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.


Rosetta’s final descent to Comet 67P/C-G

The Rosetta science team today posted two stories, describing details about the planned final descent of the spacecraft to the surface of Comet 67P/C-G on September 30, ending the mission.

The spacecraft will land in a region dubbed Ma’at that contains several active pits more than 300 feet across and 150 feet deep. This is also where several of the comets dust jets originate.

Readers!
 

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.

3 comments

  • Gealon

    Again I see them going on about how it will be impossible to get any data from the spacecraft after it touches down. And now I’m noting most pointedly in the first link, that they are no longer calling it a landing, but an “impact.” I could take hours to go back to see when this trend started but commenting on the lack of a proper landing attempt is the main reason for my posting and I’d like to stay on point. So the question is, why the “impact?” When Near landed on Eros it too was running out of fuel, but they still managed to make a controlled landing, leaning on it’s solar panels no less.

    Why can’t Rosetta descend in a similar fashion, and land on it’s instrumented side? Literally push them into the soil, and if any survive, keep taking readings. Even if they can’t point the high gain antenna any more, they still have the lower power transmitters. And again even if the solar panels are no longer pointed directly at the sun, the spacecraft has a battery power reserve. USE IT. Fire the RCS jets again a few minutes before expected “impact” to kill the velocity and let it drift down nice and slow. True, it will probably bounce just like Philae did, but at least you’ll make something resembling a controlled landing and who knows, the vehicle might still be functional when it stops. Don’t just crash it into the surface and be done with it. Heck, if they wanted to ensure it doesn’t bounce, it wouldn’t be that hard to feed in another parameter into the programing so that when the vehicle’s IMU’s sense the initial collision, it fire’s it’s jets in a downward direction and hold’s it’s self against the surface. But I’m expecting too much.

    Everything I’m proposing here could be accomplished without jeopardizing ESA’s current plan to Crash Rosetta into the pit. The additions to the programming would take effect only in the last minutes of the descent and given that ESA’s already given up on the craft at that point, and to paraphrase Mr. Trump, What do they have to lose? The probe is already written off after this point anyway. Why not invest a few extra minutes in updating a line of code and see what you can learn from it?

    This to me illustrates the difference between the Near team and the Rosetta team. Near descended and landed in the hope of the craft still functioning after touch down, so that we might learn something from it. Rosetta will be crashed into the comet just so ESA can say, “We did it too.” I’m of the mind that the choice to “land” here is purely political. Nothing can be learned if you intentionally destroy the spacecraft.

  • Gealon

    Update: It appears the reasoning behind the crash/shutdown of Rosetta’s systems is apparent to comply with, you guessed it, government regulations. Not too far off from my supposition that the motivation is political. The probe is evidently being shut down on impact to prevent it from transmitting accidently and interfering with communications channels on the DSN. Frankly this does not change my thinking on the matter.

    If they can instruct the spacecraft to shut it’s self down, they can instruct it to disable it’s transmitter After a computer restart. This would ensure that if Rosetta survives the landing, it could continue to transmit data for as long as it’s batteries permit. Once the batteries die, the computer shut’s down. Then if in the future the solar panels recharge the batteries enough for the computer to restart, it would simply sit there waiting for instructions, NOT using it’s transmitter. This should satisfy everyone from explorers to the government toads that come up with these ridiculous rules, and I’m sure must have been an option proposed. But it’s not being acted upon and this chance to explore the surface of the comet, going boldly to coin a phrase, is instead being turned into nothing more then a stunt. True some information will be acquired during the descent, but what about what could be learned on the surface?

    Link, the answer I’m quoting above is about half way down the page: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_s_grand_finale_frequently_asked_questions

  • Levi Nelson

    Hello Mr. Zimmerman, I have a interview request for you. Do you have a email that I can forward that request to? Thanks so much

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 *