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.


Trump orders Defense Dept to create “Space Force”

The swamp wins! President Trump today issued an order that the Defense Department create a separate branch of the military to be called the Space Force.

The president then ordered the secretary of defense to “establish a space force of the sixth branch of the armed forces.” He called on General Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to help create the new arm of American military might.

Trump also blathered that he will “establish a long-term presence on the Moon,” followed by a mission to Mars.

In other words, he is all-in on LOP-G, the next big boondoggle following SLS.

For me, this is very depressing. It indicates that government space policy will continue to be bankrupt, spending money on big projects that never get finished and on a worthless military department that will be entirely useless.

Readers!
 

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17 comments

  • wayne

    “Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers”
    attack on Washington excerpt
    https://youtu.be/jZO6pIhQEbo
    2:56

  • wodun

    The article doesn’t say what the space force will look like. I’m sure the space nerd sites will dig into it but if it was something like this, it could be good. https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/proposing-a-coast-guard-for-space

    We do need to view space as its own theatre and the only way for it to get the attention it needs could be to have its own branch of the military that has it as a primary concern. Other nations are militarizing space and as we expand off our home, our government needs to extend protection to our citizens.

    LOP-G may play a role in creating a “long-term presence on the moon” but we have to remember that there is a dual track to the Moon. The nearest activities to prospect the Moon have nothing to do with LOP-G. There will always be competition over government funds and because they are limited and controlled by other people, there will always be people who are unhappy with how they are spent. The only way to change this is by giving more control to the private sector, which is what the other lunar track does.

    This announcement isn’t all that concerning. It is basically status quo on the NASA front while directing the military to devote more attention to one of our society’s most critical spheres of activity. What is concerning is Elon Musk’s statement over the weekend that he is a socialist. I now view any Mar’s colony set up by Musk and/or his partners having a 100% chance to fail.

    He appears to be quite content with the totalitarian marxist technocrats and their efforts to control society. This is a bad omen for any colony he controls. Of course, he really isn’t a socialist. He is a fascist but marxists love to argue about how different flavors of marxism are somehow different while failing to recognize how they actually fit into the spectrum of marxist ideologies. Its always a worthless discussion especially since so many think having a parks is socialism.

    I don’t know how smart people can lack so much wisdom.

  • Trent Castanaveras

    wodun:

    With respect, Elon Musk goes on to say “If you must know, I am a utopian anarchist of the kind best described by Iain Banks” [https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1008120904759402501].

    The galactic society postulated by Banks bears little if any resemblance to past or current socialist ideal or persons.

  • Judging by their TV ads, I thought the US Air Force *was* the Space Force.

  • Edward

    The U.S. Air Force currently has the responsibility to protect our space assets under their Space Command.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Space_Command

    The above Wikipedia entry describes other responsibilities, too, but it seems unclear, right now, how many of them will transfer to the new Space Force.

    Apparently, many people expect a Space Force to consist of Storm Troopers based in space, but the reality is that it is expected to be a ground-based system responsible for protecting American space assets from attack and harm. Space News has recently discussed this issue:

    http://spacenews.com/qa-air-force-gen-john-hyten-says-u-s-space-strategy-budget-moving-down-the-right-path/

    Because of the vast amount that we’ve invested over the years, our overhead architectures are well beyond anything our adversaries can counter. We are in good shape in the near term. But are we going to be in good shape in the long term? We didn’t build our systems for a contested environment.

    A lot of people joke about helmets and uniforms. That’s not the issue. The issue is the threats.

    http://spacenews.com/on-national-security-space-force-fans-be-careful-what-you-wish-for/

    We need an official national space policy to come out first before we start talking about a significant and substantial change to the legal structure that creates service branches in the United States

    Maybe they will rebuild the Pentagon into the Hexagon.

  • Localfluff

    Does this mean that military space will be broken out of the USAF? Isn’t that bad, to have USAF as a rival rather than on the side of military space? I heard that the USAF spends more on space than on aircrafts.

