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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
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A detailed review of Virgin Galactic

Link here. The article not only provides a thorough review of the company’s most recent test flight and what it did and did not accomplish, it takes a look backward to reevaluate Virgin Galactic’s history, including the many engineering problems in the past few years that have slowed development and risked lives.

The most shocking aspect of this story is this fact:

The fact that VSS Unity was broken was never disclosed to Social Capital shareholders who approved the merger, or to investors who bought the stock after the merged companies went public under Virgin Galactic’s name on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 28, 2019.

The source who revealed the near-fatal February 2019 flight to Parabolic Arc questioned whether withholding that information from shareholders was legal under securities laws. A number of law firms have launched investigations into Virgin Galactic recently. Their primary focus seems to be the steep drop in the company’s stock price earlier this year. (It has rebounded sharply since the flight test.) But, perhaps they will carefully review the company’s public disclosures regarding the condition of VSS Unity.

In reviewing the building competition between Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin to fly the first commercial passengers, the article also confirms many of the same observations I have made about both companies.

Read it all. It shines light beyond the pr blather that you will get from most modern media as they rewrite press releases.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Jeff Wright

    Barnstormings’ End. If I really wanted to be ugly-I’d say this is the result of the toxic-level libertarianism of fighter/pilot culture-though part of me likes their low-tech religion. What we see here with the end of shuttle-and this piece-is the triumph of ballistics over wings.

    There are many rivalries in the cause of space:

    Public vs Private,
    Military vs Civilian,
    Solids vs Liquids,
    Pressure-fed vs Pump-fed,
    kerolox vs hydrolox vs methalox.
    Solar vs Nuclear,
    NTR vs NEP,
    human vs robotic.. but the winged vs capsule debate has long been influenced by “The Right Stuff” and the Orion Spaceplane scene from Kubrick’s film. Now it is my opinion that all these rivalries have their merits. There are inter-service rivalries within the military-even though each branch alone has a far larger budget than NASA does in order to pursue their own unique capabilities-though Space Force should make much of the logistics-heavy Defense Dept. obsolete. In point of fact-spaceflight has always been under-funded…and the handful of space-interested billionaires spoken for. I therefore call upon all space advocates to STOP attacking each others projects. Musk took gov’t money and works with the FAA, which is itself evolving. The go-it-alone approach, coupled with Branson’s insufficent support/passion-are at fault. Capability-not ideology!

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