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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.

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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May 26, 2023 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

Embedded below the fold in two parts.

To listen to all of John Batchelor’s podcasts, go here.

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


  • mkent

    I’ve got to make a few comments on this broadcast as well.

    1) The OIG report concerned the engines and boosters for the SLS made by Aerojet Rocketdyne and Northrop Grumman, respectively. Neither Lockheed Martin nor Boeing have anything to do with these contracts.

    2) The Space Force’s contracting with private companies to build satellites is nothing new. The satellites in question will replace the DMSP satellites built by Lockheed Martin. Almost all Space Force satellites are built by the private sector. For example, the WGS, MUOS, AEHF, GPS, SBIRS, and CBAS satellites are made by Boeing, Lockheed, Lockheed, Lockheed, Lockheed, and Boeing, respectively. Even the NRO’s spy satellites are built by the private sector.

    3) Virgin Orbit’s demise was caused by their own mismanagement, not by the UK regulators. Nobody made them suspend launches while waiting for a UK launch license. They could have submitted the license application and continued to fly from Mojave while they waited for approval. (You didn’t see SpaceX suspend launches from Florida and California while waiting for their Boca Chica launch license.) Virgin Orbit chose to sit around and wait. That’s on them, no one else.

    In addition, Virgin Orbit chose to devote a staff of 700 people to developing larger launch vehicles before their first vehicle was even cashflow positive. They only laid off those people to focus on flying LauncherOne with their remaining staff of 100 people just two weeks before declaring bankruptcy. Had they deferred development of other vehicles until LauncherOne was financially stable, they would have had *many years’* of money left right now. The UK regulators didn’t force Virgin to do this.

    They chose these paths themselves, and they were fatal.

  • GeorgeC

    What do you think of this whole ALTO thing, Air Launch to Orbit? The two companies that were doing it, were using some rather old aircraft. Both of which aircraft were very expensive to design, manufacture, flight certify, then adapt for rocketry. Even for custom built aircraft you might have only a few compared with the competition making boosters by the dozens.

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