Scroll down to read this post.


I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.


There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


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

3. 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
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

China launches three satellites using methane-fueled rocket

China's spaceports
China’s spaceports

The Chinese pseudo-company Landspace yesterday successfully used its methane-fueled Zhuque-2 rocket for the third time, placing three satellites into orbit from China’s Jiuquan spaceport in northwest China.

As China’s state-run press is now consistently doing, its report fails to mention this pseudo-company at all, recognizing the reality that it is actually controlled and owned by the Chinese government, though structured to function like a private company to enhance competition within China.

No word on where the rocket’s lower stages crashed inside China.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

91 SpaceX
57 China
16 Russia
7 Rocket Lab
7 India

American private enterprise now leads China in successful launches, 103 to 57, and the entire world combined 103 to 91. SpaceX by itself is now tied with the rest of the world (excluding other American companies), 91 to 91, though it plans two launches tomorrow.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Col Beausabre

    SpaceX and China should get 0′.5 launches each as China stole the technoilogy

  • Questioner

    Who actually has an overview of the large number of space launch vehicles operated by China and under development by the country? It is slowly becoming alarming to see the progress that has been made there and the potential that exists there. It appears that the US will lose its leadership in this area, as it has already done in most other technology sectors.

  • wayne

    “The Last Thing Chairman-Pooh Will Ever See”

  • James Street

    Wayne, you’ve probably listened to the Tucker Carlson / Alex Jones interview. I never really liked Alex Jones because he seemed crazy. Tucker began the interview listing all the times Jones’ predictions were right.

    As we’ve known, Jones says China is the major player with the swamp in the destruction of America… stolen intellectual property and technology, manufacturing the fentanyl that’s flooding our cities, black mailing and bribing America’s leaders, using America’s diversity to divide us with the brain washing techniques they’ve developed over decades, using environmentalism to expand communism, the covid scamdemic, flooding America with unskilled uneducated foreigners many of whom are terrorists, on and on….

    China is collapsing on many fronts but like America they are resorting to printing money to keep it afloat. It’s worked so far but how long can it last?

    Here’s a good 4 minute video summarizing China’s (and the United States’) economic problems:

    China’s Economy Just Got Whacked

  • Dick Eagleson

    Jeff Wright,

    U.S. methalox rockets are all newly-designed scratch-builds. Zhuque 2 is just a methalox conversion of the decades-old Long March 2 and 3 which run on hypergolics.


    PRC progress in space technology is only impressive compared to the lack of progress displayed by Europe and the legacy U.S. aerospace primes. The PRC is still more than a decade behind SpaceX and that gap continues to widen. PRC “potential” isn’t impressive at this point. The PRC has hit the same sort of combined demographic and economic “wall” that Japan crashed into in the late 80s and will now stagnate and retrogress even more rapidly – a decline that has already been underway for some time.

    The U.S. is still the world’s technology leader by a huge margin. The PRC, in particular, has no world-class technology except that for electric vehicle batteries. How long that lasts is problematical.

    James Street,

    The PRC is guilty of all the things Alex Jones lists, but none are existential dangers to the U.S. The PRC will, in any case, be less and less able to make mischief as it slides toward inexorable collapse. A decade from now it is highly likely the PRC will be rapidly receding in history’s rear-view mirror.

  • Questioner

    Dick Eagleson:

    “China leading US in technology race in all but a few fields, thinktank finds”

    “Year-long study finds China leads in 37 of 44 areas it tracked, with potential for a monopoly in areas such as nanoscale materials and synthetic biology”


  • Jeff Wright

    They got this rocket built in 3 years

    That is frightening….

  • wayne

    It’s a totalitarian dictatorship, they can build or steal anything they want or need, it just takes them some extra time.
    And…they don’t care about their population. They killed 100 million of their own people, and they will do it again if need be.
    Best to reach out and touch them, all the way.

    James Street-
    Yes, saw Alex on Tucker. (been listening to him, off-n-on, for 20 years
    Alex is to be taken seriously, but not entirely literally. (Much like Trump.) And to his credit, he’s a lot more coherent now that he doesn’t drink so much.

  • Chris

    So we have a Chinese economy in free fall – property and manufacturing . My sources are John Batchelor’s several guests : Gordon Chang and Ann Stevenson Yang among them. A Chinese military building at breakneck speed with the infrastructure to do so and becoming more belligerent.

    The US is weakening (from within?): Wokeism dividing and rotting the populace, unfettered immigration with the added feature of “military aged males”, Fentenal and other drug abuse – with legalization of some drugs, wide spread corruption in all levels of government, polarization of the populace (by the left vaulting toward any number of far left ideals) and a drive toward “climate controlled” everything.

    We have a US federal executive administration full of box-checked but incompetent actors led by who knows (China influenced/selected?) but with a senile figurehead.

    Then within a year a major change COULD occur in the form of Donald Trump (and possibly some swings to the right in Congress – if the Abortion issue is not the driver in many voters).

    This makes me think Mr Xi must act within the year.

    Buckle up!

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *