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I am now in the third week of my annual February birthday fund-raising drive. The first two weeks were good, but not record-setting.

 

There are still two weeks left in this campaign however. If you have been a regular reader and a fan of my work and have not yet donated or subscribed, please consider doing so. I take no ads, I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands (most of the time). Thus, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.

 

You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:

 

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

3. 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’s mission on Mars is over

Ingenuity takes off!
Ingenuity takes off on its first flight, April 19, 2021.
For full images go here and here.

NASA today announced that Ingenuity’s mission on Mars has now ended due to damage sustained to one of its propellers during its 72nd flight.

While the helicopter remains upright and in communication with ground controllers, imagery of its Jan. 18 flight sent to Earth this week indicates one or more of its rotor blades sustained damage during landing, and it is no longer capable of flight.

Ingenuity’s engineering mission was designed initially to simply prove that air-powered flight in Mars’ thin atmosphere was possible by a test program of four flights over 30 days. It worked so well that it just kept going and going. During its almost three years of operation on Mars, the helicopter completed 72 flights, for a total air time of about 128 minuntes. It flew a total of about eleven miles, reaching a maximum speed of over 22 miles per hour and a top altitude of about 79 feet. On its 69th flight it traveled a record 2,315 feet, almost a half mile.

All future Mars missions have been changed forever by the success of Ingenuity and its designers and engineers. For example, there are already hints of a helicopter mission to Mars’ giant canyon Valles Marineris. In addition, NASA redesigned its Mars Sample Return Mission to include helicopters based on what it learned from Ingenuity.

More important, Ingenuity suggests that when settlers finally colonize the red planet, it is very possible that air travel will start out more important than ground transport. In fact, long distance roads might never be built, for any number of reasons, because air travel will be available from the beginning.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

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