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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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Ispace extends schedule for its 1st two private moon lander missions

Capitalism in space: The Japaneses company Ispace has revised its schedule for its first two private moon lander missions, delaying the second by one year while confirming that it is on target to launch the first before the end of ’22.

That second mission will also include a small rover, now being developed.

The only reason Ispace provided for delaying the second mission was “internal and external conditions.” My guess is that the internal conditions refers to that rover development, while the external conditions means they want more time to find customers to fly on the mission. Ispace won’t likely have trouble finding customers, but this gives them more time for others, mostly universities, to propose and create projects for that mini-rover.

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.


  • BtB’s Original Mark

    In addition to all these landers, I hope NASA proceeds with some out of the box projects on the moon.

    For example, I read about 3 months ago that NASA has a conceptual framework for lunar Wi-Fi framework. So perhaps they are also thinking of networking landers and other robotic machines as part of the future Artemis moon base.

    I could imagine on the moon large construction & mining robots networked with some kind of Moon AI, and enabled by Moon Wi-fi. I’m sure the American Caterpillar, the Japanese Komatsu, and the Korean Hyundai Construction Equipment companies could rise to that challenge. They should all be included in the Artemis moon project.

    Yes I know – I’m proposing a HAL on the moon – but I promise this one will only promote the good of humanity. Of course, we’ll need a kill switch in case this new improved HAL starts building mass drivers that could lob fragments of asteroidal meteorites that previously bombarded the Moon towards a unsuspecting Earth.

  • Star Bird

    Remember it was JFK who talked about laving Man on the Moon before the decade was out we wanted until the very last Minute(1969)when we did

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