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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


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NASA needs billions to get Lockheed Martin’s Orion into space

And NASA thinks it can compete with SpaceX or Orbital Sciences? The agency is asking for billions more to build the Orion capsule.

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.


  • Kelly Starks

    > And NASA thinks it can compete with SpaceX or Orbital Sciences? ===

    Certainly, after all – they judge the winners, and pork (and NASA inefficiency) are primary products to be maintained. If they were willing to just let L/M and the other contractors do their jobs, costs would go down by at least a factor of 4.

    As Rutan found when he and some other new space companies tried bidding to build Orion, they weer simply incapable of spending enough, and hiring big enough staffs. Designing and building it was well within their abilities, but they could not do all the federally required contractual overhead, and support all the NASA “oversight”. So they had to bow out.

    Even Musk said SpaceX has little hope of competing and wining more then at best a token commercial crew flight.

  • Congress is demanding that NASA “refine its procurement, contract management, and oversight processes”. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to scrap the way Orion is being developed, define real requirements for an “exploration vehicle” and develop a milestone based fixed price contract, with independent financing requirements.

  • Kelly Starks

    I think you expecting a lot out of “refine”. Also NASA has as of yet – pretty much ignored that.

    Certainly L/M’s offer to develop Orion for a fraction of the cost if NASA just lets them do it themself to NASA specs, rather then NASA management get so heavily involved, hasn’t gotten much support ni NASA or congress as far as I can see.

    As for nidependant financing. Given NASA is pretty much the total market for maned orbital flight. They will have to agree to a contract that one way or the other pays for the development of the craft they demand.

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