The final week of my annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun. I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, including numerous donations and a surge of new subscribers willing to commit to donating anywhere from $2 to $25 per month. Wow! The numbers are too many to send out individual thank you’s, so please forgive me for thanking you all with this one announcement.


The campaign however must go on, especially because I have added more regular features to my daily workload. In addition to my daily never-ending reporting on space exploration and science, my regular launch reports, my monthly sunspot updates, the regular cool images, and the evening pauses I post each evening, I have now added a daily weekday post I have entitled "Today's blacklisted American." Its goal is not to discuss policy or politics, but to note the endless examples occurring across the United States where some jack-booted thug or thugs think it is proper and acceptable to censor, blackball, cancel, and destroy an innocent American, merely because that American has expressed or holds an opinion or is of a race or religion that is no longer considered acceptable to the dominant leftist and bigoted culture. I want to make clear to every American that a large number of your fellow citizens no longer believe in the enlightened concept of freedom of speech or the idea of treating each person by the quality of their character.


Instead, they wish to shut you up, and oppress you if you happen to disagree with them or have the wrong skin color. This evil must be exposed.


To continue to do this into the foreseeable future however I need your support. If you are one of those millions who read Behind the Black each month, please consider donating or subscribing. Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
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c/o Robert Zimmerman
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Movie of Perseverance’s descent and landing

Cool movie time! The science team for Perseverance today released movie footage obtained by the rover as it descended and landed on Mars in Jezero Crater. That video is embedded below.

If you compare what this movie sees with the orbital images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that I posted earlier today, you can recognize the features in the crater and anticipate exactly where the rover is going to land.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.


  • Jay

    That is a very cool video. I noticed the washboard features across the terrain at 1m58s. Such detail during descent and I did not mind the wobbling!

  • t-dub

    Amazing to watch! Interesting that when the parachute deployed that they lost a radome protecting an antenna but since it was on the descent stage it doesn’t really matter as it is crashed on the surface now anyways. It was also interesting to see that one spring that came loose on the heat shield. The microphone sounds of the Martian wind were cool, can’t wait to hear more sounds later of equipment on the rover working.

  • Sayomara

    Honestly not sure why it bothers me but it seems like they should wait to start clapping until they have touch down. All the other clapping seems really empty could just be replaced with finger snaps…

    In any case cool video its honestly insane we can make this happen

  • Tim

    Excellent video. You may enjoy the shot-by-shot commentary about this video at about 16 minutes into this live stream:

  • wayne

    a repeat from me–good stuff on the background of this video presentation

    Scott Manley
    Perseverance Begins Life On Mars

    –> “Table 4: EDLCAM properties and estimated operating modes”

  • wayne

    So, who can tell me if all those fake “masks” the science team wears, were manufactured in china?

  • Sayomara noted: “. . . just be replaced with finger snaps…”

    From a Thelonious Monk jazz festival appearance: “Hep cats know to snap on the upbeat. Don’t snap on the downbeat; it’s considered aggressive.”

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