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 schedules likely first static fire tests for orbital Starship and Superheavy

Capitalism in space: SpaceX has scheduled a weeklong series of road closures at Boca Chica, beginning next week, suggesting they are about to begin the first static fire tests for the orbital prototypes of both Starship (#20) and Superheavy (#4).

The company has been installing or replacing engines on both prototypes, with the installation apparently now complete on Starship #20.

Starship’s current design features three gimballing sea-level Raptors and three vacuum-optimized variants with much larger nozzles – all in close proximity inside a 9m-wide (30 ft) skirt. As such, the first Starship static fire with any combination of Raptor Center and Raptor Vacuum engines will be a significant milestone for SpaceX. Eventually, that will likely culminate in the first static fire(s) of a Starship (likely S20) with all six Raptors installed – a test that will effectively qualify that prototype for its first orbital launch attempt.

As for Superheavy #4, they have been replacing some of its 29 engines while it sits on the launchpad, for reasons that are not clear.

It appears the company is aiming to get all of its ground-testing completed while the FAA’s approval process for the permit for the orbital flight is ongoing. This will make it possible to launch as soon as approval is obtained.

This strategy carries some risk. As long as the testing proceeds smoothly it will provide positive coverage during the FAA’s public comment period, running until mid-October. Should a test fail dramatically, however, the explosion could generate the wrong response during that comment period. Not surprisingly, SpaceX is willing to accept that risk.


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  • Joe

    I’m glad they are taking the risk. The worst case scenario is that SpaceX gets delayed in launching. But an explosion will definitely delay things anyway

  • Randy

    The FAA`s public hearing on this is a farce.They require to much info on every individual to comment.
    Who wants to give up their personal info to hoardes of brownshirts? ..Its not Spacex on the hotseat its
    the FAA.

  • Jeff Wright

    Here is to hoping the pairing of Starship/Super-Heavy makes like Rocketship- Orbit Jet…not like Grandcamp and High Flyer did a few miles up the coast nearly 3/4s of a century ago….I just turned 55 on midnight…born in 66′ oo 9/22. The numerologists would have a field day. I am as old as Star Trek…was probably conceived the hour Korolev did nine months earlier, around the time the Saturn V contract lapsed. I was given up for adoption…and was told the matron found that while I enjoyed attention…”I did not need it…”

    I have always been lamenting what could have been…and wasn’t.

    Maybe one Tarot card I was dealt by a co-worker was accurate after all:
    The King of Rods. Less pompous actually than it could be. Tell me Robert…is it true that in Jewish tradition…there is the concept of the unknown just…a figure where even when bathed in God’s light and love for a thousand years…the tears still come?

  • George C

    I was working on a contract with the FAA at the Volpe Center in Cambridge. Talk I heard as far back as 2000 was about how much better performance and credibility the space industry could have if it were like the airline industry with FAA regulation. Not micromanaged as with NASA.

  • pawn

    It is very dangerous to link successful tests to FAA approval.. First off, there is no logical link. Second, it goes against the entire development process t work here. It is inherently risky which many would call reckless. The first failue could be your last if you give into this mindset.

    I think people are overly dramatizing this issue. ell, maybe I hope they are because if you are controlled by the US Gov you might as well go home.

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