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A new company has announced plans to use the Gemini capsule design from the 1960s to provide crew and cargo capability to orbit.

The competition heats up: A new company has announced plans to use the Gemini capsule design from the 1960s to provide crew and cargo capability to orbit.

“Since this is an existing and proven design we could begin construction six to eight weeks after funding and complete a flying prototype ten to thirteen months later,” said WestWind President Bill Jolly.

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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Steve C

    Gemini originally had advanced development plans thru the Blue Gemini path, but where are they going to put a docking hatch?

  • Joe

    The Big Gemini Design had a rear docking hatch based on work done in the Manned Orbital Lab (MOL) program.

  • Steve C

    I would not have thought of putting a hatch through the heat shield. If they are doing the Big Gemini, it is not a tested and proven design, it is an incomplete, untested, 40 year old design.

  • Actually, this design was tested and worked. It was originally proposed for the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL) that the military was building in the early 1960s using the Gemini capsule. Though the program was cancelled before any astronauts ever flew, the heat shield concept was actually flown and tested successfully on November 2, 1966. To quote from my Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space (page 55)

    According MOL designs, a manned Gemini capsule and laboratory would be sent together into orbit, with access to the laboratory through a hatch cut into the capsule’s heat shield and covered with the heat shield’s ablative material. This flight tested the hatch and heat shield’s combined ability to protect the capsule during re-entry. When the capsule was recovered the engineers found that the hatch had been melted shut by the heat of reentry, demonstrating that the design worked.

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