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.

Orbital Sciences restarts engine testing for its Taurus 2 rocket

Orbital Sciences has resumed engine testing for its Taurus 2 rocket.

While many have doubts about SpaceX, SpaceX has at least flown two successful flights of its Falcon 9 rocket. Orbital needs the Taurus 2 to supply ISS, and this rocket remains untested and as yet incomplete, with the schedule bearing down on them.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • Joe2

    Space X is now about two years behind schedule for delivering payload to the ISS (under the COTS program) with their next test flight scheduled for January (Remember – unlike the much maligned Constellation Systems – the COTS program got every penny promised it by the government).

    I guess that their only remaining COTS competitor is even further behind schedule could be construed as good for Space X. However, I do not see how it can be considered good news for the United States, NASA, the ISS and especially ‘Commercial Space’.

  • joe, obviously you are consumed by the fairy book story presented by the higher-ups that the once scheduled Constellation Program and the sponsoring of private interests along with the now proposed Liberty Program. These birds will never fly. Ever. they are an avenue for the funneling of tax dollars into a project that the public Has Not Seen. each of these programs have a project window of 7-10yrs from now.

  • Joe2

    Yes Wade, that is me Fairy Tales all the way (why do you guys always feel you have to resort to insults to try to make your points?)

    If you do not believe that Space X is running two years behind schedule (while having received all the money they were promised) you can find the COTS scheduling documents on line. The next Falcon 9/Dragon test flight (now tentatively scheduled for December 2011) was originally set for November 2009.

    If you do not believe that Constellation Systems got less than originally promised look up the original planning and authorization documents and then look at the actual appropriations.

  • Frank

    The difference is that SpaceX does’nt get more money if they split from their schedule. They have to come up with there own money to complete what they signed up for.

  • libs0n

    They also got an order of magnitude less money than Constellation. ISS cargo resupply was not prioritized greatly, and it would be a challenge to come up with a more promptly timed resupply system for the amount of money allocated to COTS and under its terms, which was to create a redundant domestic supply line.

  • Joe2

    “The difference is that SpaceX does’nt get more money if they split from their schedule.”

    Neither did Constellation Systems. They got cancelled.

    “They have to come up with there own money to complete what they signed up for.”

    Here is hoping they eventually live up to what “they signed up for”. They are more than two years behind schedule and they have not yet.

  • Joe2

    Under the COTS program they also got a smaller task, delivery of cargo to the ISS. Constellation Systems had:
    – Delivery of Cargo to the ISS.
    – Delivery of Crew to the ISS.
    – Delivery of Cargo to the Moon.
    – Delivery of Crew to the Moon.
    – Eventual support of crewed Martian missions.

  • Frank

    At least SpaceX contract is not cancel, so there still hope they will succeed. Unlike Constellation.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *