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You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five 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.

 

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ESA schedules first Ariane-6 launch for July 9, 2024

After years of delays and technical problems the European Space Agency (ESA) today announced that it has finally scheduled the first Ariane-6 launch, now to take place on July 9, 2024 from French Guiana.

The press release at the link tries to paint a glowing future for Ariane-6, as illustrated by this quote from Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.

“With 30 missions in our order book, Ariane 6 has already gained the trust of institutional and commercial customers. We are preparing to make Ariane 6’s second launch by the end of the year, followed by a steady rise to around ten launches a year once we reach cruising speed. It represents a splendid challenge for Arianespace and our partners.”

The simple fact is that Ariane-6 costs too much to launch and is not competitive with the new generation of reuseable rockets. If Amazon’s management had not decided to give it a big launch contract (in order to avoid giving that money to SpaceX), it would have very few payloads to launch. Once those launches are completed expect Ariane-6 to go the way of the dodo and the buggy whip, replaced by a new fleet of competing private European rocket companies capable of doing things faster and cheaper.

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

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