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.

Bigelow lays off half its workforce

This isn’t confirmed, but a twitter comment via Trent Waddington suggests that Bigelow Aerospace has laid off half its workforce. (A hat tip also to Clark Lindsey.)


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

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 not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. 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

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • Kelly Starks

    Seems to have been confirmed by 51 other suddenly ex employees.

    Bigelow bought a team that was developing inflatable spacestation/space ship modules for a canceled NASA project, and built up some very good spaceship /station modules for sale or lease. Effectively real estate development for space. Problem is he bet that by the time his stations are ready, a commercial passenger and cargo launch would be in operation. Non is, and he (likely because of that) isn’t able to sign up the big numbers of customers he was hoping for (at one point he was talking about contracting options for up to 24, 6 person, launches per year – dwarfing all other maned operations in history. Now hes talking much smaller – and launch systems developers are no longer seeing him as a market worth developing a ship for.

    Same chicken and egg thing again I guess. no ones going to develop a lot of systems for space with no reliable affordable way to get there; and no ones able to build and operate a reliable affordable way to get there without a market for it.

  • Joe2

    That is of course the whole problem with so called ‘Commercial Space’.

    A lot of wishful thinking and very little reality.

    By the way I am and long have been a big supporter of inflatable modules.

    If this story is true, I am very sorry.

    Unfortunately it was predictable.

  • Nameless

    It is true, I am one of the 70 employees that were let go. At my last count there were approximately 105 employees working there including the security staff. Security makes up about 15 of those. I won’t say what my job title was. In reality I believe (whether Mr. Bigelow is aware of this or not) they were much farther from a BA 330 launch than any one outside the company realizes. Key designs like deployable (properly sized) solar arrays, hatches, airlocks and a functional eclss were far from complete. With the turnover ratio of qualified engineers at BA, these design short comings would have eventually come to light. For a professional engineer BA was hardly the ideal place of employment, I won’t get in to specifics here but anybody with ties to BA knows what I am referring to. Well; just a little rant, the rumors are true. Most of the employees there were model makers, that was really the heart of the business, creating Hollywood style third scale models of future space debris… : )

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 *