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.


India gets a new head of its space agency

The new colonial movement: The Modi government of India has put a new person in charge of its space agency ISRO, scientist Dr S Somanath.

As he takes over as the 10th ISRO chairman, succeeding K Sivan, that will be one of the biggest challenges before Somanath — putting the agency’s human space flight programme back on track following setbacks due to launch failures, the Covid-19 outbreak, and a general slowdown since the failure of the Chandrayaan 2 robotic moon landing mission in September 2019.

As director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre since 2018, and as head of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Somanath has been closely associated with developing the key rocket technology that will go into the mission.

He was the project director and mission director for the development of the GSLV Mk-III rocket that will be used for the programme. He has also been involved in making it usable for human flight in recent days.

Like Sivan, Somanath’s appointment is for a limited period of time, presently set for three years. Sivan’s had been extended a year during the Wuhan panic. Whether the almost complete shut down of India’s space effort during that panic, plus several launch failures, were a factor in this change is unclear, though they likely played a part in the decision. If all had gone as originally planned, Sivan’s appointment might have been renewed.

Somanath’s extensive background as a rocket engineer however appears to make him ideal for heading ISRO in the next few years, when it attempts its first manned launch.

In related news, ISRO today announced that it has successfully completed a 720 second qualification test of the cryogenic engine to be used in that manned flight.

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