Scroll down to read this post.


I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, 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.

First images of Ingenuity’s second flight

Ingenuity's second flight, April 22, 2021
For full images go here, here, and here.

According to Mimi Aung, the project manager for Ingenuity, they attempted their second flight of the Mars helicopter early this morning, with the following flight plan:

[W]e plan to trying climbing to 16 feet (5 meters) in this flight test. Then, after the helicopter hovers briefly, it will go into a slight tilt and move sideways for 7 feet (2 meters). Then Ingenuity will come to a stop, hover in place, and make turns to point its color camera in different directions before heading back to the center of the airfield to land. Of course, all of this is done autonomously, based on commands we sent to Perseverance to relay to Ingenuity the night before.

No live stream was provided this time. However, the three images above from Perseverance, just downloaded today and taken about nine minutes apart, show Ingenuity before, during, and after that flight. If you compare the first and third images you can see that the helicopter was able to successfully return to the same landing spot.

I expect an announcement of this successful flight to be posted shortly.

UPDATE: JPL has now released an image taken by Ingenuity during its flight.

Conscious Choice cover

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.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • pawn


    It’s odd though that it seems to have landed in exactly the same spot and orientation that it took off from.

    “Figure the odds” as they say.

    Oh boy!!! Let the conspiracies begin!!!!!

  • Lee Stevenson

    I am wondering where the video footage is from the main colour camera? I understand that the uplink process is complicated, but one of the test parameters must surely be to send back pretty video which is also obviously useful in checking out the terrain it’s looking at. It can literally see over the horizon! At least the horizon we are getting from Perseverance..

  • Alex Andrite

    Amazing ! Love it ! A very crisp performance.

    Now, waiting for the RC Mars Drone Racing games to come out.

    “Ingen” is my pick !

  • Over at the JPL site, the motto “Dare Mighty Things” is visible over a double-masker. That seems almost a mockery.

  • BLSinSC

    I thought a helicopter was able to obtain LIFT by the reaction of their blades against AIR! Is it possible that there is ATMOSPHERE on Mars? Is it REALLY possible to fly a helicopter in a vacuum or in a NO atmosphere place? Not a conspiracy nut – just seems odd that a helicopter could generate LIFT without something to provide resistance!

  • BLSinSC: Mars has an atmosphere, though very thin. This has been known for more than two hundred years.

  • They’re also very large blades for a very small, lightweight body.

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.