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.

Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) has backed down and modified the language he had inserted in the NASA budget bill that would have limited the number of commercial space companies NASA could subsidize.

Good news: Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) has backed down and modified the language he had inserted in the NASA budget bill that would have limited the number of commercial space companies NASA could subsidize.

From Clark Lindsey:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) , who is Chairman on the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations committee, put language into the recent House budget for NASA that requiree NASA to down-select immediately to one primary contractor in the commercial crew program. This would obviously eliminate competition on price and rule out redundancy in case one system is grounded. He has now relented and is willing to allow for “2.5 (two full and one partial) CCiCAP awards”.

As I wrote earlier, the success of Dragon is putting strong political pressure on Congress to support the independent commercial space companies over the NASA-built and very expensive Space Launch System (SLS) that Congress had mandated. Expect to see more elected officials back down in the coming year, with the eventually elimination of SLS from the budget.


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  • Joe

    As I understand it the Administration’s intent was originally to select at least 2 competitors (that is the number could be anywhere from 2 to infinity – most likely continuing with 4).

    That assumed that the Commercial Crew budget would be $830 Million. By the agreement apparently reached the budget will be somewhere between the $500 Million House figure and the $525 Million Senate figure (60% to 63% of the originally requested amount).

    The intent of Wolf’s original proposal was to bring the number of competitors into line with the available funds. Interestingly 61.5% (the median of the above percentage range) of 4 is 2.46 (rounded up to 2.5).

    You can call that Wolf backing down if it makes you feel good. But in reality it looks a lot more like a compromise with the Administration doing most of the compromising.

  • Patrick

    Nasa, aka, the federal government should not be subsidizing anything.

    They should just use the cheapest, best available private contractor for the service they need at the time.

  • Kelly Starks

    Also sounds like it will starve CCDev developers out of having anything to compete with for the award.

  • Kelly Starks

    That would whip out all the CCDev bidders besides Boeing.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Kelly, can you elaborate a bit on your two comments – I didn’t quite get what you’re saying here. Not questioning it all, just not sure I understand it – thanks…

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