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My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four 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
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Curiosity’s upcoming travels on Mount Sharp

Curiosity's view on September 6, 2023
Click for original image.

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

The panorama above, cropped, reduced, sharpened, and annotated to post here, was created on September 6, 2023 from eleven pictures taken by the right navigation camera on the Mars rover Curiosity.

This mosaic looks south, into the slot canyon dubbed Gediz Valles. The red dotted line on the panorama as well as the overview map to the right indicates the planned route the science team plans on traveling as it sends Curiosity higher and higher on Mount Sharp. On the overview map Curiosity’s present position is indicated by the blue dot. The yellow lines show the approximate area covered by the panorama above.

As noted in today’s update from the science team:

The rover is currently driving across bumpy terrain consisting of rounded bedrock sticking up between dark sand and drift as she drives south, and slightly uphill, along the Mt. Sharp Ascent Route. Due to the rugged ground, the rover sometimes ends her drive with a wheel or two perched on a rock.

When the rover’s placement prevents use of the arm, the scientists have it do other things, such as take more images of the many layers on Kukenan.

As rocky as this future route is, it appears it is less rocky than earlier terrain, which the science team found impossible to traverse requiring several route detours. Thus, the pace forward has been a bit faster lately.

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

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