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I am now in the final week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you all, from the people who have donated small amounts to those who have given large sums. I cannot truly express how much your support means to me.


The support of my readers through the years has given me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.


Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.


In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.


Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.


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FTC will not block the purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne by L3Harris

How nice of them! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said yesterday that it will not block the planned purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne by L3Harris, which the company expects to now complete in mere days.

The deal, if finalized, would place L3Harris on a solid footing to achieve Kubasik’s long-stated goal of positioning the company as the sixth major defense prime.

The forthcoming acquisition has also garnered support from an unlikely source: RTX, the parent company of missiles giant Raytheon. Executives from the company, which rely on Aerojet to deliver crucial parts, have been open in recent weeks that while they don’t love strengthening a competitor, they feel Aerojet is in desperate need of new leadership. “We’ve obviously always been concerned about Aerojet. But I would say some of these things have been magnified by all these external inputs,” Wes Kremer, Raytheon president, told Breaking Defense during last month’s Paris Air Show.

Aerojet has had problems for years, especially because the rocket engines it makes are very expensive. It has failed to garner any market share in the new emerging rocket industry, remaining dependent entirely on very generous government contracts and the older big space contractors. But even here, it lost out to Blue Origin when ULA was looking for engines for its new Vulcan rocket.

It is likely that after this merger, the name Aerojet Rocketdyne will vanish, a sad end to a company whose roots go back to the very beginning of the space age.

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 print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

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


  • Having worked for a company that went through some of those sales, I would speculate that the Aerojet Rocketdyne name will be preserved as a divisional name of L3Harris. There is too much recognition of Aerojet Rocketdyne as a manufacturer of rocket engines to just throw it away. However, L3 needs to reform those assets into a lean mean rocket building macine.

  • L3Harris is one of my investors and development partners. I have huge respect for them. That being said: they should jettison both “Aerojet” and their own name, and call the whole shooting match “Rocketdyne.” History aside, what a great name!!

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