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 to double its fleet of reusable manned Dragon capsules

Capitalism in space: Based on the launch plans now announced, SpaceX will double its fleet of reusable manned Dragon capsules from two to four.

The upcoming October 30th launch of a new crew to ISS will use a new as yet unnamed Dragon capsule. In addition, the April ’22 flight will use another new capsule.

The four previous manned Dragon flights used Resilience (twice) and Endeavour (twice).

At the moment SpaceX appears to be reserving Resilience for non-ISS tourist flights. It was used in September in this way for the Inspiration4 private mission, and I expect it will be used again for the December Space Adventures tourist flight. For these non-ISS flights SpaceX removed Resilience’s docking port, replacing it with a large window.

The result will be that a private American company will own its own fleet of manned spaceships, three of which can dock with ISS, and one of which aimed at just orbiting the Earth. That’s a private company, not a nation. And that private company made it happen in just a little over a decade.

Who knows what wonders capitalism and freedom could accomplish, if we simply had the courage to let it?


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  • Andrew_W

    SpaceX has done so well and plans for even better in the not very distant future. I don’t see how it’s competitors can compete with their current batch of rockets or even planned future rockets with capabilities similar to Falcon 9, which I would have expected to also be obsolete when Starship is flying.

    I wonder if most of them should switch to target niche roles in space other than launch. Perhaps designing specialized craft for deep space roles where they can exploit SpaceX’s capabilities rather than trying to battle against them.

  • Ray Van Dune

    1. There is a lot of distance between F9 and Starship capabilities, and boosters are aiming at that fat target already – for example BO’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan. Superior versions of these have room to compete.

    2. Starship is at least 5 years away from launching with humans on board, and quite possibly a lot longer with civilians, so ground to LEO human transfer boosters with robust launch-escape systems will be needed for a decade at least, which I suspect is a lot longer than Elon wants to be building F9s!

    3. SpaceX wants to go to Mars, and everything else is a detour of necessity. Plenty of opportunity to become the best in one of those areas!

  • mpthompson

    Apparently, the next new Dragon capsule that SpaceX makes will be named Endurance.


    “Apparently, the next new Dragon capsule that SpaceX makes will be named Endurance.”

    Hats off in honor of Sir Ernest Shackleton, a leader of the Heroic Age of arctic exploration., and his ship. Probably many read the following in school

    “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

    In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last
    Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day’s sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.

    In Endurance, the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton’s fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.”

    Illustrated with photographs taken on the expedition

    Endurance comes from the motto on the Shackleton family arms

    We should note that the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was PRIVATELY funded

  • wayne

    Great factoid!
    serendipitously, the audio book is available

    Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
    1959 by Alfred Lansing

  • Richard M

    “The result will be that a private American company will own its own fleet of manned spaceships, three of which can dock with ISS, and one of which aimed at just orbiting the Earth.”

    From what I gather, the observation cupola can be removed without too much difficulty, so SpaceX could use any of them at ISS if they had to. In fact, why….this seems to be the plan for Resilience (the one used for Inspiration4), which will be used next for the Axiom private mission to the ISS in February.

    SpaceX has come a long way. Where will they be ten years from now?

  • Richard M

    When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.

    And staggering as THAT feat was, the crossing of the South Georgia mountains afterward was even more stupefying. “I do not know how they did it, except that they had to—three men of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration with 50 feet of rope between them—and a carpenter’s adze”.

    Endurance is a fantastic name for a spaceship. I feel confident this won’t be the last time it’s used.

  • wayne

    10 Cool Facts About The Lewis & Clark Expedition
    Corps of Discovery
    Weird History 2020

  • wayne

    10 Cool Facts About The Lewis & Clark Expedition
    Corps of Discovery
    Weird History 2020

  • Jeff Wright

    I don’t fancy capsules myself…it’s a step backwards. Dream Chaser needs more funding.

  • Col Beausabre

    “For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist.

  • Star Bird

    Biden sells our America to China to land a man on Mars

  • Doubting Thomas

    Jeff Wright – Dream Chaser – Here Here

  • Col Beausabre

    If you are inspired by this, read “Hell on Ice”, a docudrama of the USS Jeanette’s failed attempt to reach the North Pole in 1881 told from the standpoint of the ship’s senior surviving officer, Chief Engineer George Melville

    “It memorializes the 1881 loss of USS Jeannette while exploring the Arctic ice. Jeannette, with a crew of 33, collapsed and sank under surging ice in the summer of 1881. Her crew, commanded by George W. DeLong, took to the ice dragging three small boats. When open water was found, the boats were used to sail to the Lena Delta of Siberia, 700 miles distant. DeLong commanded a boat of 14 total crew members, Executive Officer Charles W. Chipp’s boat’s crew was 8 total crew members, and Engineer Officer George W. Melville’s boat had 11. Chipp’s boat was lost at sea with all hands. Engineer Melville’s boat landed in the southern delta, and DeLong’s boat came ashore farther to the north on 17 September 1881. Melville quickly found aid, as did the two hardiest sailors of DeLong’s crew soon after. The 12 remaining, including DeLong, perished from starvation or exposure. Thus 20 of the original 33 did not survive the expedition.”

    Startlingly similar to Shackleton and the Endurance 45 or so years later

    Commander (Later Rear Admiral) Edward Ellsberg was inspired to write this because of his memory of the impact of encountering the Jeanette Monument as a midshipman at the Naval Academy

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