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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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NASA bans American spacewalks on ISS because of chronic spacesuit issues

NASA's failed spacesuit
NASA’s failed Moon spacesuits

Because of repeated water leaks in the helmets of NASA’s complex spacesuits and the agency’s inability to fix the problem, agency managers have to decided to cease all American spacewalks on ISS until engineers can definitively solve the problem.

The problem first occurred during a 2013 spacewalk, causing a major investigation. Though engineers managed to gain some control over the problem, it was never truly solved. In the most recent spacewalk on March 23rd, astronauts found water inside one helmet after the walk was over. That suit will now be returned to Earth for inspection and engineering work.

This suspension of spacewalks likely delays four spacewalks planned this year to complete the upgrade to the station’s power system.

Meanwhile, NASA’s own program to build new spacesuits for its lunar missions has been an utter failure — costing more than a billion dollars over fourteen years and producing nothing — thus forcing the agency to turn to the private sector to get new suits.

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.

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