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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.


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SpaceX raises another $750 million in private investment capital

SpaceX has just completed another round of fund-raising, gaining another $750 million in private investment capital.

This additional money now means that SpaceX has raised about $10 billion in private money, most of which is being used for the development of Starship and Superheavy. When we add the $4 billion SpaceX will get from NASA for Starship, the company now has $14 billion to build this new rocket.

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


  • David Ross

    … which he’ll need. Word is out that the tiling on the reusable second-stage is an absolute bear. The tiles mauled the Space Shuttle as well…

  • Edward

    David Ross,
    A difference is that SpaceX is still working to solve the thermal protection problems. NASA chose to live with it as it was. Had the problem been solved with the Shuttle, then the goal of rapid reuse probably would have been fulfilled, and the cost per launch would have decreased, too. As long as SpaceX keeps its eye on the goal, we should see an even greater increase in activities in space.

  • Patrick Underwood

    There is always the option of expending a few (or many) Starships to keep up the Starlink launch effort while the TPS problems are worked in the background. There are also Starship variants that don’t need TPS–depots, HLS and, perhaps, commercially sold upper stages. Expendable Starships on reusable boosters would still be much cheaper than any competitor for price of unit mass to orbit.

    If I were Elon (ha ha! as if!) I would take the Starship TPS out of the “critical path” of testing the whole launch system (including reentry, up to the point where things go pear-shaped for the unprotected vehicle–hey they might learn something interesting) and getting Starlinks on orbit. Start making some of that money back *now* rather than wait for perfection.

  • Edward

    Patrick Underwood wrote: “There is always the option of expending a few (or many) Starships to keep up the Starlink launch effort while the TPS problems are worked in the background.

    If SpaceX launches expendable Starships that do not reenter, then the payloads can be inside fairings that are discarded at altitude. This would increase the capacity of the Starship by some amount.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Edward, very true. That would be some serious mass discarded as soon as possible, increasing payload as you say. I’ve noticed F9 Starlink shots ditch the fairings almost immediately after staging, obviously for the same reason.

    There’s also the advantage of getting a much earlier start on a track record for the booster and the upper stage propulsion system, which translates into a lower probability of failure when the reusable version debuts.

    And there is the “optics,” how I hate that word, of—hard to articulate… if a fully reusable SS/SH fails, it can (will) be slanted to make Elon look like the hubristic fool “we” all know him to be, who well and truly has gotten too far over his skis this time. Failure of a semi-reusable vehicle doesn’t seem to offer as much ground for media-fueled schadenfreude—it’s more of an evolution of the Falcon 9, so failure doesn’t carry quite the same, uh, impact.

    Don’t get me wrong, for most journalists, any SpaceX failure is like a 55-gallon drum of week-old chum dumped over the side of the boat. Even many that specialize in space news adopt a negative tone toward the company, for some utterly inexplicable reason. TOTALLY UNRELATED to that subject, Space “News” recently put on their front page a shamelessly transparent “sponsored” Boeing puff piece on the SLS. And there’s that word again, for some inexplicable reason, they disabled comments.

    Inexplicable, I tell you!

    Well I can only hope Elon is reading this thread. He could learn a thing or two. :)

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