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.


NASA issues request for commercially-built spacesuits for its Artemis program

Capitalism in space: After more than a decade of delays in building its own in-house next generation spacesuits, NASA this week issued a request for proposals from the commercial space industry for new spacesuits for its Artemis program.

Bidders can use the technology NASA developed for [its unfinished upgraded spacesuits] in its proposals, or they can use their own designs, the document states. The suits must be able to meet a variety of requirements, including up to six spacewalks on the lunar surface during initial Artemis Moon missions. They must also be made of materials such that less than 100 grams of lunar regolith is brought back into the “cabin environment” after each spacewalk on the Moon. NASA plans to award a contract by next April.

The plan is comparable to what NASA has been doing across the board now for the last three years, buy the product from the commercial sector in a fixed price contract. The company that builds the suits will retain ownership of the design, and can make money selling its use to others.

This policy approach continues the agency’s acceptance of almost all the recommendations put forth in my 2017 policy paper, Capitalism in Space, a free pdf download.

It also likely means NASA might finally get the spacesuits it needs for future lunar missions quickly and at a reasonable cost, something the agency itself has been unable to do.

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9 comments

  • William

    Elon to the rescue

  • wayne

    Q:
    Do we know how much lunar regolith made its way into the the “cabin environment” of the original Apollo missions?

    (100 grams is about 3.5 ounces, times 6 lunar excursions, yields about 21 ounces per suit, max.)

  • Ray Van Dune

    The SpaceX Moonship fortunately has the cargo capacity to carry several systems that could help address the contamination problem:
    1. A transport buggy that can reduce the need for astronauts to walk directly on the lunar soil.
    2. A cleanup chamber with tools that can remove most suit-captured regolith dust on their return.
    3. Cabin systems that can remove airborn and surface contaminants that get past the chamber.

    Expecting the suit alone to control lunar dust by virtue of its design and materials is probably unrealistic. The gradual accumulation of lunar dust may prove to be a severely limiting constraint to the endurance of lightweight Apollo-era-style landers. People are going to have to use those early landers as their primary living spaces for a lot longer than a couple of days, and engage in more than one or two explorations!

  • Ray Van Dune

    Upon re-accessing my comment to check for other comments, I realize it could be misinterpreted to be asserting that the SpaceX Moonship WILL contain the systems mentioned. No, I am merely saying that the Moonship’s cargo capacity probably COULD allow such systems – I have no information that it WILL!

  • Mitch S.

    Playtex available to bid?

  • Ray Van Dune

    In Zero-G the need for Playtex goes away, doesn’t it?

  • Edward

    Ray Van Dune,
    You may not be aware, but Playtex was a major player in the Apollo lunar space suit:
    https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/82726/how-playtex-helped-win-space-race

  • Jeff Wright

    Adam Savage?

  • pzatchok

    I bet a throw away cover suit would work quite well.

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