Scroll down to read this post.


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.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. 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

Rocket Lab and China launch satellites successfully

Both the American company Rocket Lab and China have successfully placed satellites in orbit in the past day.

First, Rocket Lab successfully placed two Earth observation satellites for the company Capella yesterday. This was also its second launch from Wallops Island in Virginia. The company made no attempt to recover the first stage.

Next, China today used its Long March 3B rocket to place its own Earth observation satellite into orbit from its Xichang spaceport, located in the country’s northeast but far from the ocean. No word on whether the rocket’s first stage and four strap-on boosters crashed near habitable areas.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

17 SpaceX
11 China
4 Russia
2 Rocket Lab

For the rest of the year, I will only list the leaders with each launch update. At this moment, American private enterprise leads China 19 to 11 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 19 to 17. SpaceX alone now trails the rest of the world combined, including American companies, 17 to 19.

These numbers will likely change later today, as SpaceX has two launches scheduled in just a few hours. One launch will place two communications satellites in orbit for the Luxembourg company SES. The other will launch another 52 Starlink satellites.

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.


  • sippin_bourbon

    SpaceX will dominate the year. That is a given.
    They are already on pace to well exceed last year’s total launches.
    Only a stupid move by the US Government could slow or stop them.

    Rocket Lab was a distant 2nd last year in the US , and is on pace to do it again, with ULA, Firefly and Northrup Grumman looking at nothing before April, and Relativity still working for their maiden flight, hoping for later this month.

    Astra, if they survive, was looking for Q4 to test launch 4.0? Virgin Orbit is what? On life support and fading? Will the UK Gov bail the out?

  • Typo (number): end of 2nd to the last paragraph (should be): “SpaceX alone” … “17 to 19.”

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 *