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.

Lucy update: Engineers testing solar panel fix on ground

Engineers for the asteroid probe Lucy have begun doing ground tests on a duplicate solar array motor on Earth to see if their plan will work to get the partly deployed solar panel in space opened and latched.

If all goes right, they are aiming for an April attempt at deploying the panel.

In the meantime, the spacecraft continues its coast outwards, presently being about 30 million miles from Earth. Even though one solar array is not fully open, it appears the spacecraft is getting “ample power” for its present operations. It is unclear if this power — with one solar panel not fully opened — will be sufficient once the spacecraft reaches the region of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, much farther from Earth.


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  • John

    From the article, “On January 5, Lucy completed a test to look at the dynamics of the spacecraft in order to characterize the solar array.” I wonder if that is just governese for, “we maneuvered the craft to see what would happen.”

    The real test occurs is space. That’s that big open area with no air where there’s no gravitational effect in unaccelerated flight. I just want the team to know that’s different than the ground tests.

  • Edward

    John pondered: “I wonder if that is just governese for, ‘we maneuvered the craft to see what would happen.’

    It would be more of a comparison of the predicted responses with the reality. I did not get the impression that they tried to shake loose the panels (gores).

    Don’t worry, though. We engineers know that our various tests (deployment, thermal vacuum, acoustic, electromagnetic (e.g. antenna range test), functional tests, etc.) are simulations that only approximate the space conditions, but we try to make them as accurate as practical. Part of the test analysis is a comparison of the test results with the model’s predicted results. After launch, we get to compare the reality with the tests and with the models.

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