    @wodun
    No, LOP-G cannot play a role in returning to the Moon. It is quite the opposite. LOP-G will abolish all NASA human space flight. In 7 years the last NASA astronaut will fly to the ISS. Then 10 years will follow without any NASA HSF. Then after having spent $100 billion four astronauts will make a three week visit to this tiny capsule once every two years. That’s the plan, but it will be scrapped because by then others will have permanent bases on the surface of the Moon and run large space stations in LEO. Then most of NASA will be killed as an organization and the robotic scientific parts of it transferred to the NSF which finances ground based telescopes anyway.

    LOP-G is as misplaced as an aircraft carrier in the desert. No science or space flight technology tests can be done there because of the tiny format of the capsule, expensive access and rare occupation. There is no scientific or commercial or space flight related use of its useless dangerous and expensive location in a Lunar halo orbit. Especially, the irregularity of such an orbit makes it impossible to use it as gateway to and back from the Moon. An ascent vehicle needs a docking target in a regular low Lunar orbit, like Apollo used.

  • Kirk

    Is this screenshot of a FoxNews story on Mr. Trump’s call for a Space Force entitled “Big Rocket Man” legit?

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P1Lw-C1GEsE/WygIOMj8gGI/AAAAAAAA8Xo/dmgQpMtmX7UTPxZODEH77CMjUgvV55CcACLcBGAs/s1600/Screenshot%2B2018-06-18%2Bat%2B12.26.19%2BPM.png

    It doesn’t look sufficiently over-the-top to be a fake, but if that headline is real, it didn’t last long.

  • wayne

    “A Very Big Rocket”
    https://youtu.be/S-V6MZlyCqE
    (2:22)

    “Garak and the Quantum Torpedo’s”
    https://youtu.be/JrQsT9Ii-KM
    (2:01)

  • wodun

    Trent Castanaveras
    June 18, 2018 at 4:17 pm
    wodun:

    With respect, Elon Musk goes on to say “If you must know, I am a utopian anarchist of the kind best described by Iain Banks”

    I will have to look into this a little bit more. I didn’t read the entire series of tweets because it was a bunch of marxists arguing about the meaningless distinctions between different types of marxism. He did also call himself a socialist, maybe he is just trolling everyone with his odd sense of humor.

  • wodun

    @wodun
    No, LOP-G cannot play a role in returning to the Moon. It is quite the opposite. LOP-G will abolish all NASA human space flight. In 7 years the last NASA astronaut will fly to the ISS. Then 10 years will follow without any NASA HSF.

    Nonsense.

    That’s the plan, but it will be scrapped because by then others will have permanent bases on the surface of the Moon and run large space stations in LEO.

    This is closer to the mark. Commercial options will exist in LEO and NASA will send astronauts there. NASA will also be playing a large role in building lunar infrastructure, whatever form that ends up being. Neither of these things use LOP-G. Don’t forget the dual track NASA is on.

    LOP-G is as misplaced as an aircraft carrier in the desert. No science or space flight technology tests can be done there because of the tiny format of the capsule, expensive access and rare occupation. There is no scientific or commercial or space flight related use of its useless dangerous and expensive location in a Lunar halo orbit. Especially, the irregularity of such an orbit makes it impossible to use it as gateway to and back from the Moon.

    The orbit of the LOP-G can change. The orbit of the LOP-G brings it close to the Moon once a week. The size of the LOP-G can change and there are 6 companies receiving funds for proposals on modules. From what I understand, the LOP-G orbit was chosen because it helps SLS/Orion get to Mars and the Moon. But SLS/Orion are not the only launchers and vehicles that can/would use the LOP-G.

    It may not be the “best” but people min/max based off different requirements and there is always more than one way to do something. The LOP-G may not happen, it may happen, its orbit might never change, or it might be moved to a lagrange point. We don’t really know what the future holds and “plans” are rather scant and subject to change at this point in time. All while this is happening, NASA will be using a lunar COTS type of program to prospect the Moon for suitable crewed landings, which there will presumably be several of before constructing lunar villages or bases or whatevers.

  • Localfluff

    @wodun
    What the heck do you mean “nonsense”?? That’s NASA’s plan. Terminating all human spaceflight and abolishing NASA in the late 2020s.

