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

A federal appeals court has now ordered the TSA to explain by August 30 why it has defied an earlier court ruling on the use of the backscatter x-ray scanners.

The law is such an inconvenient thing: A federal appeals court has now ordered the TSA to explain by August 30 why it has defied an earlier court ruling on the use of the backscatter x-ray scanners.

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.


  • JGL

    I assume under the cause of national security / patriot act, they will not be answering.

    In a related story, I just read a story about a Muslim cleric that made a determination that in the cause of Jihad a person can endure “sodomy”

    meaning that they are allowed to insert an explosive into their rectum in the service of Jihad (sodomy is apparently strictly forbidden in Islam).

    Based on stories like that, like I said I doubt that the TSA will be explaining anything.

    We can have another conversation about the story and stories like it and there sources being valid or invalid, but we do know that there are

    people willing to do such things.

  • wodun

    We all know that militant Islamists will go to great lengths to hide explosives in their bodies but that doesn’t mean the TSA shouldn’t be upfront about the health risks associated with these full body scanners.

  • JGL

    They would be able to argue, if they chose to in some othe runiverse, that national security trumps individuals health interests.

    Well, they might not come right out and say it, they will just not reply to the demand. Congress would have to get behind the effort and how

    likely do you think that is in this instance when the logic can be supported that there is a “credible” threat ?

    Congress’s first job is to ensure the country’s security and ultimatly its survival. You , me and everyone else becomes secondary.

    You might now argue that on moral grounds a governmental agency exposing individuals to what might be potentially dangerous x-rays has

    an obligation to inform the public as to any danger.

    To argue that on moral grounds would fail, in governemnt / leadership, morality is optional.

    Consider this, here’s a quote that explains the concept, I forget who said it: First we eat, then ethics.

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