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.

Nauka finally docks with ISS

ISS configuration with Nauka added
The configuration of the Russian portion of ISS with
Nauka and the as-yet launched docking hub.

This morning the new fullsize module to ISS, Nauka, finally docked with the station, ending a week of tension because of issues with its engines.

The docking was not without issue, with Russian cosmonauts noting that Nauka wasn’t on the correct course less than an hour before docking; however, a retro burn quickly corrected the issue. After also troubleshooting an issue with the TORU manual docking system, Nauka successfully docked in automated fashion to the Zvezda service module’s nadir port at 09:29 EDT / 13:29 UTC, marking the first major expansion to the Russian segment for over 20 years.

They will now begin a series of eleven spacewalks to outfit the module. This includes installing a new European-built robot arm and transferring an airlock and radiator on a different module that were originally built to be attached to Nauka and have been waiting eleven years for its much delayed arrival.

In November Russia will then launch a small docking hub module that will dock with Nauka and provide the docking ports that were lost when the Piers module was detached earlier this week (thus allowing Nauka to dock). This new docking hub is also critical, because it will allow Russia to limit dockings to the aft port on Zvezda, which has serious structural stress issues and must be treated gently to prevent further hull cracks and air leaks.


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  • V-Man

    “The docking was not without issue”

    I’d say. I watched it and it looked more like a slow collision than a proper docking. The whole station shook.

    If I was in charge, I’d immediately get the entire crew to perform leak and crack checks on all modules.

  • V-Man

    Wow — just learned that Nauka’s RCS fired at random 2hr ago. Why isn’t safing the propulsion system the first item on the post-dock checklist??

    According to Eric Berger of Ars Technica, this scared NASA enough that they are postponing the Starliner visit until they figure out what happened. At least Boeing can blame someone else this time…

  • V-Man: Thank you for noting this. I was too busy writing the Perseverance/Ingenuity story and didn’t know. Now posted.

  • geoffc

    The Docking Module (UM) Is a hugely important piece of the RUssian segment. Everything revolves around that module.

    Future modules will dock to it. Soyuz/Progress.

    When the ISS is deorbited, they intend to keep Nauka and the UM and maybe ditch Nauka and build a stand alone station out of it.

    Very cool. But this Nauka is not insprining confidence right now.

  • Jay

    You are right, that was a bit of a hard docking. I watched it this morning and heard they switched over from KURS to TORU. That is going from an automated docking to a manual docking via remote control. I saw the panels oscillating after that docking.

    I’m surprised no one has made a joke about the “15 year service life” badge on the picture. Kind of reminds me of a car commercial.

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