Robert Zimmerman (Private Enterprise in Space)

A photo of Robert Zimmerman, smiling

Guest Bio

Robert Zimmerman is an award-winning science journalist and historian who has written five books and more than a hundred articles on science, engineering, and the history of space exploration and technology. He also reports on space and science news at his website, http://behindtheblack.com. His first book, GENESIS, THE STORY OF APOLLO 8 (Mountain Lake Press) describes the epic family and political tale behind the first manned mission to another world and is now available as an ebook from all ebook venders as well at his publisher (https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000002014/Genesis-The-Story-of-Apollo-8-The-First-Manned-Mission-to-Another-World.html).

His other books include LEAVING EARTH: SPACE STATIONS, RIVAL SUPERPOWERS, AND THE QUEST FOR INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL (Joseph Henry Press), which was awarded the American Astronautical Society’s Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award in 2003 as that year’s best space history for the general public, THE CHRONOLOGICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DISCOVERIES IN SPACE (Oryx Press), a detailed reference book describing what was accomplished on every single space mission, from October 1957 with Sputnik through December 1999, and the 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.

He has just published a major policy paper on the aerospace industry for the Center for a New American Security, entitled CAPITALISM IN SPACE: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND COMPETITION RESHAPE THE GLOBAL AEROSPACE INDUSTRY.

His magazine and newspaper articles have appeared in ASTRONOMY, AIR & SPACE, SCIENCE, NATURAL HISTORY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY, WIRED, INVENTION & TECHNOLOGY and a host of other publications. 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.

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 eastern 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.