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.

Long March 2F booster that launched astronauts lands on public road in China

Long March 2F strap on booster after crashing onto public road
Click for full image.

One of the four strap-on boosters used to launch three astronauts to China’s new space station on June 16th ended up landing on a public road in China.

The photo to the right, uploaded at this twitter feed, shows the booster. The parachute cords at its top explain why it is so relatively undamaged. The Chinese are apparently experimenting with parachutes to slow and maybe even control its descent. They might even be planning to catch the stage before it hits the ground, using a plane or helicopter, as both ULA and Rocket Lab hope to do with their Vulcan and Electron rockets.

Of course, we do not know this, as the Chinese tell us nothing.

Note that the hypergolic fuels, such as the hydrazine used in this booster, are extremely toxic. The person who took this picture is in very great danger, even if he or she does not know it.

Potential routes of hydrazine exposure include dermal, ocular, inhalation and ingestion.

Hydrazine exposure can cause skin irritation/contact dermatitis and burning, irritation to the eyes/nose/throat, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, pulmonary edema, headache, dizziness, central nervous system depression, lethargy, temporary blindness, seizures and coma. Exposure can also cause organ damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Hydrazine is documented as a strong skin sensitizer with potential for cross-sensitization to hydrazine derivatives following initial exposure.

Not that the Chinese government really cares. They have been dumping these boosters on their own people for decades, and only recently have apparently begun to look into ways of controlling their descent.


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  • Mark

    That’s a picture of a Chinese Landing Pad for their boosters. C’mon Man., give them a break, they have not yet been able to steal that SpaceX technology. Darn that Musk and his cyber hacking defense team!

  • David Telford

    wash it down and auction it off to the world’s various museums.

    it does take a certain _gall_ to operate like this. wow. no wonder they don’t do popular elections.

  • Captain Emeritus

    91 million members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), enslave
    1.444 Billion, Chinese peasants.
    Only 6.3% of the population.

  • wayne

    “Physical Removal of the CCP”

  • Jeff Wright

    The kid in me would think it kinda cool. If it weren’t toxic, I’d put it on wheels. Here-we are sue happy. There? A dirt farmer might swell with pride to see this futurist diversion from the mundane.

  • I’m well aware of the consequences here, but my first reaction was LOL. Not the usual on your way to work.

  • jeff

    not sure if this is applicable, main engines vs boosters, sometimes , always. Manley say China uses both types of fuel. Either way, your points in the post are valid.

  • Col Beausabre

    Early US launch vehicles like Vanguard used Red Fuming Nitric Acid (RFNA) and Unsymmetrical Dimethyl Hydrazine (UDMH) as hypergolic fuel and oxidizer in the second stage. Is hydrazine toxic? You be the judge

    and RFNA is just as bad

    Don’t think I’d liking working in the pit crew at the Cape back then….

  • To be fair, both of these apply to America, too:
    it does take a certain _gall_ to operate like this.
    You mean like blowing up entire islands with atomic bombs? Granted that they were isolated islands (that we surrounded with ships), but still.

    A dirt farmer might swell with pride to see this futurist diversion from the mundane.
    You mean like finding it in your field in the 1950s? I’d bet many American farmers, with visions of Tom Swift and his Atomic Airplane or Tom Corbett – Space Cadet, would have that reaction.

    That doesn’t mean this is not irresponsible, but we do need to beware of mounting high horses.

  • pzatchok

    We can mount our high horse any time we want. We are American. And free.

    The point of the article though was that China does not care about it own people very much or is just too stupid to learn from out 70 year old mistakes.
    Either way they are idiots and we have learned.

  • pzatchok

    As for the parachute, they might be trying to bring them down slow enough to keep them from rupturing the fuel tanks.
    A cheap way to keep their people safe.
    It would be better to launch from the coast like we do but they are afraid someone might see their secret stuff if they used the coast,

  • Gary: Not much there that hasn’t been covered before here on BtB.

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