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.

Hubble goes into safe mode

Due to a software issue, the Hubble Space Telescope shifted into safe mode early yesterday and stopped doing its programmed science observations.

The engineers seem confident all will eventually be well, but we must also remember the telescope’s infrastructure (not its instruments) was built in the early 1980s and has been in space since 1990. That makes many parts of this telescope 40 years old. We are increasingly faced with the possibility of a fatal fault occurring that shuts it down for good, with no way at the present time to reach it and fix it, and with the only comparable optical space telescope in the works one being built by China to fly in formation with its space station.


My July fund-raising campaign for 2021 has now ended. Thank you all for your donations and subscriptions. While this year’s campaign was not as spectacular as last year’s, it was the second best July campaign since I began this website.

And if you have not yet donated or subscribed, and you think what I write here is worth your support, you can still do so. I depend on this support to remain independent and free to write what I believe, without any pressure from others. Nor do I accept advertisements, or use oppressive social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

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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

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  • eddie willers

    Not too bad when you consider that when it took first light, it was fuzzy as hell. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as disappointed as when they figured out is wasn’t a simple collimation problem, but an actual flaw with the primary mirror!

    That someone was smart enough to make corrective lens for the collector, and with good old Story Musgrave doing the installation, they made a silk purse out of that sow’s ear. Then we get that wonderful picture of the Eagle Nebula!

    So, well done, good and faithful servant.

  • John Fisher

    Wonder what Space X would charge for a service mission?

  • Col Beausabre

    “Wonder what Space X would charge for a service mission

    As everyone knows, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it

  • Ray Van Dune

    “SpaceX StarShip Production Planning…”

    “This is Elon…”


    “Move the ‘Chomper’ configuration up to first position in the Production flow!”

    “Yessir!! Done!”

  • Jeff Wright

    I think it was a NOVA special that had a bit on how a sliding shower fixture inspired a repair tube. This is why I wanted a side mount SLS back during the SLI days of the 9o’s. Keep the orbiters flying Buran style. Maybe capsule servicing is doable. Starship might retrieve it-but it would knock about. Falcon Heavy with an unmanned tug might shove it to ISS over time. That would save the mirror from stress. You have to baby these things.

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