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We have now completed three weeks in my annual February birthday fund-raising campaign for this website, Behind the Black. Overall, this campaign continues to be a relatively weak one. Hopefully there will be a burst of support to change this in the last week.

 

Regardless, I am deeply thankful to everyone who has so far donated or subscribe. Your generosity astonishes and gratifies me. No one has to donate anything to read my work, and yet people do anyway. Thank you again.

 

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Draper wins NASA contract to put a lander on the Moon’s far side

Capitalism in space: NASA yesterday awarded a $73 million contract to the space company Draper to place a lander on the Moon’s far side by 2025.

The lander, called SERIES-2 by Draper, will deliver to Schrödinger Basin three experiments to collect seismic data, measure the heat flow and electrical conductivity of the lunar subsurface and measure electromagnetic phenomena created by the interaction of the solar wind and plasma with the lunar surface.

The mission is the eighth NASA has awarded to date as part of CLPS, but the first to go to the lunar farside. The only mission by any country to land on the far side of the moon is China’s Chang’e-4 mission, which successfully landed in Von Kármán Crater in January 2019 and deployed the Yutu 2 rover that remains operational today.

With this award, there are presently five American companies with contracts to put landers on the Moon, Intuitive Machines, Astrobotic, Firefly, and Masten. Masten however shut down operations recently. This new contract to Draper for almost the exact same amount that had been awarded to Masten appears to replace Masten in the program.

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

2 comments

  • Concerned

    Seems we’ll need a data relay satellite to talk to this far side lander. I doubt the Chicoms will let us use the one they put up to talk to their lander. What‘s the plan?

  • Concerned

    It helps to read the link:
    “Blue Canyon Technologies will build two satellites that the mission will deploy before landing. ”

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