Scroll down to read this post.


My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Axiom sets launch date for first private commercial manned mission to ISS

Capitalism in space: Axiom has set February 21, 2022 as the target launch date for its first private commercial manned mission to ISS, carrying one employee and three passengers for eight days.

In making the announcement the company emphasized the science research the passengers — Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe — will do:

The crew activities of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) will focus on science, education, and outreach, conducting approximately 25 experiments while onboard the ISS. Critical data from studies in human research, life and physical sciences, technology demonstrations, and Earth observation will expand the applicability of microgravity research to new sectors. The crew has submitted over 100 hours of human-tended research to conduct during their stay on station.

The commander will be former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, who now works for Axiom. This will be his fifth spaceflight.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • MDN


    I didn’t know that Axiom had developed a time machine. How do we tune in to watch last February? : )

  • MDN: Wiseguy. I have fixed the typo. Thank you.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I was going to observe that the mission is quite behind schedule already, but the time-machine explanation worked for me too.

    Ps. None of the linked NASA pieces mention the booster to be used, so I am assuming it is a Falcon-9. Elon seems to have the ride of choice, what with Atlas all used up and Vulcan and New Glenn lacking a critical element, the engine! Some of them might be on a Falcon Heavy, I guess.

  • Ray Van Dune: Once again, you are typing on the very resource that would answer your questions. Do a search for Axiom and Dragon. I am sure you will find the post that tells you the booster and capsule for this mission.

    Note too that this manned mission can only fly right now on Dragon. Do you really think a Dragon will be stacked on anything but a Falcon 9?

  • Richard M

    It doesn’t appear that a Falcon 9 booster has been assigned to Axiom-1 – at least not one that has been identified publicly – but most likely, I’d guess, it will be one of the more lightly used ones, like B1062 or B1067 – probably 1062, since that was used for the only other private space mission so far (Inspiration4).

    But the Dragon will definitely be Resilience. Clearly it’s being dedicated to commercial missions, with Endeavour and Endurance set aside for NASA missions.

  • RVD

    “Do you really think a Dragon will be stacked on anything but a Falcon 9?”

    My comment applied to the listed LUNAR missions, none of which are manned. I enjoy conversing about things here, and “conversing” implies I might ask an inaccurate or superfluous question. I’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • RVD: Please don’t be offended. I just like to remind people that this website is a valuable resource.

    As to the boosters used by these unmanned missions, see this post on BtB:

    SpaceX grabbing 90% of the launch contracts to the Moon

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *