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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.


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India’s new SSLV rocket fails on first launch attempt

Delayed years because of India’s panic over the Wuhan flu, the first launch of that country’s new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) failed today when the rocket’s fourth stage apparently did not fire its engines properly.

The problem appeared to be the SSLV’s terminal stage, called the velocity trimming module (VTM). According to the launch profile, the VTM was supposed to have burnt for 20 seconds at 653 seconds after launch. However, it burnt for only 0.1 seconds, denying the rocket of the requisite altitude boost. Two satellites onboard the rocket – the primary EOS-2 Earth-observing satellite and the secondary AzaadiSAT student satellite – separated from the vehicle after the VTM burnt.

As a result, the two satellites were put in an orbit that was too low, which quickly decayed, destroying both.

Since this launch failed, I do not count it in the launch totals for 2022.

Considering that this was SSLV’s first launch, it was in that sense a test, and a failure therefore is not unexpected. India’s real problem is that the launch was delayed so long because of the Wuhan panic, thus allowing other competitors to catch up and pass India. While it is certain ISRO will try again, and eventually succeed, it will not get the market share it would have had, had it launched in 2020 as originally planned.

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.


  • GaryMike

    Learn more from failure. Which adult was never a teenager?

  • sippin_bourbon

    This is kind of sad. Their nacent program has suffered several set backs.

    I would like to see them succeed, and ideally be an ally in the cold war with China.

    I hope this is just growing pains.

  • Edward

    GaryMike wrote: “Learn more from failure. Which adult was never a teenager?

    True, but in both cases we wish we hadn’t had to learn the lesson the hard way, with a “character building” moment. .

  • It has been said that in life, the test is given before the lesson. Oh so true if one doesn’t pay attention to history, but what teenager ever did? Mark Twain had the right of it with his comment on children and parents. My experience has been no different.

    But, maybe, we should expect more. Perhaps we should all pay a bit more attention to the lessons hard-learned by those before. The knowledge is readily available. At the least, we would have a better idea of whom to pay attention to, and those in need of a cranial-rectolotomy (the removal of the head from the a**).

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