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
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Russia & China negotiating increased cooperation on the Moon

The new colonial movement: According to the state-run Russian news source TASS, Russia and China are in negotiations to increase Russia’s participation in China’s program to establish a manned base on the Moon.

Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos is in talks with its Chinese colleagues to determine scientific tasks for a lunar base and to discuss technical aspects of the project’s implementation, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation at the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos Sergey Savelyev told TASS. “At present, work is under way to determine possible scientific tasks of mutual interest in the Moon research. Besides, possible technical implementation of the project is being analyzed,” he said.

The article is very vague about details. It does signal that Russia is strongly looking for alternatives to working with the U.S. on its Lunar Gateway project. If it teams up with China NASA will likely begin breaking off all cooperation with Russia because of the legal restrictions that prevent it from partnering in any way with China.

This article also illustrates Russia’s declining status as a space power. For years they have depending on the American program at ISS to have a place in space. Now they are looking to China. All in all, it appears they can’t get their own projects going, and need to attach themselves to others to have any part in the exploration of space.

As for China, that country wants to the good public relations that would come from making its space program international in scope. I expect therefore they want Russia to sign on. I also expect that China will dictate terms, as it doesn’t really need Russia in its effort.

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.


  • Patrick Underwood

    Had the Clinton Administration not morphed Space Station Freedom into the ISS, a make-work project for ex-Soviet engineers, the Russian space program would have reached this state in the 1990s.

    Not saying that would have been preferable. Just highly likely.

  • Jeff Wright

    That might have pushed them into other arms faster though. Marshall almost got its hands on the RD-0120 Energia core block engine that’s similar to the RS-25 SSME. China should use that for LM-9. They already have a better Soyuz in Shenzhou. Had they embraced the hypergolic RD-270, and used nine of them in a R-56 monoblock core-instead of spending decades on their own non-toxics–they could have had an HLLV quickly. With such dense propellants and easier ignition, it could be modified into something like a room-temperature Falcon. With two strap-ons, it would be the most powerful rocket ever.

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 *