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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.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Ingenuity completes 22nd flight; Perseverance on a roll

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

According to a tweet from JPL on March 21, 2021, Ingenuity successfully completed its 22nd flight on Mars during the March 19-20th weekend, flying for 101 seconds at a height of about 30 feet.

The tweet provided no other information, other than another flight might occur as early as later this week.

However, the most recent map update from the rover/helicopter science teams, shown to the right and annotated to post here, tells us what happened. The white dotted line indicates Perseverance’s travels. The tan dotted line indicated the flight path and landing spots for Ingenuity. The dashed tan lines indicate the planned routes for both. The red dot marks Perseverance’s present location. The green dot marks Ingenuity’s location, after its 22nd flight.

The announced flight plan for Ingenuity’s 22nd flight is shown by the two blue dots, heading north and then making a sharp left before landing. Apparently, the helicopter either did not complete that plan, landing earlier for some reason, or the flight team had decided before takeoff to shorten the flight plan significantly.

What we do know is that the helicopter landed safely, from images downloaded on March 20th [sol 384] and from the JPL tweet. The next flight, targeting later this week, could attempt to complete the previous flight plan, or instead continue to break it up into small sections.

Meanwhile, Perseverance has been racing across the Martian surface, traveling almost as much in the past week as it had for the past year. (See the map from March 16th to compare.) Moreover, the Perseverance team shortened its planned route, cutting to the west of that large crater rather than skirting it to the east. The route taken was probably slightly rougher, but nothing the rover couldn’t handle, and it saved travel time. Apparently, the scientists running the rover are now very eager to finally get to the delta, the mission’s primary geological target.

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.

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.

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