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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:


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Long March 5B stage falls to Earth near Malaysia

New data now suggests that the core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket that it launched on July 24th has crashed to Earth somewhere off the coast of the island of Borneo, Malaysia.

As of writing, there is no indication that any debris hit land, though this could change.

In violation of the Outer Space Treaty, China very clearly has done nothing to upgrade the Long March 5B since it dumped a core stage uncontrolled last year. It very clearly can do nothing to prevent this from happening in October, when the Long March 5B lifts off again to carry into orbit the last planned module for the Tiangong station.

In other words, China cannot be relied upon to honor any treaty it signs. It signs the treaty, but then willfully ignores it if it thinks that is to its best interest.

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.


  • pzatchok

    China is a bully nation.

    It will do anything it wants as long as no one can stop it. Like a bully.

  • wayne

    “Don’t trust China, China is [Expletive]”
    October 2019

  • Calvin Dodge

    Communists are acting like Communists? Inconceivable

  • Blackwing1

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    What is the legal liability for allowing an uncontrolled reentry that descends on an inhabited area? In my ignorance of space law I am assuming that the launcher of what becomes debris falling on someone’s head/house/business would have complete liability for damages and/or injury, but is this actually established international law?

    And does anyone know how someone could actually collect damages from the CCP for such an injury to person or property?

    Personally I think the launcher of such material that becomes uncontrolled debris falling out of the sky would be, both in fact and in law, guilty of gross negligence, but since IANAL (nor do I play one on the ‘Net) I have no idea what the actual legal implications are.

    Is there a source you know of offhand that could better inform me than my current Google-fu is doing?

    Thank you.

  • Blackwing1: As I wrote in the post, China is a signatory of the Outer Space Treaty, which makes it liable for any damages caused by anything it launches. See Article 7:

    Each State Party to the Treaty that launches or procures the launching of an object into outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and each State Party from whose territory or facility an object is launched, is internationally liable for damage to another State Party to the Treaty or to its natural or juridical persons by such object or its component parts on the Earth, in air or in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies.

    The treaty also says that this liability shall be enforced based on other treaties.

    In reality, I have no idea how anyone can sue China, or obtain satisfaction, if it refuses to provide it.

    Let me add, other than war.

  • LTC Ted

    For Romanized, culture-appropriate dialect, please use No baleev Chahnah; Chahnah ahh ahhz-ho. Referring exclusively to the CCP, of course. Also, ♪ It’s my culture, I’ll ‘propriate if I want to ♪

  • pzatchok

    US courts would take the case and if found guilty the US state department would take over.

    The US state department would collect any damages by any way possible up to and including confiscation of imports and there sale to pay the debt.

    They use this system to also collect on medical charges for a non citizen who gets medical treatment in the US and does not have insurance.
    Insurance companies have international agreements between themselves in order to pay the bills.
    Mexico has not signed this medical bill treaty/agreement. For one it can not afford to pay for all the medical treatment illegals use in the US and the US government does not collect by confiscation because Mexico does not have enough exports to the US to even make a dent in the bills. We would essentially end all trade with Mexico

  • Alex Andrite

    Mr. Z;
    “In other words, China cannot be relied upon to honor any treaty it signs. It signs the treaty, but then willfully ignores it if it thinks that is to its best interest.”
    So true. I will add:
    I commented once previously. In a long ago job, I worked for a Japanese semiconductor equipment company as a field service engineer, supporting national and international customers.
    We did not sell to China.
    Without exception, my Japanese counter parts, all levels of engineering and management, agreed and stated throughout my years working in that capacity, that the Chinese lie, unless it was in their best interest, AND that it was OUR problem in allowing the results (of the Chinese lie). IT IS OUR PROBLEM OF SPACE JUNK FALLING FROM THE SKIES, I add.
    I defer to those of greater insight to the (Chinese) / CCP philosophy for greater clarity.

    Signed: (Not Chicken Little)

  • LocalFulff

    Then we have this little video from the World Economic Forum.
    “Block out the Sun!”
    With space bubbles the size of Brazil.
    That’s almost as realistic as their interest rate and energy and foreign policy plans have turned out to be!

    Complete maniacs are now permanently destroying the Western world. I’m sad to see it.

  • Catch Thirty-Thr33

    Not that China’s refusal to abide by the Sino-British Agreement of 1984 wasn’t a clue, I suppose.

  • Cluebat

    It seems to me that the obvious thing to do would be to do would be to accuse them of deliberately targeting us.

    Because that is exactly what they would do.

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