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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.

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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ULA sets Christmas Eve as launch date for first Vulcan rocket launch

In an interview for CNBC, ULA’s CEO revealed that the company has now scheduled the first orbital launch of its new Vulcan rocket for December 24, 2023, Christmas Eve, with a backup launch window in January.

The rocket will carry Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander, targeting the western edge of the lunar mare dubbed Mare Imbrium. It will also carry human ashes to be buried in space, from the private company Celestis.

Vulcan was also originally supposed to carry Amazon’s first two test Kuiper satellites, but the delays in developing Vulcan forced ULA to use an Atlas-5 rocket instead, that launched on October 6th.

If the launch is successful, the company will try to quickly ramp up its launch pace to 24 times per year, in order to meet the contract for 47 launches it has with Amazon to launch Kuiper satellites, as well as its contract obligations to the Pentagon to launch military satellites.

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


  • Jay

    24 launches a year? That is 48 BE-4 engines a year not including the ones that are being built for New Glenn. I know we have seen the B.O. production line floor photos of the Kent and Huntsville facilities, plus the test stand in Texas, I think they only have six production engines built. They better ramp up production quick and have a quality control crew that will not just rubber stamp an approval to meet those numbers.

  • Ray Van Dune

    The payload for the first launch being a lunar probe constrains the launch opportunities to a specific time of the lunar month, with any relaunch opportunity potentially being 28 days away, does it not?

    Strange situation to be in for the inaugural flight of a long-delayed major rocket!

  • Jay

    I believe you are right on the days. I know the distances between the Earth and Moon vary from 230,000 – 240,000 miles.
    If they cancel the flight, it might be more than a month to launch again. I do not know the stand down procedures, but I am sure it will take time to defuel the Vulcan, defuel the Centaur, remove the payload and secure/store the payload. It probably takes longer to put everything back together again and go through the check lists.

  • Jeff Wright

    Dear Krampus,

    I have been a very naughty boy this year, and would love to see some nice fireworks around New Years’

    —-signed, Elon

  • Col Beausabre

    Krampus is the German Anti-Santa, who punishes the bad.

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