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

The Netherlands says it will sign Artemis Accords

According to a press release from the government of the Netherlands yesterday, it plans to sign the Artemis Accords, becoming the thirtieth nation to join the American alliance to explore and settle the solar system.

The full list of signatories to the Artemis Accords is now as follows: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Ukraine, and the United States.

Increasingly the entire western world is signing on, leaving China, Russia, and their few communist allies isolated on the other side.

Though this sounds good, we must remember that the west no longer stands as firmly for freedom and individual rights as it did during the Cold War. Instead, we increasingly see two alliances that are both more interested in promoting the power of the people who run each, rather than furthering the rights and dreams of their citizens. As I concluded in Conscious Choice:

It is therefore likely that the first few centuries of colonization throughout the solar system will not proceed peacefully or justly, as wished for by the good intentions of the Outer Space Treaty. Instead, the initial exploration will be a brutal legal nightmare for all involved.

Governments will scramble to grab as much as they can. And for private enterprise to succeed in space, the treaty’s restrictions on property rights will force those operations, very expensive, time consuming and extremely risky, to focus on maximizing profits so as to at least minimize the legal risks. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens will have few legal rights, because the rights citizens enjoy on Earth will not exist legally for them.

We are certainly going to explore and settle the solar system in the coming centuries. It is also likely that the citizens living there will have a terrible battle to obtain the same rights we on Earth have since the Enlightenment taken for granted.

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

One comment

  • Concerned

    Bob says:
    We are certainly going to explore and settle the solar system in the coming centuries

    I like the optimistic outlook and mostly strive to remain so myself.

    But……it’s getting increasingly difficult to do that. Evidence your periodic “The Coming Dark Ages” postings.

    Would you put “certainly” at 100% ?

    We’ve had various prior dark ages of varying durations that we managed to push through and advance the state of humanity (by many objective measures), although it did take centuries.

    The rate of technological progress throughout those centuries to the present has been exponential, despite the dark ages setbacks. We’re rapidly approaching what many people consider a singularity, possibly within the next 30 years. By definition of the singularity, it makes prediction beyond that impossible. If you believe the threat of this Singularity (and the recent AI/transhumanisn advances makes me increasingly fearful the Singularity IS a real threat), then a centuries long spaceflight settlement with real biological humans campaign becomes doubtful, at least in the way we’ve all romantically and optimistically envisioned and dreamed about it.

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 *