Conscious Choice cover

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.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


The competition heats up

According to this story, China plans 30 launches for 2017, which would smash the record of launches, 22, the country set in 2016.

This website lists the known scheduled launches worldwide. As far as I can see, only 15 Chinese launches are listed. However, China’s space program is modeled after the Soviet Union’s, which means they are somewhat secretive. The first link above has been reporting on China quite reliably during the past year, so I have some faith that the goal of 30 launches seems reasonable.

In 2017 China however is not the only country, or company, that will be attempting smash records. Russia hopes to complete 29 launches, which would not be a record for that country but would be a significant recovery from the 17 they completed in 2016. India set a record of 9 launches in 2016, and hopes to top it in 2017, starting with a single launch in January that will place a record 103 satellites in orbit in one shot. Europe meanwhile shows 21 launches on its 2017 manifest, while Japan has 9, according to the second link above.

The list gets even more interesting when you look at the 2017 launches planned for each American company. SpaceX has 31 launches all by itself,. ULA has 14, while Orbital ATK plans 4.

Obviously, these predicted numbers are not what is really going to happen. SpaceX is not going to launch 31 rockets in 2017. Not a chance. However, if they can get through the year with no launch failures, they will likely complete more than half that number, since that was the pace they were aiming for in 2016 and were getting close to achieving until the September 1 launchpad explosion. Meanwhile, ULA’s prediction of 14 launches for 2017 seems wholly reasonable since ULA completed 12 launches in 2016.

What this data suggests overall is that the total number of launches in 2017 will go up, significantly. Moreover, the increase in pace will be linked to an revived commercial satellite market, as well as a newly competitive launch industry aimed at reducing costs while making its increased launch pace more routine. These factors suggest that the increases will not be a one time thing, but will instead be heralding a new standard that signals a new age in space travel.

Hold onto your hats. The next few years in space should be quite exciting.

Readers!
 

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

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

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *