Scroll down to read this post.


In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work 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
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Chinese official outlines that country’s Mars exploration plan

The new colonial movement: According to an official from China’s prime rocket manufacturer, China is now beginning to plan for the manned exploration of Mars.

Wang Xiaojun, head of the state-owned China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), outlined the plans in his speech themed “The Space Transportation System of Human Mars Exploration” at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2021) via a virtual link, the academy told the Global Times on Wednesday.

After reviewing the successful mission of the Tianwen-1 probe mission, the country’s first interplanetary exploration that achieved a successful orbiting, landing and roving the Red Planet all in one go, Wang introduced the three-step plan for future Mars expedition.

At the primary stage, or the technology preparation phase, androids will be launched whose mission include a Mars sample return mission and the exploration of a Mars base site. Next will be a manned Mars mission, and the building of a Mars base will be carried out. The third stage will be attempting shuttling large scale Earth-Mars cargo fleet and large scale development of the Red Planet.

The timetable for such mission launches will be 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041 and 2043, among others, the academy said.

While this is very far in the future, you can’t make it happen if you don’t get started early. China’s government is clearly looking at getting started, and appears to be following the same timetable approach it did for its space station. They began planning it about a decade ago, and are now launching and assembling it.

China’s decision to aim for Mars proves that the competition to get there is heating up considerably, and is likely their response to Elon Musk’s determined effort to make it possible.

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.


  • David K

    When your target is over a decade from now, nobody should take you seriously. Imagine if Colombus had said we want to find a continent by sailing west 5 centuries from now (1992). I mean sure, you might get there, but somebody else is going to do it first.

  • Michael

    “When your target is over a decade from now, nobody should take you seriously. ”

    I think that is a really short sighted attitude. It takes time to do these things. Actually on reading this the first thing that crossed my mind was that someone has their sticky fingers in the SpaceX print crib.

  • Imagine if Colombus had said we want to find a continent by sailing west 5 centuries from now (1992). I mean sure, you might get there, but somebody else is going to do it first.

    It wasn’t Columbus who said such a thing initially, but Aristotle — in the 4th century BC — at the end of his empirical proof of the Earth’s sphericity.

    As Aristotle wrote — one might note: more than a century before Eratosthenes: [quoting…]

    All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but also that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent. Hence one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one. […]

    Also, those mathematicians who try to calculate the size of the earth’s circumference arrive at the figure 400,000 stades. This indicates not only that the earth’s mass is spherical in shape, but also that as compared with the stars it is not of great size.

    (Aristotle, “On the Heavens,” Book II, Chapter 14, The Works of Aristotle, Oxford University Press)

    Then after such a good, solid clue from Aristotle (the most famous scholar in history, at least in the West) — it took nearly 2 millennia more before such an expedition was even attempted.

  • Alton

    Before Columbus, the Chinese Fleet Admiral was First to circumnavigate Earth circa 1421.
    The next Emperor had the Admirals 6,000 ship fleet broken up, thus We do not speak Mandarin today. The first time the West built a fleet as large was D-Day and the invasion of Normandy. China under the Mongols would build a second 6k fleet which a Typhoon would destroy as it staged an invasion of Japan. 1200s.
    Zheng He, (Court Eunuch)may be the Greatest Naval explorer of ALL Time:.
    But the politicals of the Court decided not to enlarge on their discoveries and wiped out all their gains. This time the CCP is not repeating the nations historical failures.
    Now that is long range planning.

  • wayne

    “Reach out and touch some….”

  • Jeff Wright

    This in from Prof. David Winkler at La Trobe Univ. Flinders Univ…from “COVID-I9 origins still a mystery: study finds virus was highly human adapted” . Print this out before it is gone!

  • MDN

    How is this news? Elon Musk started evangelizing this basic idea 5 years ago when he started pursuing Starship, and he’s about ready to do the first near orbital test of that vehicle sometime THIS year.

    Elon presented his thoughts on the SpaceX vision and intentions for Starship a few years ago in the video following, jump to the Q&A at 1 hour and 15 minutes where he outlines the scale expected and prepare to be jaw droppingly stunned. NASA, Roscosmos, the Chicoms, and everyone else are already massively behind.

  • Jeff Wright

    They are re-doing CZ-9? Next Big Future reports the WHO chief scientist was sued over Ivermecten by the Indian Bar.

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 *