Scroll down to read this post.

 

I am now in the final week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you all, from the people who have donated small amounts to those who have given large sums. I cannot truly express how much your support means to me.

 

The support of my readers through the years has given me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.

 

Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.

 

In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.

 

Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.

 

Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.

 

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

 

You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


China releases movie taken by Chang’e-6 during its lunar descent

Chang'e-6 landing zone
Chang’e-6’s landing zone is indicated by the
red box, on the edge of Apollo Creater
(indicated by the wavy circle).

China’s state-run press yesterday released a short movie created from images taken by its Chang’e-6 lander during its descent to the lunar surface on the far side of the Moon this past weekend.

I have embedded that footage below. The final five frames however are very puzzling, in that they do not appear to show a smooth descent to a specific spot, but appear to jump about wildly. Moreover, the footage does not appear to show the actual landing itself, but appears to stop while the spacecraft is still above the ground.

It is possible that this footage is simply showing the spacecraft’s software searching for a good landing spot, combined with a decision in China not to release footage of the actual touchdown. It could also be that something has gone wrong, and they are stalling about saying so. This last possibility I think very unlikely, but it must be considered, based on the information available.

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 print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
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

3 comments

  • sippin_bourbon

    At this pace, the “next woman and first person of color” to walk on the moon is going to be Chinese.

  • Patrick Underwood

    WOW that thing sure looks like a LEM.

  • Milt

    Patrick — I thought the same thing.

    While NASA struggles to reinvent how to get to the moon, the Chinese simply “borrow” technology that has been proved to work and make improvements to it. And, yes, as sippin_bourbon observes, they will provide the “diversity” of skin color on the moon that NASA so desperately aspires to.

    More seriously, it almost seems as though The Powers That Be at NASA determined that anything that worked back in the 1960s is now verboten and *cannot* be used to go back to the moon today. God, no. Therefore using something (as the Chinese have done) like a scaled up LEM is off the table, as is the stacking / staging sequence of the Apollo missions. Nope, *that* worked, therefore we can’t use it again or make evolutionary improvements to that technology.

    Happily, SpaceX is looking to even earlier ideas (circa the 1950s — think of Arthur C. Clarke and those wonderful Chesley Bonestell paintings) about in-orbit refueling and reusable vehicles to go back to the moon. Back to the future, etc.

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 *