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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.


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Rocket Lab successfully launches commercial radar satellite

Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab today successfully used its Electron rocket to place a commercial radar Earth observation satellite into orbit.

This was the company’s 30th successful launch. As of this writing, the satellite itself has not yet deployed.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

41 SpaceX
37 China
11 Russia
7 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads China 57 to 37 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 57 to 56. The 57 successful American launches so for this year ties for third place with 1964 and 1967 for launches in a year. The record number of U.S. launches in a single year was 70, in 1966. That record should almost certainly be topped this year.

SpaceX will once again attempt to launch 54 Starlink satellites later tonight, having cancelled several times this week due to weather.

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


  • sippin_bourbon

    This is also a record for Rocket Lab. They had never gotten above 6 successful launches in a year.

    They now have 7 for 2022, and 10 straight successes. They have at least two more planned for this year, but possibly more, but as I understand it, it depends much on the customers for those missions. Since April, they have one launch a month. I am hoping they can maintain that through the end of the year. Regular launch cadence speaks to growing reliability of the system and the company.

    Interestingly, not counting the first test mission, the two failures were with the 2nd stage. The test mission failed due to a software glitch on the ground, that led the RSO to believe something was wrong, and terminating the flight. The Electron 1st stage booster itself has never failed.

    And as I pointed out in a different thread a week or two back, this is a private company, flying their private launch system, from a private space port. The US government has been only one of many other customers.

    I like that they plan to launch from the US also, but I wish it was from a private port here as well and not NASA turf, but I will take it for now. Maybe in the future.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Yes, Well aware of that drama.

    Progress at the speed of government.

    “After the committee announced that they could have a meeting to plan a get together with the intent to agree to discuss the issues at a future date, things really started to move forward. Decision making is hard process in a bureaucracy, and there is always the constant danger of getting ahead of oneself…”

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