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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:

 

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NASA awards construction company $57 million development contract for lunar construction

Capitalism in space: NASA today awarded a $57 million development contract to ICON, a Texas-based company that specializes in building 3D-printed homes on Earth, to begin work on designing habitats for the Moon.

As noted in this report:

The newly announced NASA contract, granted via the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program, will help the company mature its tech and procedures. ICON plans to use the money to learn how lunar soil, or regolith, behaves in lunar gravity using simulated samples and real ones brought back by the Apollo missions, company representatives said.

The company will also test its hardware and software on a space mission that simulates lunar gravity. And there will be an even more ambitious trial, if all goes according to plan. “The final deliverable of this contract will be humanity’s first construction on another world, and that is going to be a pretty special achievement,” [CEO Jason] Ballard said in the statement.

ICON has already built a prototype 3D-printed Mars habitat that NASA plans to use to train astronauts for long missions.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

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.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • wayne

    Extremely interesting stuff!
    My Brilliant-Idea for lunar construction involves re-imagining an “accelerated” & “polymer-modified” shotcrete type substance, made from lunar soil and adapted to function in a vacuum and coldness.

    “What Is Shotcrete?”
    https://youtu.be/Qwpq78eighE
    8:48

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