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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, 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
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Elon Musk targets 2029 for first Starship manned mission to Mars

Capitalism in space: In a tweet today Elon Musk announced 2029 as his present target date for the first Starship manned mission to Mars.

This target date should not be considered firm, though it must be taken seriously. Musk’s past predictions tended to be optimistic, but also not unrealistic. If Starship development proceeds at the pace SpaceX is presently maintaining, this date is wholly doable.

The article at the link also said that the first Starship orbital test flight “is expected to take place within the next month.” That certainly matches with Musk’s previous statements, but ignores the bureaucratic delays from the FAA that at the moment prevent it from happening.

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.


  • William Ira Frumkin

    The current administration is trying to prevent Elon from reaching Mars. I hope this will change staring after the midterm elections.

  • David K

    Gwynne Shotwell for president 2024!

  • David M. Cook

    I can hear the speech now: “I believe the company should, before the decade is out, land men and women on Mars, safely, with enough supplies & materials to last for years. We do this not because it is easy but because it is hard!”

  • Jeff Wright

    I think it will be 2039. No reason. That date speaks to me somehow. Combo mission.

    I won’t live to see it with this bloody skipping heart and no insurance.

  • George C

    Jeff Wright, maybe you were thinking about the year 2038 problem for systems using a signed 32 bit integer counting number of seconds since 1970. Such systems won’t make it to 2039 either.

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