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 launches Progress freighter to ISS

Using its Soyuz-2 rocket, Russia today successfully launched a Progress freighter to ISS, carrying more than 5,000 pounds of cargo.

The freighter is scheduled to dock with ISS Friday evening at 9:34 pm (Eastern). It will dock with the port on the 20-year-old Zvezda module, which has remained unused for the past six months because of concerns that the docking and undocking at the port was causing stress fractures in the sections of Zvezda closest to the port. The Russians have decided to do this docking for the express purpose of studying its impact on the module.

The Progress MS-18 spacecraft will link up with the rear docking port on Zvezda. With the help of cosmonauts on the station, Russian engineers have traced a small air leak on the station to the transfer compartment leading to Zvezda’s rear port. The compartment has been sealed from the rest of the space station since the departure of a previous Progress spacecraft from the rear docking port in April. But cosmonauts will re-open the compartment to unload cargo delivered by the Progress MS-18 spacecraft.

The leaders in the 2021 launch race:

38 China
23 SpaceX
18 Russia
4 Northrop Grumman
4 Arianespace (Europe)

China remains ahead of the U.S. 38 to 36 in the national rankings.


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  • Jeff Wright

    China looks to go for 4O

  • Col Beausabre

    I can hardly wait for the end of this series of postings, when launches become so common that tracking them will make as much sense as posting airline fights

  • sippin_bourbon

    The moment we hit sustained daily launches, I would call it.

    Commercial Space, or New Space as some it is also called, is what has re-ignited my hope.

    When I saw Robert Zubrin testify at congress in 2003, he voiced my anger so clearly.
    I re-watch that from time to time.
    But I do feel robbed. I do feel cheated. I was born during the waning Apollo years, and saw the STS program start as a grade schooler.
    On January 28th 1986, I watched TV for 6 straight hours, wanting it to all be a mistake, and they were alive. I became obsessed.
    I was happy with the start of the ISS construction, after watching the Democrats, the party of Science, fight against a platform for scientific advancement in space.

    I watched as the program became stagnant, access limited to a few government only programs, and witnessed grand proposals with fantastic artwork and animations get funding, only to see them cancelled a few years later. In my youthful naivete, I would not realize it was because after the money had been paid, and votes in the election gained, it was no longer worth it to the politicians. They had new pork that needed money.

    I lost my hope. And I got angry, just like Dr Zubrin.

    I think this is why I have embraced Mr Zimmerman’s descriptions of the government space programs. And why I want to see NASA excel at science, but get out of the business of launch vehicles.

    Explorers in the early days needed a government sponsor to fund their trips. I believe that is still true today. But after a while those early exploratory voyages gave way to commercial activity. We are at this precipice. But we are also still too dependent on the fat government contracts.

    If we get to a point where launches are daily, I think we will be able to declare that we are over the precipice, because there is no way any government alone could afford such a volume.

  • sippin_bourbon: I am not sure “sustained daily launches” will be the moment to stop this listing either.

    During the sailing ship era, newspapers routinely posted a shipping column listing the ships departing and ships arriving at port. They did this even though the numbers at the arrival of the steamsnip were sometimes 10 per day. The public wanted to know, and the numbers were not so high that it couldn’t be provided.

    Moreover, there was a 5% chance a ship would sink, so knowing their arrival was critical. When a ship was late it was significant news, as it might mean it had foundered and was lost.

    Finally, the public was also keenly interested in what shipping companies were sailing the most. People actually looked at this almost like sports, with performance of each company weighted by its shipping.

    I think rocketry will be somewhat comparable to this for a few more decades. Not only will people be interested in the daily successes and failures, they will be interested in who is succeeding the most.

  • Edward

    Robert commented: “During the sailing ship era, newspapers routinely posted a shipping column listing the ships departing and ships arriving at port.

    A scene in the 1940 movie “The Maltese Falcon” shows Sam Spade reading a circled notice of a ship arrival. Apparently this was still common enough to be believable at least up to WWII. Maybe longer.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Yes, I have seen the news columns you refer to.
    I have some maritime background.

    That was also from an age where all communication with those vessels was via morse code over short wave.

    Still, I will be happy when we get to such a milestone, regardless.

    I lost my copy of “The Maltese Falcon” in a fire a few years back. I replaced “Casablanca”, but not some of the other Bogart classics that I had.

    I did however, recently watch “My Favorite Brunette”.

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