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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
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India’s Modi government releases its new space policy

After some hints in the past month that the not-yet-released new space policy of the Modi government of India would favor commercial space over the government agencies that have run India’s space program from inception, the newly released space policy [pdf] confirms those hints.

Essentially, the policy transfers power from India’s space agency ISRO — which has always controlled all Indian launches and space development — to other government agencies, which in turn are tasked not to develop new space projects but to “ensure a level playing field for the utilization of all facilities created using public expenditure, by prioritizing their use among Government entities and [private companies].”

The policy is unlike any government document I have ever read from India. It is short, direct, clearly written, and to the point. It clearly takes control of space from ISRO and gives supervisory control to two new agencies, the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACEe) and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), both of which are tasked to encourage the development of an independent private commercial space industry.

The policy is of course not perfect, as the power of the government bureaucracy in India is deep and wide. ISRO still has the task of developing new space technologies, such as India’s human spaceflight program. Whether it will be required to slowly become a customer of commercial resources rather then being the builder of its own we shall have to wait and see. NSIL in turn has been given ISRO’s past commercial responsibilities — such as launching rockets for profit — so that that the government bureaucracy can still compete with the private sector for market share.

All in all, however, it appears that the Modi government wishes to mimic the changes that have occurred in the U.S., transitioning from a government-run space program to a privately owned space industry from which the government buys what it needs (as outlined in my 2017 policy paper Capitalism in Space).

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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