Scroll down to read this post.


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 successfully launches 49 Starlink satellites and a D-Orbit space tug

SpaceX today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to launch 49 Starlink satellites as well as a D-Orbit space tug carrying one of its own customer’s satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The first stage successfully completed its seventh flight, landing on a drone ship in the Pacific. The D-Orbit tug with its four payloads has also successfully deployed.

The 2023 launch race:

7 SpaceX
5 China
1 Rocket Lab
1 Japan

American private enterprise leads China 8 to 5 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 8 to 6.

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.


  • geoffc

    As the month closes, it is interesting to see how much of a dent, the Falcon Heavy took on SpaceX’s launch cadence. Those 7 flights, were 2 from Vandenberg, 1 from LC-39A, and 4 from SLC-40.

    The time it took to convert from 1 booster -> 3 booster -> Back to 1 booster config for the launch table, seems like it wasted most of the month. Since SLC-40 launched 4 times in the same period.

    If they want to hit 100 launches, seems like they need to skip the Falcon Heavy launches…

  • Ben

    Robert – Are you sure about the 7 launches for Space X? I counted 8 in Jan based on the Space X web site.

  • Ben: I post an update after every launch, and have reviewed the numbers. I haven’t missed anything.

    What I suspect is that SpaceX might be counting the Falcon Heavy launch twice, assuming their count is counting the number of boosters that have returned.

  • Edward

    SpaceX reports:

    4) JANUARY 15, 2023: USSF-67 MISSION (Flacon Heavy)
    3) JANUARY 11, 2023: CRS-26 RETURNS TO EARTH

    I believe that Ben confused the January 11 return of CRS-26 as a launch.

    On another note: 14 launches worldwide gives a trend for 168 launches in 2023, 84 as SpaceX and 60 as Chinese. I expect an increase in launch cadence through the course of the year.

    All this commercial activity makes this decade an exciting time to watch space activities. Almost as exciting as the 1960s, only the commercial aspect benefits all mankind, not just the governments active in the space race. This is the kind of space activity that we had hoped for half a century ago.

  • Ben

    Yup, my mistake. Edward is right, I saw the CRS 20 return listed with their launches.

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 *