The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.


The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.


Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.


To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
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c/o Robert Zimmerman
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Capitalism in Space to be released early next week

After several months of delay for a variety of reasons that I do not need to go into, my policy paper for the Center of New American Security has gone to the printers will be released to the public early next week. The title: Capitalism in Space: Private Enterprise and Competition Reshape the Global Aerospace Launch Industry.

I will have the pdf of this paper available here on Behind the Black the instant it is available. To give everyone a taste, here are my concluding words:

A close look at these recommendations will reveal one common thread. Each is focused on shifting power and regulatory authority away from the federal government and increasing the freedom of American companies to act as they see fit to meet the demands of the market. The key word that defines this common thread is freedom, a fundamental principle that has been aspired to since the nation’s founding. Political leaders from both parties have made the concept a central core tenet of American policy. Democrat John Kennedy stated that his commitment to go to the Moon was a “stand for freedom” in the Cold War. Republican Ronald Reagan proposed “Freedom” as the name for the new space station, and viewed it as a platform for promoting private enterprise in space.

Freedom is actually a very simple idea. Give people and companies the freedom to act, in a competitive environment that encourages intelligent and wise action, and they will respond intelligently and wisely.

The United States’ history proves that freedom can work. It is time that it prove it again, in space.

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.


  • Orion314


  • wayne

    Good deal. Look forward!

  • ken anthony

    Why is freedom such a scary concept to so many?

  • wayne

    Mr. Z;
    -Any appearances on C-Span in the future, to promote the Policy Paper?
    -I will be forwarding a copy to a reporter at our regional Business Journal. Is there a “media kit” available to go with it?
    Personally, I’d welcome a short essay along the lines of, “how does a Policy paper get written for a think-tank.”

    tangentially– the CATO folks have just released their “2017 Handbook for Policymakers.” Haven’t read the whole manual yet but a cursory look and I’m not seeing any specific chapters on Space. (They do a surprisingly limited amount of work on Space and it’s generally defense-related.)

    ken anthony–
    Freedom, is a scary thing. You have to make choices all the time and live with the consequences. And… if you aren’t practiced, you don’t become proficient.
    “Critical Thinking,” is a necessary survival skill we need to be teaching our children, instead they get indoctrinated.

  • Wayne: I have no idea if there will be a press kit. I doubt it. The report itself is easy to read and put forth its conclusions quite clearly. I will write up something for BtB when it is released. Unfortunately, the timing here for me is bad. CNAS has timed the release just before I leave for a weeklong caving expedition to Belize next Wednesday. It makes things difficult.

    I think I will write up my announcement essay for BtB beforehand, and have it ready to go so that I can post it with a mere click while in Belize. That way I can push things even when I am caving.

    As for a CSPAN appearance, I have no idea. I do not get the impression that CNAS has a publicity department designed to schedule these things. Your question however has prompted me to ask them.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.
    Thank you, and “cool!” (I’d like to know how Belize is doing these days. I never see the “Buy Belize” adverts anymore.)

    CNAS does have a bit of their own video, at their own site. A cursory search at C-span only yields 15 appearances ( but…all longer format) and…primarily in the last 2 years.

    yeah… “media kits,” have been reduced to a 1 page pdf- file these days.

    Total tangent–You should start prepping for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 next year. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an author! (I would suggest something along the lines of a limited press run, hard-copy edition, with added content. Lots-o-opportunities possible.)

    As I am want to do — there’s a decent video at c-span…

  • Edward

    A free society can do it better.

    Excellent interview, Robert. Thanks for the find, wayne.

  • wayne


    Take a look at:
    “The Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It”
    Explorer’s Club

  • wayne

    I searched on Bing today (2/21) for “capitalism in space.”
    -5 of 6 listing’s pointed to past newspaper (the Usual suspects) articles featuring Obama and how he “brought capitalism to space,” with “innovative partnership programs.” (blah-blah-blah)
    on the upside–the other listing pointed to this essay.

  • Wayne: Those search results will change in the next week or so.

    We are now aiming for a March 2 release, mainly because I will be in Belize starting tomorrow until March 1 and won’t be available until then for press opportunities.

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