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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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SLS dress rehearsal countdown begins

NASA engineers began their fourth attempt to complete a full dress rehearsal countdown of the SLS rocket yesterday, with everything proceeding so far as planned.

Overnight, engineers powered up the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System’s core stage. Teams also configured several systems on the ground, rocket, and spacecraft and performed activities to prepare umbilicals that connect the rocket and spacecraft to the mobile launcher and are used to provide power, communications, coolant, and propellant.

Actual fueling begins tomorrow, when the countdown is supposed to conclude at T-0 at 2:40 pm (Eastern).

NASA live stream is available here.

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.


  • Jay

    Is this the same Orion capsule with the failed power unit (battery or fuel cell or power supply?) that they said it was too hard to replace a year ago? I am sure there is a backup, but did they replace it?

  • Jay: As far as I know, the capsule is the same. And really, aren’t you expecting too much from NASA? They discovered the failed unit in November 2020, and then said it would delay the unmanned test launch by a year to fix it.

    Of course, then that unmanned test launch was scheduled for November ’21. It is now going to fly about ten months later, which means they had time to replace the capsule.

    Then again, the things that caused these more recent delays would not have been discovered had they first replaced the capsule. It is too difficult for NASA to do two things at once, such as do a dress rehearsal countdown of the rocket while the capsule is fixed. Everything has to proceed slowly, carefully, and in order, one item at a time. Thus, if they had replaced the capsule they would have not done any dress rehearsal countdowns until that was done.


  • Jeff Wright

    That’s waterfall.

  • wayne

    Dave Smith and Michael Malice
    “The Red Pill” (Dec, 2020)

  • Ray Van Dune

    With under 3 hours to go, the WDR is proceeding. FYI the link at the end of the article seems to have expired. I found a link at NextSpaceFlight.

  • Ray Van Dune

    With 2 hours to go, Artemis control says they are working a hydrogen leak issue, but still proceeding. Hydrogen of course is very leak-prone given it is the lightest element, and the only thing more leak-prone than an H2 plumbing system is a HUGE H2 plumbing system, which is what SLS is.

  • Captain Emeritus

    The Hindenburg had a small hydrogen leak, too,

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