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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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LRO pinpoints Chang’e-4 landing site

LRO pinpointing Chang'e-4's location on Moon

By referencing the footage released by China of Chang’e-4’s descent onto the Moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team has been able to pinpoint exactly where the lander touched down. The image on the right has been reduced slightly. Click on it to see it in full resolution.

The largest nearby crater to the lander is estimated to be about 80 feet across.

Because the images were in December 2018 before the lander’s arrival, they do not show it. However, the LRO team now knows exactly where to look when they take new pictures in the next few weeks. Moreover, this will allow them to monitor Yutu-2’s travels as it roves the surface over the coming months.

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.


  • Mr. Robert Zimmerman,
    I enjoy listening to you on the radio and always learn so much from your broadcasts. Please accept my End of Year gift to you of $2M, to be used @ your sole discretion, so that you may continue your Great work on Behind the Black+. We’ll talk later about maintenance support as well, if that is fine with you. Regards, Jean Marie Rickerson

  • Captain Emeritus

    What’s a $2M?

  • Andi

    I wish the news commentators would at least try and get close to the correct pronunciation of the lander. It grates on my ears to hear them pronounce it “Chang (rhyming with ‘bang’) eee (long e sound)”

    The closest to the actual is “Chang (pronouncing the ‘a’ as in ‘father’) – uhh”

    Intonations are a whole other matter, which I wouldn’t expect. But at least get the sounds close!

  • Andi: If the correct pronunciation is “Chang-a”, then why do the Chinese choose to spell it “Chang’e”? It was my impression that the Chinese phonetic system they adopted several years ago was more accurate than the British system created in the 1800s. This makes me question that.

  • Andi

    Hi Bob,

    The phonetic system “hanyu pinyin” (literally “Chinese language spelling (of) sounds” was created in the PRC in the 1950s. I don’t think it was intended to be English-accurate, as for example “xi” (as in “xi jin ping”) is more accurately represented in English as “hsheee “; rather the x is intended to represent the phonetic sound that has been in the Chinese phoneme collection for years, just using the Roman alphabet. Similarly with the “z” (as in “zhang”), it doesn’t sound anywhere close to “zee”.

    Some are close, e.g. “ping” is pronounced pretty much like it is spelled.

    Love this site, Bob! I come here every day for education and entertainment!

  • wayne

    So, is there independent verification this alleged device is actually on the Moon?

    Interesting stuff.
    –When we finally, inevitably, destroy the Chinese communist party, root & branch, we can go back to using “Peking” and “Mao” again, instead of the made-up Orwellian doublespeak.

    Chroma-Key/Green-screen software
    (for Mac & Windows)

  • Lee S

    @ Wayne….
    I wouldn’t hold your breath…
    The Chinese current system of a communist/capitalist system seems to be working out for them… Of course they have landed on the far side… You don’t think every nation with a space interest is watching with intent? And would call them out if there was any doubt? ( The same argument I use with Apollo moon landing skeptics )
    And the democratic Republic of the USA is developing SLS… ( Imagine a head in hands emoji )
    Your only hope is that private enterprise puts footprints on Mars, because, while their robotic exploration is truly jaw dropping, the NASA human exploration effort is a joke…
    I would rather see NASA and the ESA get ahead in the race, but with China actually able to implement 5/10/20 year plans without those pesky democratic changes to said plans… My money is on China being the dominant player in manned space exploration within my lifetime.

  • wayne

    —of course I believe they are on the Moon, (but then again, they are Masters of Deceit.)
    Nothing “capitalist” about the Chinese communists!
    -I’d suggest looking up the concept of “state capitalism,” as expounded upon by Marx, Lenin, and Mao.
    In (very) brief: (excuse the rushed cut-n-paste job with no attribution.)

    “…. theory of state monopoly capitalism (also referred as stamocap) was initially a Marxist doctrine popularized after World War II. Lenin had claimed in 1916 that World War I had transformed laissez-faire capitalism into monopoly capitalism…”
    “….Lenin insists in “The State and Revolution” (1917) that state monopoly capitalism should not be confused with state socialism..”
    …… various theories and critiques of state capitalism, some of which existed before the 1917 October Revolution. The common themes among them identify that the workers do not meaningfully control the means of production and detect that commodity relations and production for profit still occur within state capitalism. In “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” (1880), Friedrich Engels argued that state ownership does not do away with capitalism by itself, but rather would be the final stage of capitalism, consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state. He argued that the tools for ending capitalism are found in state capitalism itself…..”

    “….From 1956 to the late 1970s, the Communist Party of China and their Maoist or anti-revisionist adherents around the world often described the Soviet Union as state capitalist, essentially using the accepted Marxist definition, albeit on a different basis and in reference to a different span of time from either the Trotskyists or the left-communists. Specifically, the Maoists and their descendants use the term state capitalism as part of their description of the style and politics of Nikita Khrushchev and his successors as well as to similar leaders and policies in other self-styled “socialist” states…”

  • Captain Emeritus

    Mr. Zimmerman,
    With the $2M gift from Rickerson, will the tip jar still be necessary??

  • Edward

    wayne asked: “So, is there independent verification this alleged device is actually on the Moon?

    From the LRO photograph and the 50-meter scale indicator, it looks like the resolution is enough to eventually verify that something has happened in that region. I expect that it will also be able to distinguish between lander and rover, but wheel tracks may not be visible for LRO.

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