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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


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Dennis Tito’s project already has hundreds of volunteers.

Want to go to Mars? You better get in line. Dennis Tito’s project already has hundreds of volunteers.

I still have doubts whether this non-private company can pull this off by 2018, but only by 2018. Given a bit more time and research, the obstacles for sending two humans on a fly-by of Mars can easily be overcome.

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.


  • I understand the need to develop the technology and procedures to keep people alive far from terrestrial support, but If I’m going to spend the better part of two years in a tin can, I’d want to do more than just wave at Mars on the way past.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Good point – what could we learn from a manned Mars flyby that we don’t already know from all the various robotic landers & orbiters? When Apollo 8 did its circumlunar flight to the Moon, it showed we could get there & back, and safely, and Apollo 10 demonstrated the Lunar Lander’s capabilities, but these were steps in the ultimate goal of a manned landing. It would be interesting to do, and probably fascinating for the astronauts onboard to view Mars from only 100 mi, but otherwise, what would be the point, unless there was a “next step”? I guess if it could be demonstrated that a human crew could survive the time frame of a round trip, that would be something positive, and maybe provide valuable data for a future manned Mars landing. But it sounds like this is more of a one-off stunt.

  • Blair and Chris,

    Both of you should really read Leaving Earth. The amount of knowledge we would gain from a fly-by is practically immeasurable, none of which could be gained by robotic missions. And I’m not talking about knowledge about Mars but about the engineering and medical information needed to build and fly humans to another world.

    It is this lack of knowledge that makes me doubt their fly-date of 2018. Much of this research has to first go on in Earth orbit, in an orbiting prototype interplanetary spaceship falsely called a “space station.” Such research takes time, as to find out if you can survive for two years in space you have to live two years in space.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Thanks, Bob – I’ll check that out. I didn”t mean to dismiss the idea entirely, I was just wondering if it would be of much value on its own – as I said, if it’s part of a plan to go ahead & eventually land humans on Mars, I could see the value of a flyby first…

  • Chris,

    I emailed you directly about your purchase of Leaving Earth. Please respond to me directly by email.

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