Robert Zimmerman

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 (, 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 (, 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 (,

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 (, 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.


Broadcast 309 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returned for this special Space Show broadcast to discuss with listeners the results of the recent AST Conference held in Washington, DC, the ISS, the NASA budget, Hubble, the situation with replacing the NASA Administrator and more. In updating us on the AST meeting, Bob told us about some of the recommended guidelines including the setting of medical standards for space tourists. This proved to be very controversial, sparking lots of questions and interaction with Bob regarding the direction the AST seems to be going which is toward heavy or significant regulation.

Broadcast 288 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returned to the program for this special show to do an in-depth analysis of the new Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004. Mr. Zimmerman went into great detail as to why he is not supportive of this legislation and why he cautions others in their support of it. Mr. Zimmerman sat in the hot seat for much of the program as caller after caller kept taking him to task regarding his view and understanding of this bill.

Broadcast 283 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returned to The Space Show to update us on the latest news and developments. Mr. Zimmerman had completed studying the full text of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (H.R. 3752) and was not encouraged by its full contents. He reviewed all of this legislation on the program, showing why t may be a limiting piece of legislation, despite the provision that permit space tourists to fly by signing an informed consent document. Mr. Zimmerman updated us on the space mood in Congress and around the country.

Broadcast 258 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returned to The Space Show for this program to give us several important updates as well as new information. Mr. Zimmerman updated us on space as a possible campaign issues for this year's presidential election and like he has said before, there is still no indication it will be an issue. We also talked about the X-Prize and both the American and Canadian contestants, the Hubble Space Telescope rescue mission and Nasa, and the level of progress being made toward implementing the recommendations of the Aldridge Committee. Regarding the Hubble, Mr.

Broadcast 246 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman, best selling author and space historian, returned to The Space Show for this program. Mr. Zimmerman discussed the important roll that Russia is now playing in our space program and how Russia is actually making it possible to continue with the manned space program and the ISS. We talked about what this means for NASA, the United States, and the top level of NASA administrators.

Broadcast 221 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returned to The Space Show for this program to discuss a variety of timely topics including updates on the new space policy initiative proposed by President Bush last January, possible directions to take to implement the policy with or without NASA, and the status of the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, we drew upon Mr. Zimmerman's vast knowlege and expertise about the former Soviet and now Russian space program and examined their contributions to space development, exploration and our global efforts to become space-faring. Mr.

Broadcast 208 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman returns to The Space Show to provide us with an in-depth analysis of the Bush space policy program. In exploring this policy, Zimmerman talked at length about NASA management and its management methodology over the need to be more engineering focused. In addition to the Bush space policy program, we discussed the situation regarding the Hubble Space Telescope and the stated plans by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe to let Hubble decay and return to Earth rather than risk the lives of astronauts to repair, modernize, and maintain the telescope in its orbit.

Broadcast 194 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman is a returning Space Show guest, an award winning science writer and space historian, a producer and screenwriter of feature films, documentaries, industrials, and commercials, and author of the current best selling book, "Leaving Earth." During this program, Mr. Zimmerman provides us with an in-depth analysis of the new space policy initiative put forward by President Bush. In looking at this proposal in detail, he also looks at NASA, its current structure and what the new policy proposal does for reforming NASA versus maintaining its status quo.

Broadcast 174 (Special Edition)

Robert Zimmerman, an award winning science writer and noted space historian, was the guest on this Space Show program. Mr. Zimmerman started our discussion with the importance of history from Apollo 8 and as recounted in his excellent book, Genesis. We also spoke about the differences in risk taking, adventure, and the importance of freedom from the days of Apollo 8 and our trips to the Moon to our present time. He showed how this change in freedom and the switch in rolls between Russia and the U.S.


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