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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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c/o Robert Zimmerman
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Rocket Lab completes Photon transport spacecraft for Varda’s private returnable space capsule

The private rocket company Rocket Lab has now completed construction on the Photon transport spacecraft that the private company Varda has purchased to maneuver and then de-orbit its private returnable space capsule in which it plans to manufacture pharmaceuticals while in orbit and then return to Earth for sale.

Rocket Lab made the spacecraft at its Long Beach manufacturing site to provide power, communications, propulsion and attitude control to a capsule that will produce pharmaceutical products in microgravity. In addition to providing support during the in-space phase of Varda’s mission, the Photon will put Varda’s capsule carrying finished pharmaceuticals on a return trajectory to Earth.

This is the first of four Photon spacecraft that Varda has purchased from Rocket Lab. Varda appears to be attempting to continue the pharmaceutical work that McDonnell-Douglas did on the space shuttle, and was on the verge of flying a full-scale production mission for profit, when the Challenger accident occurred in 1986 and ended all further commercial work on the shuttle.

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


  • Edward


    Space manufacturing has been a promise for so many decades that I can no longer remember. Now that we no longer depend upon the limited access to space that government has provided, we are finally seeing this as a reality.

    This decade is starting to shape up in the ways we have been expecting for almost ten years.

  • markedup2

    1986 to 2023 (and not launched, yet). How does a company survive a 40 year delay? However, they did it, congratulations! This is the 21st century I expected!

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