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

Because of a $10 million shortfall in its astrophysics budget, NASA is weighing the fate of nine operating space telescopes.

Because of a $10 million shortfall in its astrophysics budget, NASA is weighing the fate of nine operating space telescopes.

Six of the projects vying for extended funding are U.S.-based. Three are overseen by international space agencies and have U.S. partners.

The NASA missions are: the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope; the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array X-ray observatory; the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope; the Swift Telescope, which tracks gamma-ray bursts; a proposed Kepler space telescope follow-on mission known as K2; and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which was brought out of hibernation last year to help search for asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

Also in the running are two European Space Agency missions, XMM-Newton — an X-ray observatory — and Planck, which studied relic radiation from the Big Bang. Planck was decommissioned in October, but its data analysis program continues.

The final contender is Japan’s Suzaku X-ray telescope.

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.


  • PeterF

    Isn’t this the same NASA that spent a million dollars developing a zero gravity pen while the Russians solved the same problem by using a pencil?

  • wodun

    If they can’t analyze the data, they should just keep the satellites powered on and sending data back to be stored. It’s not like it will get moldy sitting there waiting for someone to dig through it. Storage of data should be rather trivial at this point and if they need help, maybe the NSA will show them how to store mass amounts of data efficiently.

    Shutting these things down is like saying, “I am going to be away from the phone so I am going to turn off the answering machines since I wont be there to listen to it.”

  • Pzatchok

    Can’t Obama just ask some of his liberal friends to donate a little?

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