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.

Starhopper’s 1st test hop aborts

Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s first attempt to fly Starhopper untethered in a short vertical flight was aborted only a few seconds after engine ignition.

Video of the test is below the fold. The vehicle never leaves the ground, and there are flames visible near its top, something one should not see. Obviously this is a development program, so failures like this are to be expected. More significant is the speed in which the company is moving. It is only a week since their last StarHopper test, which also had issues. Rather than take years to move forward (like NASA), they are pushing forward aggressively.


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  • Chris

    Fail quickly

  • Scott M.

    To my untrained eye, it looks like the flames are from the cryogenic vent at the top of the Hopper. That must be the methane, right? I’m assuming venting LOX wouldn’t burn, but instead cause other things to burn.

    I wonder if they burn the methane off deliberately to avoid accumulation near the ship. It looks like it was extinguished pretty quickly.

  • Anthony

    I’m not convinced the flame originating at the top of the rocket is evidence of a failure. I think the flame is due to depressurizing the fuel system in a safe and controlled fashion. This is speculation on my part, but if it was due to a failure significant enough to cause unwanted flames I don’t think they would contemplate a follow up attempt so quickly after.

    I watched the test live on Tim Dodd’s channel “Everyday Astronaut” and you could hear SpaceX sent up a drone to record the event for their livestream. After they aborted the test the drone landed. Then a bit later it took off again leading me to believe they were attempting another test flight.

    I don’t see this as a failure.

  • Diane Wilson

    Word today is that the abort was due to fuel being chilled to a lower temperature than expected. They did fuel up for a second attempt, but did not resolve the problem in time. They will try again tonight.

    The flame was from venting, so it’s not a failure of any type. They’re still learning how to handle methane as a fuel.

    Also, in their livestream, SpaceX referred to the hopper as the “Starship Launch System” – SLS. Nice trolling.

  • Diane Wilson: Do you have a url to their live stream for tonight’s test?

  • Diane Wilson

    Bob, I don’t know that they publicly post a URL for that. It will be in YouTube, but a quick check there didn’t find it as listed as a video, or in their subscriber channel. (I don’t do YouTube subscriptions, so it might be available to subscribers only.)

    I found it last night in a forum,
    . The YouTube link got posted there shortly before the test, maybe five minutes or so. Keep refreshing the last page of the forum. There are other livestreams, one from Everyday Astronaut – he chatters too much for me, but he’ll have the stream running all evening, and that is available in YouTube.

  • Diane Wilson

    Last night’s livestream, if that helps pin down where to look in YouTube…

  • Gent

    The flames were from a vent stack off to the side of the launch pad. The angle of the camera makes it appear as it is coming from the top.

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