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.

Ariane 6 inaugural launch date appears to be delayed again

It appears that officials at the European Space Agency (ESA) have begun preparing the public for a further delay in the first launch of its new Ariane 6 rocket, from the second quarter of 2022, as announced in October 2020, to the third quarter of 2022, at the earliest.

Josef Aschbacher, director general of the European Space Agency, at the Paris Air Forum [described the creation of] “a small group” … to make an independent assessment of the schedule for the final development phase of the Ariane 6 rocket. The goal of this task force will be to ensure that Europe does everything it needs to do launch on time.

…In referring to an “on time” launch, Aschbacher said he meant next year, before the European Space Agency’s Ministerial Council meeting that is typically held in October or November. This is a high-level meeting where representatives from each member nation of the space agency gather to set policy. The European Space Agency’s budget is provided, in varying amounts, by member nations. “This is a must,” Aschbacher said of launching before the 2022 meeting, “because we need good news, and good success, for our politicians to see that Europe performs, that Europe delivers, and therefore it is worth investing in space in the ministerial conference.”

It appears from these statements that the development of Ariane 6 is now faced with delays that might make a launch by the third quarter in ’22 difficult, and this new independent committee is being put together to try to forestall that possibility. What makes this even more significant for Ariane 6 is that it continues to have trouble winning contracts from the nations within ESA, as it remains far more expensive that SpaceX’s Falcon 9. If that first launch is delayed past that important fall ’22 high-level meeting, those politicians at that meeting might decide to consider serious new alternatives to it, or even more drastically decide to replace it entirely.


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 *