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.

Engineers: Webb undamaged by “incident”, ready for December 22nd launch

Arianespace engineers have confirmed after testing that the James Webb Space Telescope was undamaged by “incident” that occurred during stacking, and have okayed the resumption of the telescope’s preparation for launch.

On Wednesday, Nov. 24, engineering teams completed these tests, and a NASA-led anomaly review board concluded no observatory components were damaged in the incident. A “consent to fuel” review was held, and NASA gave approval to begin fueling the observatory. Fueling operations will begin Thursday, Nov. 25, and will take about 10 days.

The launch is now set for December 22nd.


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  • MDN

    They better pray there is no “unanticipated glitch” they failed to consider that kills this mission in space traceable to this incident.

    I hope with all my heart that Webb is a grand success, but NASA’s administrative style has to change. The cost, delays, and hyper anxiety it has allowed and fomented in this program are a scandal and Congress should refuse to keep funding such dismal management.


  • Localfluff

    The problem with the vibrations from this “incident” is that JWST is designed to survive the vibrations of the Ariane 5 launch. Those basically go up and down. Vibrations in another direction might loosen some of the fine mechanics necessary to fold it up in space. The electronics and software are all straightforward to check out. But the mechanics of the unfolding that we all worry about are not. They would have to bring it home to its vacuum chamber and unfold it there in order to check that out properly. Everyone’s patience is over already, so I’m sure they won’t do that. And what would happen with the last Ariane 5 in the jungle meanwhile? No, it will be launched for Christmas. Just get it over with. We are supposed to hear more from NASA on Friday.

    The recent Decadal Survey, which I have only had a very selective glance at yet, mentioned something about doing things differently with the next big space telescope. What caught my interest was what they call “The Interstellar Probe”, which I would call the trans-Solar probe because it will not reach for another star. It will just go as far as possible as quickly as possible, which is pretty cool! In order to measure interstellar winds, magnetic fields, cosmic radiation, dust density perhaps and such. They have a 50 year plan for that proposed mission, and give special considerations to the implications of that. Which I think is a great step, future spaceflight will be multi-generational projects. Then I have some questions about their ideas of how to get “there” (nowhere really, it’s somewhat like Hubble Deep Field) as quickly as possible. But I’ll look at it again before I say more about it.

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