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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five 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:

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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The big 25th anniversary of ISS is really still two years away

The first crew of ISS, from left to right, Yuri Gidzenko, Sergei Krikalev, Bill Shepherd
The first crew of ISS, from left to right,
Yuri Gidzenko, Sergei Krikalev, Bill Shepherd

In a press release today NASA touted the 25th anniversary of the mating in orbit of the first two modules of the International Space Station (ISS), Zarya (built by Russia but paid for by the U.S.) and Unity (built by Boeing for NASA).

25 years ago today, the first two modules of the International Space Station – Zarya and Unity – were mated during the STS-88 mission of space shuttle Endeavour. The shuttle’s Canadarm robotic arm reached out and grappled Zarya, which had been on orbit just over two weeks, and attached it to the Unity module stowed inside Endeavour’s payload bay. Endeavour would undock from the young dual-module station one week later beginning the space station assembly era.

Though this anniversary is nice, it really isn’t the most significant. The most significant ISS anniversary is still two years away, when we celebrate 25 years of continuous human presence in space. That record began on October 31, 2000, when a Soyuz-2 rocket lifted off from Baikonur in Kazahkstan, carrying American Bill Shepherd and Russians Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev on what was to be the first crew occupancy of the station. Since that launch humans have occupied ISS without break.

With the present operation of China’s space station, and about four American commercial stations under development as well as plans by India and Russia to build their own, it is very likely that October 30, 2000 will remain the last day in human history where no human was in space.

That is the significant date. That is the moment in history that should be noted and marked as significant.

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

One comment

  • Dick Eagleson

    Entirely correct. Humanity is never going to achieve a true spacefaring status if it serially abandons places in which it established a presence at great expense only to lather, rinse and repeat in some new location.

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