Under the weather

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

Among cavers there is a saying: “The most dangerous part of any cave trip is the drive to and from the cave.” Well, that might just apply to trips to Israel. On my last flight home on Thursday there was a woman sitting behind me wearing a face mask, the kind used to protect the wearer from other people’s germs. In her case, however, it was to protect everyone else. During the whole flight to Phoenix she coughed continually.

On Friday night my throat felt scratchy. By Sunday it was clear that I had caught a bad cold. Today is day five, which is usually the worst. I had intended to write up my last report about my trip to Israel but I just don’t have the energy. The best I can do today is post some news items, do some easy reading for another Astronomy article I’m writing, and tape an appearance tonight on the John Batchelor Show. The longer essay will have to wait until tomorrow.

Update: Just for your added pleasure, the image below the fold shows the view of Bethlehem from the main highway south out of Jerusalem. The tunnel and high security fence were installed after the most recent intifada. Before then you had to drive through town, which was slow, but also dangerous as Bethlehem is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. During the intifada the danger became acute as commuters would have rocks thrown at them, and some were even shot at. The security fence, condemned by all the world, was an attempt to protect commuters from this threat.

The view of Bethlehem on the road


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