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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:

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5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
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Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo mother ship unveiled after major overhaul

Virgin Galactic yesterday rolled its WhiteKnightTwo mother ship from its hanger after a 15-month overhaul in preparation for taxi and flight tests.

After some initial taxi and flight tests in Mojave in California, the plane will fly to New Mexico for further flight tests with Unity attached. Company officials hope to complete these test flights by the end of March, and then begin commercial flights shortly thereafter.

In comparing the pictures released yesterday at the link above with this 2009 picture, it appears the company completely replaced the central bar that connects the plane’s two passenger sections. In the older picture, that bar was not straight, but was built like a very shallow upside-down “V”, with the center point where a SpaceShipTwo spacecraft was attached.

The new bar is straight, and appears more robust.

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.


  • Andi

    I still wonder how they handle the torsion on that center section

  • Jeff Wright

    Now to put it into a museum.

  • Jimmy Doolittle

    How to handle center section torsion… Define it, and design for it. Stiff structure results.

  • Star Bird

    Where do we get some Delythium Crystals?

  • Edward

    Jimmy Doolittle wrote: “How to handle center section torsion… Define it, and design for it. Stiff structure results.

    Composite materials can be designed to do fascinating things. They are not like the homogenous materials that we are familiar with, such as steel and aluminum. Composites can be designed so that when the part experiences torsion, the resistance to that torsion increases. This ability comes from the differences in the material’s properties in each of the three primary spacial directions, x, y, and z. In one of my undergraduate design classes, we were introduced to the equation for all three directions combined, then the professor declared that because we were assuming homogenous materials for the class we could eliminate the parts of the equation for the second two dimensions and only work with the terms for the first dimension. This made the math much easier. I took a couple of graduate level classes on composite material design, and the first thing the professor said to us was that those previously eliminated terms were back, complicating the math to the degree that we used computer programs to compute the reactions to forces on our designs. Composites have advantages to the final product, but they are more difficult to design and analyze.

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