Scroll down to read this post.


I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


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


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

SpaceX announcement of first passenger for Lunar BFR

Capitalism in space: SpaceX will have a webcast today at 6 pm (Pacific) to announce the name of the first passenger to fly on a lunar mission using their Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

The embed of that webcast is below, so if you wish you can watch right here.

Note that my initial post mistaken said this was happening at 6 pm Eastern time. That was an error.

Conscious Choice cover

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.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • mkent

    I thought the time was 6 pm Pacific. Did it move?

  • Matt in AZ

    It’s still 6pm pacific. SpaceX’s youtube link says “live in 7 hours”, and it’s almost 11am Pacific now.

  • mkent: My error. I have fixed the post and noted the error there.

  • Kirk

    Here are the three renderings released so far, all believed to be part of an animation which will be played during tonight’s announcement. As always, they likely represent the general features of the current design, but probably have a fair number of accidental omissions or instances of artistic license. When asked, Musk tweeted that the BFR booster (the BRB?) will still have grid fins, but they were accidentally left off in the images. Also, the BRB exhaust looks more like what I’d expect from RP-1/LOX than CH4/LOX. (The name might not stick, but following the FH launch, Musk said the he liked to call the booster BRB (presumably for Big Rocket Booster) since that it what it would say to its launch pad, “Be Right Back!”)

    * Full stack, side view (1276 x 2048)
    * Full stack, top view (2048 x 1152)
    * BFS around the moon (3840 x 2160)

  • Kirk

    My prediction, based on their decision to announce the lunar flight so early (what, four to five years in advance), is that the buyer is paying a very large sum up front (perhaps approaching $1B, but either refundable or exchangeable for SpaceX stock if the flight doesn’t happen by a given date) which will help fund BFR development in exchange for exclusive rights to the first crewed lunar flight. He will then go on to sell additional seats on the flight as well as create some television shows about training and preparation, and if legalities can be worked out, even have a contest or lottery to fill some seats.

    Half of me thinks, “Hey, what ever it takes to fund development of this thing.”, while the other half worries about it being turned into a circus.

  • Michael

    D. D. Harriman strikes again

  • Richard M

    You may be onto something there, Kirk.

    Well – we’ll find out in two hours.

  • Col Beausabre

    Kirk, Ya hit the nail on the head! Now the question is does the moolah go to fund BFR or to bail out Tesla?

    BTW, apparently lots of people hung onto their Pan Am “tickets” (actually it guaranteed you the right to buy a ticket – if only the NFL had paid attention they could have had PSL’s in the Seventies)

    And although he’s not Branson, Musk definitely has a PT Barnum streak, so it’s already a circus

  • Edward

    “I choose to go to the Moon.”

    What brilliance. “I” choose.

    The space community has been looking for a Kennedy moment for space travel for a long time, but rather than it coming from the U.S. government, it comes from a private citizen. This is the epitome of the idea of capitalism in space, serving We the People of the world.

  • Richard M

    Well, Kirk was mostly right.

    Whatever Maezawa has paid, it’s enough that it will “materially contribute” to the development of BFR. Has to be nine figures easy, probably closer to 10. Which, being a billionaire, he can certainly afford.

    And it does seem as if it’s as much Maezawa wanting to help fund the BFR as much as him wanting to fly on it.

    And even if Maezawa is not selling these extra seats, it certainly sounds like he will be taking the opportunity to market the heck out of the trip.

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.