Scroll down to read this post.


My July fund-raising campaign, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the start of this website, has now ended. This was the second most successful monthly fund-raising campaign ever. Thank you again to everyone who has who donated or subscribed. It is difficult to explain what your support means to me.


You can still donate or subscribe to support my work if you wish, either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are four ways of doing so:


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

Perseverance’s possible travel route on Mars

Perseverance's planned driving routes
Click for full image.

In touting the plans of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to someday launch a rover to Jezero Crater designed to pick up the cached samples that Perseverance is going to leave behind, NASA today published the map to the right, showing Perseverance’s planned driving routes in the crater, on the large delta that poured into the crater in the past, and beyond that crater.

The yellow lines indicate Perseverance’s planned route, beginning somewhere in that red landing ellipse. The green lines indicated the many proposed landing sites and pathways the proposed follow-on sample retrieval mission can take to grab Perseverance samples.

The planned route looks like they will spend a lot of time exploring the top of delta, then will move out of the crater and to the southwest towards what had been another candidate landing site for Perseverance, now dubbed the Midway ellipse.

What route the science team will eventually take at the delta depends greatly on exactly where Perseverance lands today. We will know more in only a few hours.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Lee Stevenson

    Meanwhile here in Sweden…… This Englishman has been trying to explain to his workmates quite why tonight’s proceedings are perhaps the most audacious, and indeed the most scientifically important that mankind has ever attempted… Some got why I will have a small bottle of bubbly on hand, some did not get it at all…. I am as excited about the safe landing of this mission as pretty much anything other than my football teams cup final at Wembley stadium ( it’s football, not soccer!), And the birth of my children… ( Not in that order!!) What can I say… I GET the years of effort that so many people have dedicated to this mission, I GET the potentially paradigm changing results it could return, and I GET the massive danger of failure, and I GET the hopes and dreams of so many ( including myself ) that will die if the mission fails.
    God speed Perseverance, and as an atheist, I can’t pray for success, but by God, I’m wishing for it!

  • Lee Stevenson

    I forgot to say…. There is currently only the US and NASA that could or would even attempt a mission such as this… for the scientifically literate, or even interested community world wide, NASA is a beacon for the US. Given the recent drama in US politics, I so hope for this missions success… It can only bring us all together, something we badly need right now… As a distant European, I too love NASA!

  • Mike

    Happy birthday bob

  • eddie willers

    She’s down safely!

  • Lee Stevenson

    Bubbly is open and currently being consumed, even tho it’s a school night . And I’ve never been happier to do so….. NASA has many faults, but their unmanned exploration is truly “out of this world”…. Congratulations to NASA and the USA. As the late great Carl Sagan said “humanity is the way the universe knows itself” here’s to a new era of exploration of Mars!!!

  • Alex Andrite

    Regarding the intended “cached samples” and their pickups.

    I get first dibs on the logo for bumper sticker and tee shirt sales:
    “Please – Cleanup after your Rover”.

  • Ralph Croskey

    Cant wait for Ingenuity to take off!! I know its solar powered. Will the revolving rotors spin off the Martian dust, or will it too
    go the way of Oppy and possibly InSight (currently at 28% of Max.) ? What’s a safe flight radius from Perseverance? What’s its top speed?
    Will it fly? What did it cost to make?

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 *