My annual February birthday month fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black is now over. It was the best February campaign ever, and the second best of all of my month-long fund-raising campaigns.


There were too many people who contributed to thank you all personally. If I did so I would not have time for the next day or so to actually do any further posts, and I suspect my supporters would prefer me posting on space and culture over getting individual thank you notes.


Let this public thank suffice. I say this often, but I must tell you all that you cannot imagine how much your support means to me. I’ve spent my life fighting a culture hostile to my perspective, a hostility that has often served to squelch my success. Your donations have now allowed me to bypass that hostility to reach a large audience.


Even though the February campaign is over, if you still wish to donate or subscribe you still can do so. 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
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SpaceX raises another $850 million in investment capital

Capitalism in space: SpaceX last week successfully raised another $850 million in investment capital in order to fund both its Starlink and Starship projects.

The article does not detail how the company plans to use the money, though it does also indicate this was not all that was raised.

In addition to SpaceX further building a war chest for its ambitious plans, company insiders and existing investors were able to sell an additional $750 million in a secondary transaction, one of the people said.

If I understand this correctly (which I admit I might not), this means SpaceX now has an additional $1.6 billion on hand in addition to the $2 billion it has previously raised.

Even if it only raised $850 million, that gives it a war chest of almost three billion for both Starlink and Starship. With Starlink already bringing in some earnings, the company should have enough to get done what it aims to do.

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.


  • wayne

    Mr. Z.,
    ref– “company insiders and existing investors were able to sell an additional $750 million in a secondary transaction..”
    That indicates those people & entities were able to sell their pre-existing Shares and cash-out. At the stated valuation, it represents about 1.7 million shares.

  • John Fisher

    Space X cash flow from Starlink is going to be challenged for a while. Based on publicly available information the ground terminal costs Space X about $2400 / unit in quantities of a million (link below). Now based on my 30 years of doing phased arrays for military systems that is amazing but it still leaves Space X with 19 months before cash flow from a new subscriber turns positive.

  • LocalFluff

    @John Fisher
    The world is now a “planned economy” (which is an ironically joking expression) run by the central banks’ accelerating debt creation at zero or even negative interest rates. Business market viability n the real economy means nothing and hype means everything. The Emperor gives what he takes to his friends. Since Elon Musk has ridiculously disguised his Mars colonization project as a politically correct climate change project, the emperor counts him as his friend. Thus he has free access to limitless amounts of monies. Elon Musk became the world’s richest man this winter after Tesla’s stock price nine folded in a year of lock down. Tesla’s stock is now priced at $1 million per car ambitiously expected to be manufactured this year. His net worth is estimated to be $180 billion. That’s about the sum of the last ten years of NASA’s budgets. If NASA had done nothing but focus on colonizing Mars for ten years in a row, even they would’ve done it. And Elon Musk is a much more efficient entrepreneur, and hype rider. So this little day dream of his has become a piece of cake for him.

    Your analysis is based on rationality and knowledge. But that stuff doesn’t matter in the court of the arbitrary Emperor.

  • LocalFluff

    This text editor doesn’t like the dollar sign. It molests the font. I’ll try to remember to never use it here.

    Those of you who see a sequence of tiny letters in the middle of my post above, it reads:

    priced at “1 million (dollars) per car ambitiously expected to be manufactured this year. His net worth is estimated to be” 180 Billion (dollars).

  • Jeff Wright

    That’s why he doesn’t sell Tesla-he is hoping for gov’t money-but that will go to the Apple DRIVE or whatever name their little pod will be called.
    Hey Elon!
    Sell it to China-then take some of that bank to fund union men to seize that foreign asset and sell it to GM for one dollar.
    He can make bank-GM gets help-and Apple-car gets a punch to its gut. Sell Starlink to oil sheiks if the regs get thick-but give the operating codes to Parler and say it was hacked. Those froze windfarms and gas lines mean we need Starship launched solar powersats as part of another long stimulus package with a trebling of NASA budgets as a rounding error that won’t get noticed-opposed like the one percent for space stand alone bill. President Henry Blake signs anything, right? Just give that mega brain Sheilia Jackson Lee some bank and she will have President Harris slide that little nothing right across the desk to get the crayon there at the group home. You libertarian pro-space innocents-let me tell you how how to get things done.
    Oh, and Zubrin! Quit playing house at Devon island. Pay some hookers and private eyes to blackmail Mars missions into place. Talk about how the treasure fleet was stupidly burned and replaced buy that Trumpian Great Wall-that’s how you talk up space to Columbus haters.

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