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.


Blue Origin reveals its orbital rocket

The competition heats up: Blue Origin today unveiled the orbital rocket it plans to launch before 2020, dubbed New Glenn.

Named in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, New Glenn is based around two variants – a two stage and a three stage launch vehicle – and a reusable booster stage. No information has been released as to where the booster stage will land, although it is believed Blue Origin is evaluating the option of an “ocean-going platform,” per planning documentation associated with the launch site. “Building, flying, landing, and re-flying New Shepard has taught us so much about how to design for practical, operable reusability. And New Glenn incorporates all of those learnings,” Mr. Bezos added.

Mr. Bezos added that the two-stage New Glenn is 270 feet tall, and its second stage is powered by a single vacuum-optimized BE-4 engine (the BE-4U). The 3-stage New Glenn is 313 feet tall. A single vacuum-optimized BE-3 engine, burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, powers its third stage. The booster and the second stage are identical in both variants. The three-stage variant – with its high specific impulse hydrogen upper stage – is capable of flying demanding beyond-LEO missions.

The rocket will be quite large and comparable more to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy than its Falcon 9, indicating that the competition is not only forcing companies to lower their prices, it is forcing new designs to be larger and have more capacity.

Readers!
 

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.

9 comments

  • Andrew_W

    I like Rand’s take: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ SLS

    http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=65458

    The sooner SLS is killed the better.

  • Frank

    The disruptive competition will be good for SpaceX and the future of spaceflight. Not good for those that rely on government pork and political deals.

    Bring it on.

  • Edward

    New Shepard for their suborbital rocket, now New Glenn for their orbital rocket. I think we can figure out what they will call their moon rocket.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the mass that it can take to LEO and to GEO transfer orbit. Those are the kinds of interesting details that future customers will be interested in.

  • Localfluff

    Maybe it will not take at all as much payload to orbit as a Saturn V although it is as large. Size could be used to make a simpler, cheaper and safer design. Reusability allows for a new design philosophy. It doesn’t necessarily cost more to launch a heavier rocket if it comes back.

  • Alex

    Edward: No masses were published yet by Mr. Bezos, but the launch thrust, which is about 1,750 metric tons. From this value a launch mass between 1,400 and 1,500 metric tons should follow. Mr. Zubrin calculated yesterday a LEO payload of 70 metric tons and of 20 tons to Mars (3 stage version). My guess for the payload to LEO is smaller (in range of 50 tons) due to effects of first stage reuse.

  • Alex

    Localfluff: I agree, it could be that first stage of New Glenn is built much more robust as that from Falcon 9.

  • D K Rögnvald Williams

    Seems like many players are wanting to get into the heavy launch business. Is there sufficient demand?

  • Edward

    D K Rögnvald Williams,
    If the price to get into space drops enough, there may be a tremendous demand to put heavy payloads (astronauts, space stations or habitats, moon missions, planetary probes, etc.) into space, and it looks like SpaceX — and perhaps Blue Origin — will be the major low-cost launch companies.

    On the other hand, there is (finally) a trend toward smaller satellites and a large number of companies planning to launch those smaller satellites on small, inexpensive launchers.

  • Frank

    Jeff Bezos on competing against Musk and other commercial companies:

    “Competition is super healthy…Great industries are never made by single companies. And space is really big. There is room for a lot of winners…At Blue Origin, our biggest opponent is gravity.

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 *