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.

Starship fifth prototype set for first 500 foot hop

Capitalism in space: SpaceX fifth Starship prototype has passed all of its static fire tests and is now ready for its first flight, a 500 foot vertical hop.

That hop should occur within days.

I have embedded a nice video that summarizes well all of the work being done right now at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas, including the construction of large assembly buildings for both Starship and Super Heavy.


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  • Jay

    All the past tests used one single raptor engine and I wondered if this one was going to use multiple due to the planned 150m height. I confirmed that they will be using one engine for this test.

    SpaceX’s Starship design of 31 engines always reminded me of the Russian’s N-1 with the 30 engines. SpaceX is approaching this design from the angle of testing everything first and scaling up. I read about the N-1 and they pretty much put together the components, skipped some integration testing steps, and went for launch. I am sure the quality control for the Raptor is a lot better than the NK-15.

  • Jay: One more point to SpaceX’s advantage: They have considerable experience making nine engines work together on Falcon 9. That knowledge is directly applicable to Super Heavy.

  • Peter Monta

    And, indeed, managing the 27 engines for Falcon Heavy. I think they staggered the ignition events on FH for the first few events, then changed to all at once, so there was some iteration there. Not sure what the plan is for Super Heavy.

  • Captain Emeritus

    At ignition, Soyuz lights THIRTY motors by pyrotechnic flares mounted on birch poles, aka, a 4’ match!
    They strike the matches (electrically) at T-20 before the fuel or oxidizer is introduced.
    With 1700 tries since 1966, they have it down pretty good.

  • Rose

    Jay, an interesting thing about the SN5 prototype flight vs. the Starhopper flight of last August is that while they both use a single Raptor engine, the engine was centered on Starhopper, whereas it is offset on SN5, since it is mounted one of the three inner positions of a proper Starship thrust puck. (Starship will eventually fly with three inner Sea Level Raptor engines and 3 outer Vacuum optimized Raptors.)

    So when SN5 lifts off, we should expect a bit of a “power slide” (as with the Atlas V 411), where it will translate horizontally a bit as it starts its way up. We should also expect a bit of cant as it flies. How much, I don’t know, but I’m expecting it to be visible.

  • Jay

    Wow! I did not know about the offset on the engine. It will be an interesting test.

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