    The halo orbit makes it completely useless as a “gateway” for surface missions. You need a low Lunar orbit for that, so that the “gateway” returns to zenith over the landing site every hour or so. Halo orbit is not that per definition. Do you mean that it will leave halo orbit and enter low Lunar orbit?? That’s just a meaningless waste of fuel and won’t happen.

    Paying @ billion to launch a small crew to a tiny capsule for a short stay, that’s not useful for any kind of purpose. It is to go where the Chinese are in HSF today, 15 years from now. And of course there are many who want to profit from this new $100 billion fiasco project. They don’t need to deliver anything that works, it’s a paid vacation hobby for them.

  • Edward

    Localfluff asked: “Isn’t that bad, to have USAF as a rival rather than on the side of military space?

    No worse than having the Army as a rival rather than on the side of the USAF, back in WWII, when those two split.

    That’s the plan

    I don’t think I have ever seen it expressed quite so succinctly. Except for the death of NASA part, I think you have the plan stated exactly. Overspend on the initial construction, then rarely visit for short durations at a cost of another $10 billion per biennial visit. NASA is not planning to end its manned space program, as that is its bread and butter as well as its sandwich meat, but if they botch this up, then they may lose public support due to commercial space doing more, doing it better, and for less.

    wayne has a point; if NASA is willing, others could be able to use LOP-G, if they choose.

    LOP-G may not be convenient for getting to the Moon, but NASA seems to tolerate inconvenience, as we saw when the Space Shuttle failed to live up to most of its promise.

  • Localfluff

    Why would anyone want to go to a capsule in Lunar halo orbit? It is further away than LEO so it requires more delta-v and takes almost 3 days single trip. No protection by Earth itself and its magnetic field against radiation. No option for a quick abort to the ground. And there’s nothing there to explore.

  • MattP

    Maybe he’s thinking about the late 60’s/earily70’s Gerry Anderson Sci-Fi series “UFO” where they had a defensive site named “Moon Base” with fighters based there…..

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Gerry+Anderson+ufo+series

  • Edward

    Localfluff asked: “Why would anyone want to go to a capsule in Lunar halo orbit?

    So, I went to wikipedia to get information on all the wonderful expectations for LOP-G, because after spending that much money, we had better get something more than a few commercial missions to the Moon would provide.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Orbital_Platform-Gateway#Overview

    Originally, NASA had intended to build the Gateway as part of the now cancelled Asteroid Redirect Mission. … Traveling to and from cislunar space (lunar orbit) will help gain the knowledge and experience necessary to venture beyond the Moon and into deep space. The LOP-G would be initially placed in a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the Moon. The Gateway could also support in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) development and testing from lunar and asteroid resources. The Gateway would offer the opportunity for gradual buildup of capability providing for an incremental buildup of capabilities for more complex missions over time.

    However, it looks like commercial space can gain this much knowledge in short order (except for the asteroid ISRU, which LOP-G won’t get anyway, because that part was cancelled), especially if trips directly to the Moon’s surface are frequent.

    The experience to travel past the Moon is what the ISS was supposed to be for, so if we aren’t going to get it with a quarter century of a continuously occupied ISS, then why should we expect to get it from an occasionally occupied LOP-G? (Oops, I partially answered a question with a question. That is poor form.)

    MattP,
    That was a cute show, with those purple-haired women. Who knew, back then, that purple hair would become fashionable? It also shows what I think most people expect when anyone says “space force,” space jockeys flying around in spaceships shooting missiles at enemies and the occasional Earth-intersecting asteroid.

  • wayne

    MattP/Edward–
    I have the DVD set. [UFO 1970 Gerry Anderson] Not super great, but definitely not bad. It’s a great premise!
    (also have “Fireball XL5,” but generally don’t like the puppet stuff Gerry Anderson did.)

    “S-F Hottie Gabrielle Drake as Lt. Gay Ellis”
    https://youtu.be/r8auw4vXijk
    1:50

  • wayne

    totally off-thread—

    Highly recommend a 1978, BBC-1, science-fiction series, “Blake’s 7.”
    Written by Terry Nation. >Dystopian Space-Opera. Well done for TV SF. Syndicated on PBS in the USA at the time.

    Blake’s 7
    se1 ep1
    https://youtu.be/DXDd1zO9F1I
    48:34

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