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.


More indications of the decline of Russia’s space effort

Two stories today give further hints that Russia’s space effort, run under the centralized government control of its space agency Roscosmos, is struggling. Both stories involve comments by the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, during an interview yesterday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Putin government’s takeover of Russia’s entire aerospace industry.

First, Rogozin announced that they intend to continue using their Soyuz manned capsule for at least ten more years, even though they are working to develop the Oryol replacement capsule and hope to fly its first unmanned test flight by 2023.

“I am absolutely sure that the Soyuz MS will be exploitable for at least ten years. That is why, during the first years we will use both the Soyuz MS and a new spacecraft,” he said.

Though it makes sense for Russia to fly both spacecraft for a period of time, ten years seems exorbitant. It suggests that Rogozin is covering his behind in case Oryol ends up getting delayed significantly.

Based on Russia’s track record the past twenty years, it is very likely Oryol will not fly by 2023. Since the turn of this century they have been promising new spacecraft and rockets without ever delivering. They have also spent a quarter of a century building one module for ISS. It has become their mode of operations to go slow and not deliver. Rogozin must know this, and is covering his bets by announcing Soyuz that will fly for many more years.

Second, Rogozin made it a point to denigrate the U.S. manned space effort, calling it a “political project” not interested in “helping” its partners. To quote him precisely:

For the United States this is now more of a political project. With the lunar project, we are observing the departure of our American partners from the principles of cooperation and mutual support that have developed in cooperation with the ISS. They see their program not as international, but as similar to NATO. There is America, everyone else must help and pay. Honestly we are not interest in participating in such a project. [emphasis mine]

Apparently, because we will no longer be buying seats on a Soyuz (which has helped keep Roscosmos above water for the past decade), and are also requiring that Russia pay its own way in working with us in getting back to the Moon, he considers us no longer willing to following “principles of cooperation and mutual support.”

How mean of us! We should not only let them share in the glory of getting back to the Moon, we should provide them the funds to do it.

Rogozin also indicated they are now talking to China about working with them on future interplanetary exploration. The article correctly notes that these comments could be a negotiating ploy by Rogozin to get the U.S. to pry open its wallet. That might work, but Trump officials should know that it is very doubtful China will funnel any cash to Russia.

Both stories indicate the overall decline in Russia’s capabilities. They appear to need a partner to provide them financial support, even as they struggle vainly to get anything done on their own.

Readers!
 

I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.


Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution 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
 

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.

3 comments

  • Chris Lopes

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. The Russian space effort was ALWAYS political in nature, which is why it’s in the deep hole it’s in today. Putin no longer sees any significant political advantage in such a program, so it is fading from view. It will be kept just alive enough for the Russians to claim to be still in the space game, but not enough to be a real player.

  • Patrick Underwood

    China and Russia could team up to race us to the Moon. I’m fine with that. Good luck to ‘em.

  • Edward

    How mean of us! We should not only let them share in the glory of getting back to the Moon, we should provide them the funds to do it.

    We kindly paid the Russians to complete their modules that they attached to the ISS, and we paid them to put our astronauts on MIR. We paid them for astronaut rides to ISS. Did we also pay them to do the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project? The Russians may see the U.S. space program in a different light than we do, they may see it as a source of income, while we see it as a science mission (or, if you are in Congress, a spending mission). If we stop paying them, then there is a drastic change in our relationship, to their detriment.

    It has become their mode of operations to go slow and not deliver.

    The Russians certainly hold to the engineering aphorism that if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. They currently have some working rockets and a working manned spacecraft, so there is not much motivation to replace them. Modern competition is rapidly changing this, so sometime in the next decade the Russians may decide that SpaceX has broken their current space program.

    Once again, a problem brought on by the United States. How mean of us!

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 *