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.


DARPA awards phase 2 space plane contracts

The competition heats up: The second phase contracts in the development of a reusable space plane have been awarded by DARPA.

DARPA has awarded $6.5 million each to three companies for developmental design work, including Boeing (in partnership with Blue Origin), Northrop Grumman (in partnership with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic), and Masten Space Science Systems (in partnership with XCOR Aerospace).

The requirements are that the plane fly 10 times in 10 days, reach Mach 10+, put a 3,000 to 5000 pound payload in orbit, and cost less than $5 million per flight. In this new phase, the companies are to deliver finalized designs by 2016, with prototype development to follow.

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3 comments

  • David M. Cook

    What about Sierra Nevada Corp and their Dream Chaser? How does the DC fit into this profile?

  • Michael

    Worked on a number of those programs.

    Stated of as a means of finally getting cheap access to space. Then it was down-graded to a demonstration program. Then it morphed into a technology development program. Then everyone took an early lunch.

    Do not have much hope for this.

  • Edward

    It may depend upon how serious DARPA is to have this technology. When their self-driving vehicle competition (Grand Challenge) failed, a decade ago, they held another competition, where they had a winner. Now, people from the winning team are working at Google to develop a commercial self-driving car.

    On the other hand, the Grand Challenge was encouraged by an award to the winner, but this one is a series of contracts, so this could be just another way of “spreading around the wealth.”

    What I find most challenging on this competition is the 10 flights in 10 days. This means that the winner must launch, orbit, release its payload, return to the launch site, and be back on the pad and launching again in 26 hours. Consistently. With no delays.

    So far, the quickest that I have ever heard was SpaceX putting a rocket on a pad and having it ready for launch in a 24-hour period (engines may have been fired for a couple of seconds).

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