in remote and rural areas that do not have access to traditional internet connections. [...or is this “Big Brother” filling the gap for the Rural areas?]

To date, SpaceX has delivered more than 100,000 Starlink internet terminals and the service has been approved to operate in at least 14 different countries, with applications pending in several others. In September, the company launched its first full set of satellites into a polar orbit, which will help the company provide access to people in higher-latitudes. With this launch, SpaceX has lifted 1,844 Starlink satellites into orbit (including the initial test versions), which goes well beyond the company's initial quota of 1,440 satellites.

However, the company has official approval for thousands more. This flight was the second batch of the company's recently upgraded Starlink internet satellites, which are now equipped with intra-satellite laser communications. [1] [I personally find this entire project extremely unnerving!]

The latest SpaceX launch of Starlink internet satellites into orbit has broken the private space firm’s own record for the number of rocket launches in a calendar year. The Falcon 9 flight, which lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida marked the 27th successful launch for Elon Musk’s company in 2021. The payload of Starlink satellites also means Musk now controls more than 36 per cent of all active satellites in orbit, according to data from CelesTrak. SpaceX’s Starlink project aims to establish a vast network of table-sized satellites around the Earth in order to beam high-speed internet to the ground.

There are now more than 1,750 active Starlink satellites in orbit, though SpaceX has filed paperwork to create a 42,000-strong constellation of satellites. Up to five more SpaceX launches are planned before the end of the year, with the next one scheduled for December 9th. Musk said the Starlink network would provide “near global coverage of the populated world”, [Egghh!] but will mostly serve rural and isolated regions that are poorly served by conventional ground-based infrastructure.

The venture has already faced criticism from the Satellites Constellation coalition of astronomers, who claimed the largest ever satellite constellation could prove “extremely impactful” to scientific advances. [the question is what types of scientific advances; DARPA?!]

The Starlink satellites, which typically launch in batches of between 50 and 60, have previously prompted UFO reports due to the unusual string-like formation, however SpaceX has taken measures to reduce their visibility to ground-based observers. The SpaceX boss is currently the wealthiest person on the planet, with an estimated net worth of $311 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His closest rival, fellow space enthusiast Jeff Bezos, has a fortune of $201bn. [2]

Ecclesiastes 5:8-12 and Matthew 19:21-24 adds an important truth to help us understand those grossly wealthy: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again, I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” [3]

Both Musk and Bezos are currently rivals in what has become known as the billionaire space race, with Bezos’ Blue Origin firm currently focused on sending private citizens to the edge of space aboard its New Sheperd rocket. SpaceX secured a multi-billion deal with Nasa earlier this year, beating out Blue Origin in the process, but Musk warned this week in a tweet that the private space firm risks bankruptcy if its next-generation Starship rocket is not able to achieve regular launches in 2022.

“If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability/ liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink and Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible.”

There has only been one successful high-altitude launch and landing of the Starship craft to date, though plans are already in place to perform the first orbital flight early next year. The long-term goal is to mass produce the space craft and use them to transport people and cargo around the Solar System, eventually establishing a permanent human colony on Mars.

“The magnitude of the Starship program is not widely appreciated. It is designed to extend life to Mars (and the Moon), which requires 1,000 times more payload to orbit than all current Earth rockets combined,” Musk said. “Starship will enable a quantum leap in deep space and planetary science.” [2]

The rapid advance of technology is transforming civilization in ways no one expected—in ways that are exciting and scary, ways we are only beginning to understand. Tech seems on the verge of recreating human beings into something new—something altered, bionic, computerized, robotic, superhuman.

The Internet “spiderweb” has descended and covered nearly all elements of civilization. The smartphone, smartwatch and smart home are growing into the “smart world.” Thinking about modern technology—considering hopes and fears, pros and cons, joys and worries—has led some to wonder if our unprecedented digital age was foretold in Bible prophecy. Is what we are seeing today outlined in any way in the pages of a book written many centuries ago?

Even today, we are already seeing governments and companies use technology in ways that are frightening millions of people. A recent article in media outlet Vice—titled “I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300.

He Located Our Phone”—begins, “T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.” Another alarm was sounded when professors Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger revealed how technology is robbing us of our privacy: “Technology is making it impossible to hide in plain sight . . . Facial recognition technology poses a danger to society . . .

If its use continues to grow and the right regulations aren’t instituted, we might lose the ability to go out in public without being recognized by the police, our neighbor and corporations.” The professors also showed how this will affect people’s religious lives: “You might have thought you could skip church without anyone knowing, but churches are being marketed facial recognition systems that will make sure your absences are duly noted. It won’t stop there.”

Every aspect of our lives, including our religious choices, could soon be used against us. The Wall Street Journal’s editor at large, Gerard Baker, pulled back the curtain regarding the “benefits” of technology in an April 2019 article titled “Technology Isn’t a Force for Liberation After All.” He wrote: “In the hands of competent and exploitative forces, such as, let’s say, the People’s Republic of China or Facebook, the long march toward enslavement by technology continues apace.

For all its benefits, artificial intelligence of the sort that drives facial-recognition software and a million other capabilities is proving an extraordinarily useful implement in the furtherance of repression . . . governments are using AI and other technologies in myriad ways to silence dissent, undermine opponents and promote their own ideologies . . . The possibilities are chilling.”

Truly they are! Again, Bible prophecies foretell the rise of a powerful authoritarian government—with a size, scope and level of control mankind has never seen. And advanced technology will almost certainly be one of the Beast’s greatest tools—one of its most effective weapons! China’s social credit system is by far the most sobering real-world application of technology today.

The Guardian describes it this way: “China’s social credit system [is] a big-data system for monitoring and shaping business and citizens’ behaviors . . . The system, which has been compared to an Orwellian tool of mass surveillance, is an ambitious work in progress: a series of big data and AI-enabled processes that effectively grant subjects a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behavior.

People with low scores can be banned or blacklisted from accessing services including flights and train travel; while those with high scores can access privileges. Think of this! A government system that monitors more than a billion people, tracks every aspect of their lives, and then ranks people with a score and doles out punishments and fines for not acting in accordance with whatever the government decides is right and wrong!

Think back to Revelation 13 and how all this can be used to influence and control people’s religious practices and every aspect of their lives. The foundation is being laid. An article in The New York Post chillingly reports: “One of the ways that people can improve their own social credit score is to report on the supposed misdeeds of others. Individuals can earn points, for example, for reporting those who violate the new restrictions on religious practice, such as Christians who illegally meet to pray in private homes . . .

Of course, as the state progresses ever closer toward its goal of monitoring all of the activities of its citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week, society itself becomes a virtual prison.” Powerful technology is already in the hands of people at the top of huge companies and governments and people like Musk and Bezos space wars. Many who are concerned are calling for government regulators to intervene. But what happens when governments are themselves the worst offenders?

No one knows exactly how this will all play out, or how these great prophecies will specifically be fulfilled. But within today’s picture of how technology is being used to control and harm people, the outline can be seen of the coming Beast power tracking dissenters, taking away their ability to conduct business and commerce, and eliminating those who won’t conform.

Long ago, the Creator God—the Master Designer and Architect of our physical world—knew our day would come. He knew that human beings, left to our own devices and given enough time, and with minds capable of creating and working together in ever-closer cooperation, would startle and amaze even themselves with their inventions. [4]

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