Scroll down to read this post.


Without the support of my readers 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. If you wish to add your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, you can do so 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. 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

NASA’s corrupt safety panel doubts Starliner is ready for its first manned flight in July

The head of NASA’s safety panel — which over the years has consistently missed the big safety issues while whining about things that did not matter — expressed strong doubts yesterday on whether Boeing’s Starliner manned capsule is ready for its first manned flight in July.

Speaking at a May 25 public meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, Patricia Sanders, chair of the committee, expressed skepticism that NASA and Boeing will be able to close known issues with Starliner in time for a launch currently scheduled for as soon as July 21.

“There remains a long line of NASA processes still ahead to determine launch readiness” for the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission, the first crewed flight of the spacecraft with two NASA astronauts on board. “That should not be flown until safety risks can either be mitigated or accepted, eyes wide open, with an appropriately compelling technical rationale.”

This panel hasn’t the faintest idea what it is talking about, and should be ignored. It appears that NASA and Boeing are presently reviewing the capsule’s parachute system. Sanders however raised other issues which actually appear more designed to simply slow or even prevent the capsule’s launch.

The panel did the same thing during the development of SpaceX’s manned Dragon capsule, making irrelevant claims about paperwork and the safety of the company’s Falcon 9 fueling procedures that were ridiculous. Meanwhile, it has ignored much more fundamental numerous safety issues with NASA’s SLS rocket and Orion capsule, such as the agency’s plan to fly it manned using its capsule environmental system for the first time.

It is very possible that there remain serious safety issues with Starliner. I simply note that I would not rely on NASA’s safety panel to provide me an honest or educated appraisal of the situation.

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.


  • Jerry Greenwood

    Starliner and Boeing have had enough high profile screw ups to make anyone gun shy about signing off their work. Without pressure from the very top (which won’t happen again. Challenger comes to mind) this bird will never fly with passengers. At some point NASA and Boeing will walk away.

  • Concerned

    When Chris Ferguson walked away, I knew things were bad with that thing and that part of the company. Test pilots don’t do that, especially passing up a first flight opportunity.

  • Richard M

    Some of these concerns *might* be a blind squirrel moment.

    Meanwhile, it has ignored much more fundamental numerous safety issues with NASA’s SLS rocket and Orion capsule, such as the agency’s plan to fly it manned using its capsule environmental system for the first time.

    Or, to fly humans on the very first launch of the Block 1B with the Exploration Upper Stage.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *