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.

SpaceX has announced that they now have all of Dragon’s thrusters operating and are go for docking with ISS.

SpaceX has announced that they now have all of Dragon’s thrusters operating and are go for docking with ISS.

They have not announced when the docking will occur, but with the solar panels operating the capsule can function in orbit for a considerable time, giving them breathing room. And time will be necessary as both NASA and the Russians are nervous about letting any spacecraft approach ISS and will want a good number of tests to make sure all is well. The Russians are especially nervous, since they had the unfortunate experience of several collisions when they operated their space station Mir.


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  • My understanding is that cosmonauts were paid for successfully docking Progress capsules, and that at least one collision occurred when the station commander attempted to dock a gimpy spacecraft because failure would cost him money.

  • Not true. Though the Russian astronauts at the time did receive pay bonuses for achieving tasks such as this, the problems during the Mir collision in 1997 were not because he was trying to earn that extra cash. The man who was controlling the Progress freighter, Vasili Tsibliev, was simply trying to do the job he had been ordered to do. This was a scheduled docking test that had been badly designed. They were testing a new docking system but did not provide Tsibliev the proper equipment to judge distances. He was expected to judge speed and distance by eye and with a handheld laser rangefinder, something that is generally considered too difficult to do in space. Moreover, the freighter was coming in from below, so that the background was the Earth, making it very difficult to see the freighter against the wash of Earth’s clouds and landforms.

    The human component of the crash was that Tsibliev had been overworked for the past few months, and that he had had two past bad docking experiences, suggesting he was not the best person to do this test to begin with.

    For more details, see pages 428-441 of my book, Leaving Earth: Space stations, rival superpowers, and the quest for interplanetary travel.

  • Pzatchok

    The only thing I can see right now for the Russians is this docking, if it happens, will just be a poke in the eye to their rocket industry.

    A private US company, albeit one with nice government backing, is making a delivery cheaper and somewhat on time.

    Russia does have a great and long positive history of successful launches and dockings but of late things are starting to look a bit sketchy for them.

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