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.

Elon Musk lays out SpaceX’s planned program for developing a reusable first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.

Elon Musk lays out SpaceX’s planned program for developing a reusable first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket.

The article also gives some additional details about the company’s first effort to control the reentry of the first stage after launch last week.


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


  • Rodney

    He says that he’s going to bring back all 3 main segments from the heavy. As I understand their staging sequence, the core will be over mach 12 at separation and way way downrange. How are they going to bring that back? Now, if he says he will land that on a boat, that’ll make more sense.

  • Edward

    “How are they going to bring that back?”

    As I understand the plan, they will reserve about 10% of first stage fuel in order to expend it on the return trip. Once the upper stages have separated, the first stage will have significantly less mass to slow down, speed up in the reverse direction, and land at/near the launch-site.

    Likewise for the other two sections of the Falcon-9 Heavy.

    The article informs us that SpaceX has successfully overcome one of the main concerns about getting a first stage back down into the atmosphere, and that it can survive coming back down through the lower, denser atmosphere. Rockets are designed to take stresses from forces pressing on the nosecone. As far as I know, successfully coming back down without a nosecone has not been done before. They have also learned more about the amount of fuel that is necessary to do this. The lack of stability at the end worries me, however, but that should be easier to overcome than returning to the lower atmosphere.

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 *