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Starliner launch set for Friday, December 20

Capitalism in space: The first orbital flight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule, remains on target for launch this coming Friday, December 20, 2019.

The launch is presently set for 6:36 am (Eastern), with a docking at ISS early the next day.

NASA will be broadcasting the launch and docking.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • geoffc

    Since this is joyously a competition between two commercial companies, it is worth noting that SpaceX did their first flight of Crew Dragon to the ISS March 2019, almost 10 months ago.

    Context is helpful.

  • Captain Emeritus

    If this Russian-Powered Atlas 5 screws the pooch, well then, back to the drawing board for a couple of years of review, until the NASA paper reports generated equals the weight of the Starliner.
    Meanwhile, SpaceX could totally resupply our ISS without any Soyuz help, and is long overdue to fly crews to the outpost.
    Boeing has enough on its plate with the 737.
    Also, why are they going to launch with the capsule abort system inert?
    When/if the Atlas CATO’s (catastrophic take-off), what better endorsement for the Starliner than a successful escape?
    Can the Starliner also fit on a Falcon 9?
    With the Atlas 5, it appears they can make it fit on anything. (what an ugly rocket!) ;-)

  • Diane Wilson

    Captain Emeritus, Atlas 5 has a better reliability record than Falcon 9. Just saying.

    Yes, it is ugly.

  • Mike Borgelt

    I’d fly on a Falcon 9 any day in preference to an Atlas 5. Who needs large firecrackers attached to the first stage?

  • Col Beausabre

    Mike Boggett, Why the preference ? Just saying you’ll take one over the other is not informative.

  • Mike Borgelt

    You can’t turn the solids off. Just like the Shuttle. Bad idea for piloted rockets. And my name is Borgelt.

  • Captain Emeritus

    OK, Diane, you got me.
    Latest data I can find shows 80 Atlas 5 launches
    With 79 successes for a 98.75% rate.
    Also, 80 Falcon 9 launches with 78 successful
    flights equals a 98.5% rate.
    UAL has to buy it’s success from the Ruskies
    and charges anywhere from $120-150million per expendable flight. (Depending on configuration)
    Falcon 9 has LANDED 47 of its boosters so far.
    (and all American made)
    I can get you a good deal on a slightly scorched, flight proven Falcon 9 for roughly $50 million for your next project.
    A far better use of American taxpayer dollars.
    I will not do any business with communists or socialists.
    Let them thrive in their own repressive regimes.

  • Captain Emeritus

    Col Beausabre,
    I think Mr. Borgelt would agree that our loss of the Challenger and 7 national treasures in 1986
    is reason enough, to never again to risk American lives on solid rocket boosters.

  • Mike Borgelt


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