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’s test vertical-landing rocket Grasshopper successfully climbed to 250 meters in its most recent test flight.

The competition heats up: SpaceX’s test vertical-landing rocket Grasshopper successfully climbed to 250 meters in its most recent test flight.

Video below the fold.


My July fund-raising campaign for 2021 has now ended. Thank you all for your donations and subscriptions. While this year’s campaign was not as spectacular as last year’s, it was the second best July campaign since I began this website.

And if you have not yet donated or subscribed, and you think what I write here is worth your support, you can still do so. I depend on this support to remain independent and free to write what I believe, without any pressure from others. Nor do I accept advertisements, or use oppressive social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

If you choose to help, you can contribute via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • Greg

    So cool. Where is NASA’s version?

  • 1. Replace spindly landing legs with V-2-style fins

    2. Add swept wings

    3. Paint with red-and-white checkerboard pattern

    4. ???

    5. PROFIT!

  • Chris Kirkendall

    Definitely looks like they may be able to make this idea work. I was particularly impressed with its ability to just hover nearly motionless before descending back to the pad…

  • wodun


  • Scott

    Right out of my 50″s movie introduction to space travel. Back in “the old days” we never considered multistage vehicles or splashdowns in the ocean. Back then you could just hop in a rocket, blast off, and go to mars – have lunch – and return all in the same V2 shaped machine. Life was so much simpler when I was 10.

  • Steve C

    Have they been able to match the DC-X’s performance from back in the 90’s?

  • That would require them to blow off a panel in flight, then land successfully. “Oh god, oh god, we’re all going to die.”

  • Pzatchok

    Isn’t this supposed to be a prototype of a first and second stage rocket recovery plan?

    If this works they can use parachutes to slow down a falling first or second stage and then use the lift engines and a little left over fuel to land the rockets intact?

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *