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 leaks found in Russian Zvezda module on ISS

Earlier this week Russian astronauts located and patched three more leaks in the 20+ year old Russian Zvezda module on ISS.

Prior to this week’s discovery, the recent patching done by Russian astronauts had reduced the air loss by about half. They need to do another seal test of Zvezda to see if these newer patches have reduced it further.

The report at the link from Russia is as usual very vague. No photos of any of the leaks have been released, by either Russia or NASA. No cause either has been described. This lack of information suggests that the leaks represent a more systemic problem, possibly related to stress fractures from age and wear. If so, it also suggests that Zvezda is nearing its pull-date. How this central module will be replaced from the station remains a major mystery.

Above all, this puts some urgency to the launch of newer modules, such as those being built by the private company Axiom.


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  • David Eastman

    Photos of the cracks have been leaked, but as far as I can tell, not officially released anywhere. The only ones I’ve seen are reposts in a non-public area, so I can’t share, but they certainly look like stress fractures to me.

  • Jay

    Since you cannot share the photos, can you please tell us if all the cracks are or around the aft docking port?

  • David Eastman

    The pictures I saw were the result of very close up microscopic shots, if there was any indication of where in the module they were taken, it was in Cyrillic, which I don’t read.

  • David Eastman: All public statements so far have strongly suggested (but not confirmed) the cracks were in the aft section of Zvezda, where the docking port is.

  • pawn

    What is the history of the (re)boosting. I know the Zvezda module initially was used as it has a propulsive system but I remember reading that (re)boosting was being done by visiting craft. Were these (re)boosts done through the suspected aft section docking port?

    I’m sure NASA will get nothing but obfuscation from the Russians so they won’t try too hard to get to the bottom of this. Maybe Congress can make some useful noise for once.

  • pawn: From what I understand, Zvezda has engines and has been used routinely to raise ISS’s orbit. And yes, those engines are in the aft section, surrounding the docking port.

    As for the Russians hiding things, they might be hiding things from the public, but I am certain they are not hiding things from NASA, which has people on board ISS and will demand to know what’s what. NASA however is a government agency, like Roscosmos, and is thus prone to the same secrecy. In fact, I am sure NASA and Roscosmos are working together to keep this whole story out of the press.

    As for Congress, don’t make me laugh.

  • Star Bird

    Russia has a Space Shuttle they stole it from us

  • mkent

    Pawn: You are correct. The reboost engines are in the aft section of the Service Module. They are used whenever a Progress vehicle is not docked to that port. However, when a Progress vehicle is docked to that port, they use the Progress engines instead. This is because 1) The Progress is blocking the Service Module’s engines, and 2) It saves cycles on the Service Module’s engines, extending their on-orbit life.

  • David Telford

    This is becoming alarming: I do hope this lingering, slow motion problem doesn’t ease us into catastrophe.

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