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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

SpaceX ends future business with launch services company Spaceflight

Capitalism in space: For reasons not explained, SpaceX has ended all further business with the launch services company Spaceflight, which acts to find and integrate smallsats from many different companies into a package for launch.

Spaceflight also provides many of those smallsats with a small tug, dubbed Sherpa-LTC, to move them into their preferred orbit once deployed from the Falcon 9 upper stage. It looks like there have recently been problems with this tug that Spaceflight has not been able to resolve to SpaceX’s satisfaction.

The propulsion leak on Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC vehicle was discovered about three weeks before the Jan. 13 SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-3 launch. Root-cause analysis of the leak traced the problem to an oxidizer circuit in the propulsion system, which worked as designed but vented some trapped liquid due to a design flaw.

…Regarding the upcoming launch, Spaceflight began working with SpaceX to address concerns about “the analysis and test results of Sherpa and its customer payloads” as soon as it became aware of them.

Despite Spaceflight’s “best efforts, SpaceX chose not to fly the Sherpa vehicle until the analysis and test approaches could be better understood,” Sorensen said. “We continue to work with SpaceX to understand their decision and address any concerns for future missions.”

It appears, though not confirmed, that SpaceX is not just worried about Sherpa, but is also concerned about Spaceflight’s quality control efforts, and that might be the reason it has reject Spaceflight from future launches.

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.

One comment

  • Col Beausabre

    “which worked as designed but vented some trapped liquid due to a design flaw.”

    Admiral Rickover on learning a pump aboard one of his nuclear subs was not working properly. Rickover looked at the reports and studied the blueprints and announced, “Gentlemen, there is nothing wrong with this pump. It’s working exactly as designed. The design is blankety-blank-blank.-blank”

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