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.


German smallsat rocket startup wins launch contract

Capitalism in space: The German smallsat rocket startup company Isar Aerospace has won its first launch contract, to place an Airbus Earth observation satellite using its new Spectrum rocket.

Isar is one of three new German rocket companies competing for the smallsat market that all hope to launch for the first time next year.

Along with Rocket Factory Augsburg and HyImpulse Technologies, the three startups are competing as part of the German Space Agency DLR’s microlauncher competition.

The competition, which is being run in conjunction with ESA [European Space Agency], will award one of the three startups with 11 million euros ($13 million) in funding later this year. The funding is to be used to support a qualification flight that will carry a payload for a university or research institution for free. A second prize of 11 million euros in funding will then be awarded in 2022 as the final stage of the competition.

In evaluating the three startups, the DLR panel of judges will examine the technical aspects and commercial feasibility of each launcher. As a result, each startup’s success in securing funding and signing launch contracts will play a role in their chance of winning the competition.

Rocket Factory has also won a launch contract, with that commercial launch set for 2024.

Note how ESA is shifting its approach. Previously it focused its commercial effort entirely within the government-controlled Arianespace company. Now it is awarding competitive contracts to independent private companies. It appears that the ESA, like NASA, is adopting the recommendations put forth in my policy paper Capitalism in Space. It no longer wants to be the company but is instead acting as a customer looking for a product to buy.

Hopefully more than one of these three German companies will succeed, so that the competition will increase. That in turn will force prices down while encouraging greater innovation.

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