Leaving Earth cover

In 2019 I obtained from my former publisher the last 30 copies of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. I sold about half of these, and with only a handful left in stock I have raised the price. To get your own autographed copy of this rare collector's item please send a $75 check (includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to
 

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652
 

I will likely raise the price again when only ten books are left, so buy them now at this price while you still can!

 
Also available as an inexpensive ebook!
 

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

 

Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.


"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

How beautiful we were.

How beautiful we were.

An epitaph for American on its birthday.

And on its birthday, we should all make it a point to reread this document. Key quote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

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.
 

12 comments

  • Cotour

    And this is the lefts answer to the Declaration, apparently it has been misinterpreted all these years?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/us/politics/a-period-is-questioned-in-the-declaration-of-independence.html?_r=0

    Is government paramount over the individual? I belieeve that that indeed is what they are arguing here. “If only Jefferson was here to clarify for us”, now unfortunately we have doubts about our founding? That I’m sure is there intent.

  • Cotour

    Who could argue with the president? America is certainly made up of immigrants, LEGAL IMMIGRANTS!

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/07/04/obama-says-the-u-s-has-always-been-a-nation-of-immigrants/

    The presidents intent is to obfuscate and confuse the issue in the consciousness of the American public. How stupid and for how long will the American people allow themselves to be?

  • Cotour

    I found the perfect disenchanted American icon for the Obama Fundamental Change Movement.

    http://clashdaily.com/2013/04/why-cant-i-get-a-job-because-capitalism-sucks-and-america-too/

    Although this is satire the piece seems to express the goals of the administration, create discontent and discredit everything that has been successful in America in order to create dependence on an ever growing government and further apathy. Just like the piece this administrations cynical view of what America was and is is of course not at all what America is about.

    On this Independence Day let everyone resolve to re-instruct those who have temporarily assumed power in our government in the coming elections.

  • Cotour

    And let us not forget to have compassion for those who come to these conclusions, IMO it really is a kind of sickness, some worse than others.

  • Orion314

    I would “feel” far more compassion for these political criminals once justice is served and they are behind bars with L O N G prisons terms. Happy 4th of July….

  • Joe

    The left is always trying to change the language or the meaning of the language, I see this as just one more attemp th lessen individule rights to favor a bigger government, this is exactly opposite of the intent of The Declaration of Independence!

  • Hugh Mann

    IMO the illegal immigrant issue is a distraction created by the government and mainstream media to keep the masses divided and in constant conflict. If everyone is fixated on this non-issue, then we won’t be paying attention to their criminal activities. Consider the following:

    The creator did not put lines on the earth or a map, man did that. Was the USA not founded by ” illegal immigrants”? Was it not the Europeans that came to America and proceeded to commit genocide on the natives in order to steal their land and resources? It still continues today, not only in the US but abroad as well.

    We are the illegal immigrants.

  • Cotour

    While your logic appears sound, I call your type of think a Fatalistic view of existence, very Zen but useless in the context of ensuring the existence of what sustains us all. The logic would follow, since we are all going to eventually die why shouldn’t we all just shoot ourselves in the head and just get it all over with and accelerate what we know to be our eventuality.

    Maybe 10,000 years from now when all humanity is one connected collective then we can apply your theory of existence. Until then IMO things must be straightened out and arranged in a benevolent but logical and common sense way based in what is known about human nature, economics and the rules and parameters so beautifully designed by the people who founded this social experiment that is America. We are still currently more like the designers than the Borg.

    Using you logic I suggest you conduct a simple experiment and report back on the results in 6 months or so. I propose that you go out and find three or four people, men / women, gang members or not, fresh from other country’s living on the street. Preferably one or two with with small children, possibly with a case of whooping cough and / or measles, bring them into your house, give them access to your bank accounts and credit cards, feed them and don’t forget healthcare and in general really get involved in there lives as the government proposes. I await your acceptance of this proposal and your report next year. And please do not interpret that I am not compassionate on this subject but if you are willing to apply your own Fatalistic logic and destroy your life in order to “help” others that IMO is a useless endeavor.

    And I certainly do agree with you that all of the issues that are pressed by our own government are all about keeping everyone busy and confused, pure psychological manipulation that occurs when people forget about the first rule of politics. That you are correct on.

  • Hugh Mann

    Why do they want to come here? To better themselves. I do not believe the problem is immigration. The problem is the strain migrants put on our already defunct systems. If the governments would simply enforce the laws already in place, immigration would not be a problem. No one would want to come here “illegally” because it would be of no benefit to them. We already have laws in place for employers to verify citizenship before hiring. If the owners or corporate board members of these companies faced prison time in the mainstream prison population, you can bet fiat money hiring “illegal aliens” would come to an immediate stop. Prohibit non-citizens from receiving any form of social/governmental aid. Prohibit non-citizens from voting, obtaining drivers permits or Identification cards. Nullify all treaties that encourage the use of any of the above (NAFTA?).

    Our corrupt government will not change the status-quot because the businesses want the cheap slave labor the migrants provide.

  • Cotour

    Migrant labor is not the issue here its the importation and eventual ability of illegal immigrants made legal to vote that is the issue. There have always been migrant workers that traveled the United States provided their services for compensation and then went home. It is a pure attempt at the Democrat party to ensure its political dominance in perpetuity by creating masses of votes that overwhelmingly vote Democrat. The fact that the president is selectively not enforcing already duly passed law is a Constitutional issue and IMO grounds for impeachment, among many others.

    As far as our “defunct” system goes, if you read Saul Alynski, the community organizer master that Obama serves you will better understand the strategy that is being employed by the White House.

    Please let everyone know when you start your social experiment.

  • Edward

    Cotour,

    Hugh may be suggesting that the systems were *made* defunct in recent decades by the increase in socialism in our country and by the Alynski strategy put in place in the past half decade or so. We see the defunct system of American healthcare with the implementation of Obamacare, (e.g. California: http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/obamacare-causes-wait-time-in-california-emergency-rooms-to-skyrocket) and the way that our immigration laws have been ignored.

    I think that the point is that if our current laws were properly enforced, then illegal immigrants would not get away with the crime of entering the country illegally (as well as receiving benefits that even citizens don’t receive), and it would be to their disadvantage to come illegally and to their advantage to come legally. As it is, we reward the criminals and punish the law abiders (this reminds me of Obama’s comment “punish our enemies and reward our friends”).

  • Cotour

    Edward,

    The point of many of my posts is that we, the people, are applying our moral model to these problems, that is something that I call a false reality perspective. Our government is not burdened with these models that we believe that they are or should be applying. They want you to believe that they are but they are not. The government, governments, especially the governments of the last 4 American presidents have all said one thing and done the complete opposite for the most part, to the detriment of the people who pay for everything. That does not happen by accident.

    Do I believe that the government is actively trying to over burden the people through spending and in turn create a modern day slave nation due to that financial burden / obligation that they are constantly pushing? Yes I do, government for governments sake. Without push back from the people that animal “government” will do exactly what it s doing eating everything that it can and making it its own. Its the nature of the beast. With the people so partisan and so evenly divided and at the level of confusion in the country, much of it driven by the government itself, that is

    Mr. Mann seems IMO to think that its all about the desire for cheap labor, I would put that way, way down on the list. “IF the laws on the books were enforced”. “IF” is a little tiny word that can change your reality before you know it.

    This is all a classic Founders on government conversation, not in the intellectual abstract but in the real.

    All the best.

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