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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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Space Force awards SpaceX and ULA contracts for six launches each

As part of its long term launch agreement with SpaceX and ULA, the Space Force today awarded both companies contracts for six launches each, all to occur beginning in 2025.

According to the overall agreement, each company got five-year contracts to launch as many as 40 missions. ULA won 60% of the missions and SpaceX 40%. However, the delays to ULA’s Vulcan rocket will likely change those numbers:

In a report released June 8, the Government Accountability Office noted that the NSSL program office continues to order launch services from ULA and SpaceX amid concerns about Vulcan’s delays. “ULA delayed the first certification flight of the Vulcan launch system … to accommodate challenges with the BE-4 engine and a delayed commercial payload, nearly two years later than originally planned,” said GAO. “In the event that Vulcan is unavailable for future missions, program officials stated that the Phase 2 contract allows for the ability to reassign missions to the other provider.”

One of the reasons that ULA has not hurried its effort to make Vulcan reusable and more competitive with SpaceX is that is already has this guaranteed military launch commitment. It doesn’t need to be as competitive.

What needs to happen is a third or fourth company has to enter the market, giving the military other options. The military also has to cancel this long term launch agreement, which limits the number of companies it will do business with to just SpaceX and ULA. It would be much better to open the competition up to everyone. The ULA would be forced to compete.

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


  • GaryMike

    Politics is about payoffs.

  • Scott M.

    Robert, do you think that Rocket Lab could become that new provider, if their Neutron rocket is successful?

  • Scott M: Yes, of course.

  • Jeff Wright

    Space Force needs to push for Omega or Athena III at least.

    That keeps the energetics company happy.

    Athena III, like Omega, is an SRB derived LV.

    It lives, SLS has one less reason to exist.

    Besides, I could see Athena III in a giant silo—at the ready, ICBM style.

    An asteroid gets close, this thing does a dash on warning with either a warhead, or a mass produced SDI inspired science package next time an Ouamuamua event comes by.

    10 in silos, one Omega near a pad, because spooks love their hydrogen upper stages.

    That hurts the cause for Vulcan.

    America gets asteroid defense quick response, Old Space gets a second bloody nose, and Neutron isn’t rushed. It can be third once we kill Vulcan.

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