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.


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Ireland’s government releases its space strategy goals through 2025

The new colonial movement: Ireland today released a national space strategy designed to encourage the growth of a commercial space sector by 2025.

You can download the actual report here [pdf].

They want to increase both public and private investment by 50% by 2025. Whether that means investment in private companies or simply a growth in a government bureaucracy is uncertain, based on my reading of the report. It appears their goal is to grow the private sector, but they will be using European Space Agency approaches for doing so, which tend to favor government growth and control rather than developing an independent commercial industry.


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One comment

  • Edward

    There I was, reading Ireland’s space policy paper, when I come across the term “Space 4.0.” It was like coming face to face with a lion in Africa without realizing that I was on safari.

    “What the heck is that?” I shout out loud, but no one had an answer.

    Except the interweb thingy, where I hunted down an essay that gave me some historical context:

    Space 1.0: how it all began

    In the 1950s and 1960s, the model for the development of global space exploration was the ‘specialisation’ model. In the Soviet space programme, the most obvious example of specialisation was the General Designers’ Board, in which each participant was responsible for their own main direction.

    I interpret this as meaning: governments trying some ideas to see what they like or can do successfully. Rejected ideas include: NERVA engine, supersonic retropropulsion reentry, expandable space station modules, and Mars Direct.

    Space 2.0: Private space research or attempt #2

    At the beginning of the 21st century, Space 2.0 appeared. It was marked out by a different production model: instead of ‘specialisation’ it had ‘natural economy’, ‘non-unique solutions’ and ‘modern technologies of production’. This did allow for a significant reduction in the cost of space technology. But the main shortcoming of Space 2.0 was that it protected the role of the state as the main initiator, beneficiary and investor in space programmes and projects.

    I think this means: commercial enterprise trying some of the ideas the governments did not finish. These include: supersonic retropropulsion reentry and expandable space station modules. SpaceX is proposing to perform a version of Mars Direct.

    New hope: Space 3.0

    Space research can once again be a leader of innovation only on the basis of a new visionary project. The most promising of these is establishing a colony on Mars. This is the only programme which has an enormous potential for Earth. This is of interest to business. This is the new era of development for space research. This is Space 3.0

    I think that this means commercial enterprise tries out its own ideas to see what they like. The essay specifies establishing a colony on Mars, but a colony on the Moon or mining asteroids seem to also fit this definition. It may be that these are still done for the benefit of the governmental customer.

    From the Irish report:

    Space 4.0 represents the evolution of the space sector into a new era, characterised by increased private sector investment and interaction between governments, private sector, society and politics. Space 4.0 will drive contemporary technologies in automation, miniaturisation, advanced manufacturing, machine-to-machine/human interaction, connectivity, big data, biotechnology and more, stimulating the interaction of different sectors and enabling increased levels of technology exchange between space and nonspace domains.

    This sounds to me like commercial companies finally become the primary customers for the commercial space companies, but that they still work with governments on products and services that the various governments want.

    It seems that Ireland, Luxembourg, and a lot of other countries want their industries to get in on this action, when it comes.

    From the Irish report:

    Within Space 4.0, there are a wealth of opportunities for agile countries, such as Ireland, to capitalise upon by exploiting current research, existing industry capabilities and commercial knowledge to create new, high-growth business opportunities. The opportunities are developing in both commercial upstream and downstream sectors, and through technology transfer into and out of related sectors such as the aviation, automotive, medical sector and data related services. The significant change indicated by Space 4.0 is that private industry is becoming the leading player and significant investor in a sector that was once dominated by government programmes. In recognition of the growing opportunities alongside the increasing capabilities of Irish industry, Enterprise 2025 – Ireland’s National Enterprise Policy, identified the space sector as a new area of opportunity for Ireland.

    Robert wrote: “It appears their goal is to grow the private sector, but they will be using European Space Agency approaches for doing so, which tend to favor government growth and control rather than developing an independent commercial industry.

    My takeaway from the report is that they believe that the private sector will naturally outgrow government dependence, largely through the technology exchange between the space and non-space domains. Section 5.5 presents action items that intend to make Irish space-related companies and their capabilities known not just within Ireland or among the ESA countries but worldwide. ESA seems to be a first stage in their attempt to get involved in the space-active industry. As section 1.2 points out, they have been a member of ESA since 1975, and now they seem to have asked themselves what that has brought them and how it can bring them more than merely what they contribute. After 45 years of membership, their one-minute video only mentions six companies that have benefited.

    I think they are looking for more, and they can only get it if they evolve beyond ESA and its government-limited budget.

    Their report presents many action items and includes performance measurement indicators in Appendix 1, suggesting that they are serious about doing this.

    It looks to me that Ireland wants something similar to what Luxembourg is trying to do, but Ireland is going about it differently. Ireland is trying to grow more internally, starting and developing its own companies with its own workforce and education system. Luxembourg is attracting foreign companies to do business inside their country.

    Ireland’s method only works when the space economy grows, and it does not grow fast or well when there are only governments and their limited budgets as the major customers. It will grow quickly and well when commercial companies buy each other’s products and services, which is why Ireland is looking forward to and counting upon Space 4.0.

    What will they call it when the consuming public are buying space products?

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