Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work, as I take no advertisements nor accept any sponsors in order to keep the website clean, easy to read, and to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest. Your support leaves me entirely independent, able to say whatever I think while being free from censorship or reprisals.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five 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

SpaceX launches 23 Starlink satellites

While everyone is focused on the Starship/Superheavy launch scheduled for tomorrow at 7 am (Central) at Boca Chica, SpaceX tonight launched another 23 Starlink satellites, its Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral.

The first stage successfully completed it eleventh flight, landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

84 SpaceX
52 China
14 Russia
7 Rocket Lab
7 India

American private enterprise still leads China 96 to 52 in successful launches, and the entire world combined 96 to 81. SpaceX by itself is now leads the rest of the world (excluding American companies) 84 to 81.

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


  • GeorgeC

    Watched Starship. 156k viewers on X live. Booster ok. Hot staging ok. Second.stage ok. FTS ok on both.

  • sippin_bourbon

    I would call Starship test-2 a success.

  • Dick Eagleson

    So would I, pretty much. It will be interesting to see the “inside baseball” coverage soon as to the gory details of what went both right and wrong. Another test with upgraded hardware incorporating lessons learned from today’s test might still occur late this year or very early next.

  • wayne

    I’m just a social-science major, but it looked pretty good to me.
    Watched the Everyday Astronaut coverage live.
    Now, I’m trying to find coverage with better film, anyone have any suggestions? (I realize it takes some time to put together.)
    The LabPadre Space feed had some excellent clear/close-up, long-range tracking, but they as well were jumping all over the place.
    (I don’t do “X,” so I really miss having the Spacex channel on Youtube.)

  • All: See my post on the launch. I am almost certain that both self-destructs were intentional, to prove to the regulators that the system now works as planned.

    SpaceX can do this because it has more prototypes waiting, and by doing so it will make it harder for the bureaucrats to slow things down.

  • Mitch S

    Wayne, I watched it (Starship/SH) on the SpaceX website

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 *