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.

Italy’s legislature rejects additional funding for space

The Italian legislature has refused to add an additional $250 million to the budget of its space program, money requested to help pay the country’s share in the development of Arianespace’s next generation commercial rocket, Ariane 6.

The money was also needed for several other ESA space projects. Not having it puts a question mark on Italy’s future in space. The article also illustrates how the committee nature of Europe’s cooperative space effort makes it almost impossible for it to compete in the commercial market.


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.

If you choose to help, you can contribute via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


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

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • Competential

    It is sound to not waste money on trying to develop yet another rocket which will be too expensive to compete. ESA should use the cheapest launch providers in the world. Or do they run their own bauxit mines and aluminium plants and coal power plants in order to supply themselves inhouse with their aluminium?

    Let’s see now, how many Ariane 5 class launchers are there in the world today? Atlas V, Delta IV, Proton, Falcon 9, Mitsubishi H-II. Plus upcoming Angara 5 and Long March 5 and Falcon Heavy. Space flight is so expensive because the wheel is being reinvented all over again. And the new rockets are often not at all cheaper than the already existing ones. Launcher development is mostly nothing but fraud against tax payers.

  • Competential

    Arianespace should aim at becoming a supplier to SpaceX with those components and competences they have which actually are competitive. As a whole they have no chance.

  • Matt in AZ

    SpaceX’s does most of it’s own manufacturing, so being a major supplier to them is not in the cards.

  • wodun

    Well, they could focus their limited funds on building payloads for Falcon 9’s.

  • Edward

    SpaceX is not yet able to launch at a rate to completely replace the other launchers. There is too much demand for launch capability. But the other companies are going to be forced to become less expensive, otherwise SpaceX and other, new, low-price providers will “eat their launch” (oh, I have wanted to say that for *so* long).

    Launch providers and space agencies will have to stop being run by argumentative committees, and efficiency (not pork) will soon rule space. There will still be governmental pork projects, just like the rest of life, but the efficiencies of free-market capitalism will do better at creating jobs than the pork, just like the rest of life.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *