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.

Emailing a wrench to ISS

Having overheard an ISS astronaut mention the need for a particular type of wrench, the company that made the 3D printer on the station immediately worked up a design and emailed that to him, allowing him to print it up.

No word on whether the astronaut actually printed it, but it seems to me that he should do so immediately, then test its use.


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  • fred k

    IIRC, one of the media reports had a picture of an astronaut on ISS with said “wrench”.

    since it is made out of relatively soft plastic, kind of a poor material for a tool, it takes a bit of imagination to see what a big deal this is. But it is in fact, a big deal. Printing (and other local production methods) parts and tools is a crucial enabling technology for long duration space missions.

  • D.K. Williams

    Seems like ISS would have a 3D printer that uses metal of some kind as its production material.

  • Tom Billings

    Everything with time, D.K.. There are many parts that can break on ISS, and it has been figured that about 86% are plastic. Thermoplastic plastic thread melts at a far lower temperature than most metals, and can be composed of components that won’t muck up the atmospheric life support system.

    Metals require far more energetic lasers or even electron beams to melt, can oxidize to airborne components that muck up life support, are a danger inside ISS habitats if their hotter melted state gets loose, and require vacuum chambers to keep oxidation from becoming a problem. Metal 3d printing *will* begin to be used in orbit when an electron beam system can be mounted to the *outside* of a space station, with an airlock for bringing finished pieces inside without a spacewalk. Then, much larger pieces can be printed as well, for use outside a space station, without a spacewalk to assemble them from pieces.

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