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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running 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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Opportunity heads uphill after engineers finally pinpoint the origin of the rock that appeared out of nowhere.

Opportunity heads uphill after engineers finally pinpoint the origin of the rock that appeared out of nowhere.

They have now confirmed that the rock was kicked off a larger piece when Opportunity traveled over it.

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.


  • Naomi

    Hi Bob! It’s Naomi from the old days in Brooklyn! I heard you on Coast to Coast on Jan. 29th. Was VERY SURPRIZED! Would like to open a correspondence with you.

  • Naomi

    Please e-mail me back.

  • Cotour

    Attention NASA nerds, I still do not know what this item attached to the ISS is.

    Comments? Reasonable interpretation / explanation? Anyone?

  • Pzatchok

    Is NASA serious?

    Did they actually stop the rover to investigate a pebble?
    On a planet of rocks they stopped to investigate a pebble that might have rolled down hill as they passed by.

    No wonder nothing ever gets done on time.

  • Cotour

    Attention NASA nerds, I still do not know what this item attached to the ISS is.

    Comments? Reasonable interpretation / explanation? Anyone?

  • joe

    Definite delta wing shape, it flies in an atmosphere, not alien.

  • Cotour

    Why would, what I would assume be a top secret something, be hanging around the ISS? There are cameras accessible by the public all over it. And why is it not being commented on or explained by NASA? I have never seen a shape like that on anything being developed, it is unlike anything that I am aware of and it does not reflect standard / established design layouts. Our space stuff is based in basic shapes with some complex curves, this appears to be more organic in design.

    I think that we can all agree that there is something there, there. What is it, who made it and what purpose does it serve?

    I have to assume that this site has a very high percentage of NASA either employees, ex employees or just plain space nerds and an answer should be forth coming. But I can find no relevant comment.

  • joe

    Cotour, how do you know that the video is authentic, to me this looks like a space plane, if it is top secret, its possible no one not in the know would have seen such a vehicle, to me it has a delta wing shape not unlike other such concepts I have seen, and finally the resolution of this object is rather low, unlike other parts of the space station that are in higher resolution.

  • Cotour

    I agree that it could be a hoax, it is very possible given today’s level of technology, but its a pretty good one if it is.

  • Edward

    Of course NASA is serious. Examining the rocks, pebbles, and soil is why we put Curiosity on Mars in the first place. This was an opportunity to examine the underside, the unexposed side, of a rock. After all the expense and effort of getting instruments there, would you really pass up that science?

    Although it can collect soil samples and the powder of holes drilled into rocks, the arm with the APXS and the MAHLI is not intended to turn over rocks for investigation.

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