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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.


Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


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ULA successfully launches NOAA weather satellite

ULA today successfully launched a new NOAA weather satellite.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

8 SpaceX
4 China
2 Russia

The U.S. now leads China 13 to 4 in the national rankings.

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.


  • Jeff Wright

    Much better tally…

  • Captain Emeritus

    How much do the russki commies charge ula for the “Atlas” rd-180 motors?

    Asking for a friend.

  • Captain Emeritus: I might have documented it here at BtB. Do a search for RD-180.

    However, it isn’t relevant any longer because ULA isn’t buying any more engines. U.S. law makes it impossible, and the company is transitioning to the Vulcan rocket, which won’t use them.

  • Jeff Wright

    Dynetics wanted to bring back a simplified version of the F-1….but nooo…

  • Max

    The Chinese keeps launching “earth observation satellites”… Does anybody know what they really are?

  • Captain Emeritus

    Mr. Zimmerman,
    I am familiar with the RD-180.
    I think giving aid and comfort to the enemy is always “relevant.”
    Mr. Musk said in 2018, “ I will seriously eat my hat, with a side of mustard, if ULA’s Vulcan flies a national security spacecraft before 2023.”
    The Bezos boondoggle BE-4, has been in development since 2011, but what’s the rush?
    Perhaps, ULA could make a deal with the CCP to launch our national security satellites, while it awaits transition to the “Vulcan,” certainly by 2026?

  • sippin_bourbon

    I think Musk’s dining habits are safe. I just checked the Vulcan wiki page (I know it is wikipedia, so not 100% accurate) the USSF mission is set for Q1 2023.

    It actually makes me makes me angry. (Maybe I have watched too much Angry Astronaut?). Bezos has over promised on BE-4s and New Glenn, just as Boeing over promised and then failed to deliver on Starliner.

    The whole point of multiple awards was to be in a position to have redundancy and competition. Well the proverbial fecal matter is hitting the rotary impeller, and while I have a great deal of confidence in SpaceX, we would be in a better position with a 2nd system.

    Side note, and someone correct me if I am wrong, but Starliner apparently uses some Russian power connection equipment, that now many need replaced?

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