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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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SpaceX launches another 52 Starlink satellites

SpaceX tonight successfully launched another 52 Starlink satellites, using its Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Vandenberg in California.

The first stage completed its fourteenth flight, landing successfully on a drone ship in the Pacific. The fairing halves completed their fifth and seventh flights respectively.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

36 SpaceX
20 China
8 Russia
5 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads China 41 to 20 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 41 to 36. SpaceX alone is now tied with the rest of the world combined 36 to 36, but trails the entire world including American companies 36 to 41.

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


  • john hare

    At the end of five months, SpaceX is averaging 7.2 launches per month. World total average is 15.2 per month. Maintaining this pace would be SpaceX 86 and world 182 for 2023. Would be a fairly active year if the pace stayed there.

    Except that SpaceX, going by last year, has been increasing cadence through the year and has a realistic shot at the 100. Interesting times. What’s missing is another competitor such that we are looking at a race between entities instead of one against the world.

  • Bob Wilson

    This is the 200th successful launch of the falcon 9. Far greater than any other orbital rocket.

    “Such a performance is in uncharted territory for any orbital rocket, ever. According to Wikipedia, the Soyuz-U rocket had a streak of 112 consecutive successful launches between July 1990 and May 1996. However this period included the Cosmos 2243 launch in April 1993. This mission should more properly be classified as a failure. According to space scientist Jonathan McDowell, the control system of the rocket failed during the final phase of the Blok-I burn, and the payload was auto-destructed.

    Taking this failure into account, the Soyuz-U had a run of 100 successful launches from 1983 to 1986. This happens to be the exact same number of consecutive successes by the Delta II rocket, originally designed and built by McDonnell Douglas and later flown by Boeing and United Launch Alliance. Overall the Delta II rocket launched 155 times, with two failures. Its final flight, in 2018, was the rocket’s 100th consecutive successful mission.”

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