Leaving Earth cover

In 2019 I obtained from my former publisher the last 30 copies of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. I sold about half of these, and with only a handful left in stock I have raised the price. To get your own autographed copy of this rare collector's item please send a $75 check (includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

I will likely raise the price again when only ten books are left, so buy them now at this price while you still can!

Also available as an inexpensive ebook!

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.


Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.

"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

Alex Farris – Anarchestra

An evening pause: Who says you have to play the musical instruments that already exist? This guy decided he’d invent a few hundred of his own.

Hat tip Mike Nelson.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.


  • Michael Dean Miller


    Screen shot looks like an afterburner injection shroud for a MIG-15.


  • Andrew

    MIG 15 did not have afterburners.

    Many people, when looking at them, confuse the MIG 17 of the VietNam era with the 15 from the Korean War. The MIG 17 did have an afterburner. I have no idea about whether this came from a MIG or not. Given the primitive systems on the 17 I would think this piece was not from that either.

    Here is a nice video showing the parts of “an” afterburner from an unknown jet engine.


    Oh, here is a video of the two machines. Very similar designs. The 17 is much more refined and described as a “Pilots Airplane.”


    and a page of images and drawings.


    Have fun.

  • C Cecil

    FYI: This is an aircraft bypass turbofan daisy mixer. It mixes the bypass fan air with the hot core turbine exhaust. This increases thrust and reduces noise. I used to TIG weld these sections together for the Williams FJ44-2. They weren’t quite this big!! The mixer we produced had an off-the-shelf cost of about $8,000. Evidently the mixer this man is making music with must be an obsolete or damaged part. I would estimate an air-worthy one would be worth $25,000. These assemblies are made from stamped out sections that have to be fusion tack welded, hand-hammered on various mandrels for precision alignment and then hand fusion welded with inert gas back-up. Great work for a talented tin knocker! The material is usually 321 stainless.

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