The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.


The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.


Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.


To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. 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
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First panorama from Perseverance

The Perseverance science team has released the first panorama taken by the Perseverance rover after landing on Mars February 18th.

Below the fold however I have embedded something far better than the science team’s mosaic. Andrew Bodrev has taken these same navigation camera images and created a 360 degree virtual reality panorama, one that you can pan and tilt at your own pleasure. The view also includes the sounds of the Martian winds from the rover’s microphone. If you pause it you won’t hear the sounds, but you can scan and rotate for as long as you want.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.


  • Steve Richter

    would be neat if they had miniature sized mars movers and diggers that could be deployed to work independently of the rover.

  • Ron

    Steve, we were just talking about that in our office (I don’t work in anything space related so it was just some guys sitting around throwing out ideas) but we were talking about a swarm of drone helicopters going in all directions if this works! Love the idea for a bunch of little tonka truck diggers!!!

  • Gary

    I hope this is real. If so – amazing. A 360 view of the Martian night sky from Perserverance.

  • Alex Andrite

    “Martian Winds”, so similar to the Sirens Sweetly Singing.
    Careful Ulysses.

    The 360deg VR with local sound heard by our Rover upon the Fourth Rock from the Sun ?
    Said Rover sent from the Third Rock from the Sun ?
    Incredible, amazing, and very very cool.

    Careful Ulysses.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas,
    Rover Onward !!

  • wayne

    looks to be a composite creation; Rover Curiosity self portrait + Milky Way European Southern Observatory imagery, from 2013-ish.

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