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.

Russia announces it is shifting its manned operations on ISS to yearlong missions

According to Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, Russia is changing the standard length of a crew stay at ISS from six months to a full year, beginning with the flight in which the crew will help film a commercial movie on ISS in October.

Then-Head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Pavel Vlasov earlier said that two members of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, Pyotr Dubrov and Mark Vande Hei, would stay in orbit longer than six months to help shoot a film Vyzov (Challenge). He also said that crew commander Oleg Novitsky would return to Earth in October aboard the Soyuz MS-18’s descend capsule together with the participants of the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft’s flight (actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko who would be engaged in the film). Two crewmembers, cosmonaut Dubrov and NASA astronaut Vande Hei, would remain in orbit and return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spaceship, he said.

Gaining experience at missions a year or longer, something only the Russians have accomplished, makes sense if one plans to send astronauts to Mars. I suspect however there is a second more practical reason for this change: It will free up seats on Soyuz to sell for commercial tourist flights. Russia clearly wants to compete successfully with the new American commercial manned flights that SpaceX and Axiom will be flying. This change gives them that opportunity.

Rogozin himself likely has personal financial motives. He is a co-producer on that movie, and likely will also pocket personally some of the profits from future tourist flights.


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  • A year is a long time to spend in close contact with others in a small space. I can see how professional astronauts might find the private sector more appealing.

  • Dick Eagleson

    If I interpret this announcement correctly, only one Russian cosmonaut will routinely be on ISS fairly soon, joined by a second only for the duration of Russian tourist expeditions to ISS. Thus, it seems, will Russia take another incremental step in its slow recessional from ISS. The new schedule model will probably apply for as long as Roscosmos/Rogozin can continue to make money. If the advent of orbital space tourism on Starships occurs as early as I think it might – perhaps as early as 2024 – that may well end Russia’s space tourist business. If so, the Russians will waste no time in beating a full retreat from ISS. They will stay for as long as ISS earns them money and not one second longer.

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