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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work 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.

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Government shutdown threatens Lucy asteroid mission

Government marches on! The possibility that the federal government could shut down because of the inability of Congress and the Biden administration to pass a funding bill or raise the debt limit now threatens the launch of the Lucy mission to the asteroid belt.

If no budget agreement is reached the government will shut down on October 1st. If the debt limit isn’t raised that shutdown could follow soon thereafter, even if a budget is passed.

The launch window for the mission is from October 16 to November 7, 2021. If the spacecraft does not launch in that window the science team says it will likely require a major rethinking of the entire project, as it will be difficult to find another opportunity to visit the same set of asteroids.

Right now the chances of a shutdown are very high, as the Democrats are pushing big spending bills without any negotiations with the Republicans. In answer, the Republican caucus has said that none of its members will support raising the debt limit. Without the latter any passed spending bill will soon be moot, as the debt limit will soon be reached, blocking further government spending.

Though I personally would be very saddened if Lucy was prevented from launching, that loss would be well compensated for by having the federal government out of business. The evil and corruption promoted by it far outweighs the good work done by several minor space missions.

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.


  • Mark

    Another Casualty of the failing Globalist American Empire. At least they won’t have to order a body bag for the Lucy Mission, unlike for those 13 brave souls who perished at Abbey Gate in Kabul. We know which party has control of the executive branch, and the House & Senate. They have had all year to figure out a budget that wouldn’t break the bank. The game of 3 card monte can only go for so long. Message to whoever is running this behind the scenes – show the American public a reasonable plan for spending and maybe we’ll say Yes. Otherwise go pound sand.

  • Garry

    I wish I had any confidence in the Republicans’ commitment to block raising the debt ceiling. We go through this kabuki every four years, with the minority party making lots of noise, but it always gets raised. The only question is whether it is raised before or after the deadline; it’s possible that this program gets cancelled because because the authorization comes too late.

  • Gene

    Why should we even have a debt ceiling? They just raise it….

  • John

    There isn’t going to be a shutdown, they have unlimited power and money (same thing). Any opposition is BS theater.

    Hope you like your currency inflated to nothing.

  • James Street

    • Estimated US tax revenue for fiscal year 2021 is $3.863 trillion dollars.
    • In fiscal year 2020 the government spent $6.55 trillion dollars.

  • pzatchok

    A government shutdown means nothing.

    All the government workers will just get the time off and back pay when they go back to work. No loss.

    All government SS benefit checks will still be sent out.

    All state government will still run fine.

    All government contractors will still go to work because they have already been paid for their work and products ordered. If not already paid they will eventually be paid when the government goes back to work.

    Every shutdown you see is just a political move.
    The last time I remember this happening they forced the air traffic controllers to leave work not because they couldn’t pay them but because they needed to inconvenience the people.

  • Humphreyrobot

    Those crazies don’t like science anyways…science just makes rhem look bad.

  • Star Bird

    Like in Superman we need a Phantom Zone to send Antifa and BLM crinimals

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