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.

China Long March 4C rocket launches satellite

According to China’s state-run press, the country launched an “earth observation” satellite today using its Long March 4C rocket.

The satellite is part of a series of similar satellites launched by civilian agencies ostensibly for civilian use. The rocket was launched from an interior spaceport. No word on whether its first stage carried grid fins or parachutes to control its landing in the interior of China, or whether it crashed near habitable areas.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

30 China
21 SpaceX
13 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman

The U.S. lead over China in the national rankings has now narrowed to 32 to 30.


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


  • Gary

    Not sure if y’all are as geeky as me, but I’ve take up the hobby of searching the early evening me early morning sky’s for the objects like boosters, satellites and the space stations. This is a great site for following that stuff and there are numerous visible objects each day. In particular, I’ve noticed the Chinese space station – Tiangong – appearing a bit brighter recently. I’m guessing as it grows larger and adds reflective surface, that trend will continue.

    If you use the site, just set it up for your last/lon. Pretty straightforward if even I can set it.

  • Jay

    Welcome to the hobby Gary! That is a good site.
    I have been observing since 1986. I use to have to call the National Space Society hotline for the visible times for Salyut-7 and later Mir. I later subscribed to a service that sent the keplers by floppy disk for my Commodore-64. This was the hobby that got me into Amateur Radio, since I wanted to not only see, but hear the objects in the sky.

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 *