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.


Starliner unmanned demo flight likely delayed until ’22

Capitalism in space: The second Starliner unmanned demo flight, repeatedly delayed throughout ’21 due to scheduling and technical problems, is now likely to be delayed until next year.

Apparently, Boeing engineers have been unable to figure out why 13 of 64 valves on Starliner failed to function properly just hours before the last planned launch, causing the launch to be scrubbed.

The quality control systems at Boeing during this entire program have not shined. The capsule is now years behind schedule, and has been dogged by design and construction flaws — from software to parachutes to valves — that in the 21st century should not be problems any longer in building a manned spacecraft.

Like SpaceX and its Dragon capsule, Boeing owns Starliner and will be able to offer private citizens and companies flights on it once it is operational. These failures, however, will not be good for that future business. They make this spacecraft a far less appealing product when compared to the high quality of the engineering at SpaceX. Why would anyone risk their life on Starliner when they can buy a ticket on the apparently much more reliable Dragon?

In other words, Boeing has been doing terrible harm to its brand name with these problems. It needs to get them fixed, and fast.

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3 comments

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “The quality control systems at Boeing during this entire program have not shined. The capsule is now years behind schedule, and has been dogged by design and construction flaws — from software to parachutes to valves — that in the 21st century should not be problems any longer in building a manned spacecraft.

    This is the point at which I say that we still don’t have all the answers in designing manned spacecraft, so problems are still to be expected. However, Boeing’s parachute problem and software problems should have never happened. Neither was a fundamental design problem, they were design implementation problems.

    The valve problem is worrisome. These valves are either the same valves commonly used in spacecraft or are designed similarly. Is there a fundamental problem with this type of valve or has Boeing used them in a way that makes them unreliable? Is Boeing about to discover a flaw in the valve or a flaw in their implementation of the plumbing? Is this a case in which we don’t have all the answers, or is it a case in which an error was made?

  • the high quality of the engineering at SpaceX

    To be fair, I don’t recall any Boeing explosions, while Space X has a highlight reel on YouTube. That said, I’d rather fly in a Mark IV craft that had versions 1, 2, and 3 explode and the problems fixed than in a Mark I craft with a perfect simulator record.

  • Edward

    markedup2,
    You wrote: “To be fair, I don’t recall any Boeing explosions, while Space X has a highlight reel on YouTube.

    So your conclusion is that Boeing is hiding its development work and SpaceX publicizes their own? I think that you need to go back to the time when Boeing, their heritage companies, and other launch companies were developing new launch technologies. The Soviets were also developing theirs. The U.S. publicized their attempts but the Soviets didn’t, and the result was that everyone thought that our rockets always blew up but theirs didn’t.

    It looks like people are still subject to the same influences. We don’t seem to be learning as much from history as we think we are learning.

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