Robert Zimmerman is an award-winning science journalist and historian who has written six books and hundreds of articles on science, engineering, and the history of space exploration and technology. He also reports on space, science, and culture at his website, Behind the Black (http://behindtheblack.com), with millions of readers per month.
His newest book, Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
explains the errors the British made in building their Virginia colony and how those terrible mistakes could inform us in building our own new colonies among the stars. As Robert Zubrin said, "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."
The recommendations Zimmerman made in 2017 policy paper for the Center for a New American Security, Capitalism in Space: private enterprise and competition reshape the global aerospace launch industry (https://behindtheblack.com/books/capitalism-in-space/), have been largely adopted by the government, and have helped generate the fast paced changes being wrought worldwide by the new commercial space industry. His 2008 book, The Universe in a Mirror: the saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the visionaries who built it (Princeton University Press), tells the story of the people who conceived, built, and saved the Hubble Space Telescope, while his first book, Genesis, the story of Apollo 8 (Mountain Lake Press), available both as an ebook and audiobook (https://behindtheblack.com/books/genesis-the-story-of-apollo-8/),
describes the epic family and political tale behind the first manned mission to another world.
His magazine and newspaper articles have appeared in Astronomy, Air & Space, Science, Natural History, Wired, Invention & Technology and a host of other publications. He has also written op-eds for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Federalist, USA Today, American Greatness, and The National Interest. In 2000 he was co-winner of the David N. Schramm Award, given by the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society for Science Journalism, for his essay in The Sciences, "There She Blows," on the 35-year-old astronomical mystery of gamma ray bursts. His third book, Leaving Earth:
Space stations, rival superpowers, and the quest for interplanetary travel (Joseph Henry Press), won the American Astronautical Society's Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award in 2003 as that year's best space history for the general public.
Zimmerman has also written one science fiction novel, Pioneer (https://behindtheblack.com/books/pioneer/), telling the thrilling story of one man's effort to make the first contact with aliens beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
In addition to his writing, Mr. Zimmerman is also a cave explorer and cartographer, and has participated in numerous projects exploring and mapping previously unknown caves across the United States. It is this activity that has allowed him to actually "go where no one has gone before," thus providing him a better understanding of the perspective of engineers and scientists as they struggle to push the limits of human knowledge.