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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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Maezawa reveals status of competition to join him on a private Starship mission to Moon

Capitalism in space: In a video released yesterday Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa provided an update on his Dear Moon competition for choosing the eight individuals who will join him on his private Starship mission around the Moon.

The mission has changed a lot since it was first announced in 2018. Maezawa had planned to invite artists onboard the Starship and venture with them on a circuit around Earth’s only natural satellite. But earlier this year, he changed the process and opened up spots to practically everyone, calling on budding lunar explorers to register for a ticket aboard the Starship and then produce videos on why they want to go to space.

I have embedded the video below. In it Maezawa reveals that he received more than a million applications from every single country on Earth, with many sending short videos describing why they should be chosen. The video provides a sampling of clips from those videos.

What struck me most while watching the video is how completely confident all the applicants were that this private mission on Starship will fly. Even though this is a manned mission around the Moon, something that has only been done nine times, and not for a half century, all seemed entirely sure Maezawa’s mission would happen, and wanted to be on it. I was also struck by the variety of applicants from many places.

Capitalism and freedom is opening the heavens for all humans. And it is about time.

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.


  • Call Me Ishmael

    “…only been done seven times…”

    ??? Even if you don’t count 13, I get 8. 8 10 11 12 14 15 16 17. And 13 did go around the Moon.

  • Call Me Ishmael. I am embarrassed, especially because I wrote the book on Apollo 8. I forgot to count the missions before Apollo 11 that did not land. Ooph! I will correct.

  • Jeff Wright

    I think this may be a cycler with Dragon for re-entry.

  • Chris Lopes

    It is an amazing time we are living in. Private businesses are now doing what once required the mobilization of nations to make happen. SpaceX can do Sputnik (on a weekly basis) without batting an eye. Jeff Bezos is about to play Alan Shepard for real. And even a clown like Richard Branson can be a rocket ace. So yeah, a private flight to the Moon is not the least bit far fetched.

  • James Street

    This would be fun, but have they developed a pill for space / motion sickness?

    I went deep sea fishing once. Spent the entire day leaning over the railing.


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