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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


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China’s Long March 2D rocket launches classified remote sensing satellite

Early on December 10, 2023 (Chinese time) China successfully launched a classified remote sensing satellite, its Long March 2D rocket lifting off from its Xichang spaceport in the south of China.

The state-run Chinese press released almost no information. Nor did it say where within China the lower stages of the rocket, using toxic hypergolic fuels, crashed.

As expected, China’s launch pace in December has picked up, as it has routinely in recent years. The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

91 SpaceX
58 China
16 Russia
7 Rocket Lab
7 India

American private enterprise still leads China in successful launches, 103 to 58, and the entire world combined 103 to 92. SpaceX by itself now trails the rest of the world (excluding other American companies), 91 to 92, though it plans two launches on December 10th.

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


  • Jeff Wright

    Most of SpaceX’s payloads are their own—otherwise China would have a lead. Worrisome

  • Questioner

    Mr. Zimmerman, why do you care – as non-Chinese alien – where within China the lower stages of Chinese rockets crash?

  • Questioner: And why do you not care?

  • Questioner

    Mr. Zimmerman: I don’t care because it’s China’s business alone. It doesn’t affect me either (just like it doesn’t affect you), the effects are narrowly localized.

  • Questioner: Yeah, right. And when China’s willingness to drop toxic rocket stages on everyone’s head when it launches its Long March 5 rockets, then you’ll care. Too late then, however.

    As it has been said, first they came for the gypsies but I wasn’t a gypsy so I didn’t care… Etc.

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