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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

December 1, 2023 Quick space links

Courtesy of BtB’s stringer Jay.



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


  • Max

    When I clicked on the picture of the progress capsule radiator, I was kind of expecting to see “a wrench” imbedded in the grill… :-)
    Instead I see a picture of an entirely different problem of the solar panel being ripped up on one side like it was caught by the faring? The caption on the side of the article only says “successful solar panel deployment”.
    Perhaps it’s time to utilize modern thermal electric cooling on their chips instead of nitrogen gas.

    It was interesting to learn (or perhaps I had forgotten) that the third stage coverings split into three sections and are ejected with the second stage…

  • Jeff Wright

    Anduril’s Roadrunner drone is interesting—lanfs like Falcon.

  • James Street

    “Boeing Drops Out Of USAF’s ‘Doomsday’ Replacement Plane Competition”

    “The US Air Force (USAF) eliminated Boeing Co. from the replacement competition of a half-century-old “Doomsday” plane that can survive a nuclear war. This leaves Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the sole remaining known competitor.”

    “Sources told Reuters that Boeing – the incumbent manufacturer of the E-4B Nightwatch – could not agree with the USAF on data rights and contract terms for the replacement plane that began flying in the 1970s. In other words, the planemaker did not want to sign a fixed-price agreement.”

    “A review of Boeing’s latest financials shows its defense unit lost a whopping $1.3 billion this year due to fixed-price development programs amid supply chain snarls, elevated inflation, and high interest rates. Since 2014, the planemaker has lost $16.3 billion on fixed-price programs.”

  • James Street: Boeing is signing its own death warrant. The entire federal defense and space agencies are steadily switching to fixed-price, and will simply go to others if Boeing refuses to accept those terms.

    In fact, those agencies will want to go to others, because Boeing is making it clear it can’t meet its contractual obligations.

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