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.

Roscosmos finally approves ISS module Nauka for launch

After successfully completing its last ground tests, Roscosmos announced today that it has finally approved the launch on July 15th of its next module for ISS, dubbed Nauka.

Nauka’s long road to space began more than a quarter of a century ago, in 1995, with this year’s launch about fourteen years behind schedule. An engineer who started working on Nauka after graduation at the age of 25 would now be a grizzled veteran of 51 and looking forward to retirement in only a few years.

The module will provide the Russian half of ISS a second restroom, greater oxygen and water recycling capacity, and room for a third resident, all necessary additions for the planned two commercial tourist launches Russia has scheduled for the fall.


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. 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 keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. 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


  • Jim Davis

    I think we can safely conclude that Russia will not be pulling out of ISS in 2024. They would save this module for a new station if that was their intent.

  • Jim Davis: Don’t be so sure. Nauka is about as old as Zvezda, the module on ISS that appears to have structural stress fractures. Russia would likely not want to use it on a new station.

    Their problem for leaving ISS is money. They want to leave and build their own station, but they don’t have the cash any longer to pay for it. Thus their continuing effort to partner with either the U.S. or China on future projects. We are their sugar daddy.

  • David Eastman

    Jim Davis: The Russians have been mulling three basic approaches to their next station:
    1. Separate the most functional of their current modules from the IIS after 2024, and add enough new modules to make it work.
    2. Divert some of the ISS modules that they have in production but not yet launched, upgrade them a bit, and use those as the core of a new station.
    3. Send the in-production modules to ISS as planned and build a new station from scratch.

    As of the last meeting a month or so ago, it seems they like something between 2 and 3, where some of the modules in production will go to ISS, but others will get repurposed and used as the core of a new station, which will be at a very different inclination than the IIS is, preventing the re-use of anything currently at IIS.

    But as Robert says, the plans and designs that come out of their meetings are one thing, their budget is another. They have plans for a new space station, plans for manned lunar expeditions, plans for multiple new rockets, plans for advanced reusability, plans for upgrades to their launch facilities, and the budget to do MAYBE one of those things.

  • Jay

    Maybe the Russians want to sell off their segments to NASA or to private business or another MirCorp and sell Progress services for orbit boosting?

    I think David Eastman’s number one assessment will come true: I don’t think the Russians will put up their own station unless they break off their portion from the ISS.

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 *