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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.

 

Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.

 

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If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
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You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.


Another 5 month slip of first Falcon Heavy launch

In the heat of competition: Amid a slew of SpaceX launch delays in the past month due to the introduction of an upgraded Falcon 9, Elon Musk noted at a student event in Texas on Sunday that the first demo launch of the Falcon Heavy is likely to happen in September, not April as previously announced.

The article is mostly focused on the launch delays of the Falcon 9, which for some of SpaceX’s customers are becoming a financial problem. The company is obviously trying to make sure that further Falcon 9 launches are a success, but the unreliability of its schedule is clearly a reason satellite companies like Eutelsat have signed new contracts with Russia’s ILS or Arianespace. Even with the problems Russia has had with its Proton they have managed a more reliable launch schedule.

Then again, the Proton and Ariane 5 have been around for decades. Their companies aren’t trying to improve them in any way. The delays in SpaceX’s schedule are somewhat understandable in this context. Better to launch slowly with new designs then to have a failure that entirely stops things for months.

Nonetheless, it might be wise for SpaceX to settle on the present Falcon 9 design for awhile, so that they can catch up and make their customers happy. Moreover, the further delay of the Falcon Heavy launch is definitely disappointing.

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.

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