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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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FAA grounds Virgin Galactic pending investigationn

Probably in response to the revelation of the flight issue, not an actual safety issue, the FAA has grounded Virgin Galactic from any further flights pending the resolution of the investigation of the July flight, which drifted out of its planned flight path due to high winds.

This will likely delay their planned next manned flight, which had been tentatively scheduled for September-October.

Posted on the way to Nevada.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Kyle

    Mark Sticky who was with virgin for around a decade as pilot and chief of flight safety is the main source outing them on this. He was relieved of all duties after the book came out this summer, but was allowed to be present during Branson’s flight. According to his tweets, the spacecraft was not in a steep enough climb and should have aborted according to their own safety procedures. He also stated that there was a serious risk of not being able to make it back to the airfield for landing.

  • Kyle c foley

    Sorry autospell misspelled last name.

  • Chris Lopes

    Nothing would destroy the space tourism business faster than losing a ship/crew/passengers in an accident caused by people trying to look good in front of the boss.

  • pzatchok

    I wonder if those vertical wing sections experience side to side flutter during launch and landing?

  • Chris Lopes observed: “Nothing would destroy the space tourism business faster than losing a ship/crew/passengers in an accident caused by people trying to look good in front of the boss.”

    Fair dues, in this case, the boss was on the vehicle. Still, a needless risk. Discretion and valor.

  • Edward

    Chris Lopes wrote: “Nothing would destroy the space tourism business faster than losing a ship/crew/passengers in an accident caused by people trying to look good in front of the boss.

    I think we can rest assured that at some point there will be a loss of passengers in a spacecraft accident. It happened in aviation, and loss of crew has happened in Spacecraft. We do not yet possess the knowledge to guarantee that it will not happen again in either domain.

    How the public and government react after this happens to a paying passenger will certainly determine the future of commercial space.

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