Scroll down to read this post.

 

I am now in the third week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you to everyone that donated so generously in the past two weeks. I cannot express how much it means to me, especially since you do not have to donate anything to read my work.

 

Your donations and subscriptions have allowed 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.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.

 

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.

 

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
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

 

You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


Japanese company proposes building a module to add to Axiom’s space station

Axiom's space station assembly sequence
The assembly sequence for Axiom’s space station while attached to ISS.
Click for original image.

The Japanese company Mitsui has now proposed building a module — based on Japan’s HTV cargo freighter that did several missions to ISS — and sell it to the commercial space stations now under construction.

Mitsui has created a subsidiary called LEO Shachu to develop the module. What makes this project very likely to happen is that Mitsui is also an investor in Axiom’s space station, and according to the article at the link, a Axiom official who is also a retired Japanese astronaut who flew to ISS has expressed interest in it.

This story also helps outline the international landscape of the future stations. While Voyager Space’s Starlab station has been partnering extensively with Europe and Airbus, Axiom appears to be partnering more closely with NASA and Japan. The third station that has obtained NASA money, Blue Origin’s Orbit Reef, had made an earlier deal with Mitsubishi, but appears to have obtained few other outside partners, and that Mitsubishi deal only involved “development work,” not specific hardware. Moreover, Mitsubishi later made a new deal with the Starlab station, suggesting it had broken up with Blue Origin.

A fourth station, being built by the private company Vast with no NASA money, has partnered with SpaceX and ESA. It is also likely to be the first to launch its first module in August 2025, followed soon thereafter by a 30 day 4-person Dragon mission.

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

2 comments

  • M. Murcek

    Orbital space stations will continue to be a total waste of money, effort and resources until they are something like Skydeck in the Alex Benedict books, a place where commercial and private superluminals can tie up and replenish for real space trips.

  • Edward

    M. Murcek wrote: “Orbital space stations will continue to be a total waste of money, effort and resources until they are something like Skydeck in the Alex Benedict books, a place where commercial and private superluminals can tie up and replenish for real space trips.

    I have a different take on this. Although interplanetary or interstellar voyages will eventually be important, right now we don’t have those capabilities. In the meantime, space stations will help to develop the technologies and methods that we will need.

    In addition, space stations will allow for free-fall manufacturing, which should return to Earth some very useful materials and pharmaceuticals. The drugs will easily be worth their transportation costs, both up and down. Many of the materials will also be worth their costs. Once we have off-world sources for materials, their costs will come down, too.

    Space Stations — or rather commercial space stations — should be well worth their costs. Commercial companies have great incentives to reduce the construction costs and maximize the efficiencies of their use. Governments have not had much care for the costs, so they may seem inefficient devices, but commercial companies should be able to make them low cost yet extremely useful, in the next half decade or so. Commercial space stations should return goods and services (e.g. experiments) that are worth far more than the cost to build, launch, and operate them.

    The commercial space station companies hold similar opinions as my own, which is why there are so many American companies working on space stations or modules and why there are so many foreign companies with the same goals. For example, Airbus is working on a module for the American Starlab space station.

    More examples:
    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/india-now-has-its-own-private-company-building-space-station-modules/

    https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/japanese-company-proposes-building-a-module-to-add-to-axioms-space-station/

    Mitsubishi: https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/mitsubishi-joins-private-consortium-building-the-starlab-commercial-space-station/

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *