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.

Update on SLS: Still aiming for very unlikely March launch

A detailed update on the work being done by NASA and Boeing engineers to prepare SLS for its first unmanned test launch suggests that though a March launch is still the target, it is likely to be delayed.

The update at the link is very thorough, and outlines a large number of tests that need to be done to get this very cumbersome and complicated rocket ready for launch. They are just about done with the prep work for the core stage, and are now shifting to final testing of the upper stage, followed by some countdown sequence testing and a test of the flight termination system. In addition there are a number of other tests they wish to perform, all of which will take time.

Once these are done they will be ready to roll the rocket out to the launchpad for a final dress rehearsal countdown — dubbed the Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR), now scheduled for mid- to late-February.

NASA will not set a launch date until after the WDR is completed and they can factor in any additional tasks with already-known work. “We’ve continually said that until we get through WDR we won’t set a launch date, so us getting out in mid-February for WDR allows them to look at March and April as opportunities,” Lanham said.

“I really can’t put my finger on it again until we come back from WDR and see if we have any issues there that we’ve got to go correct.” After the WDR test, the vehicle and Mobile Launcher will be rolled back to the VAB for final pre-launch maintenance and servicing.

Some have said the earliest realistic launch date is May, with the mid-summer more likely. We shall have to wait and see.


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  • MDN


    So how long does the “extended” shelf life of the stacked boosters run? That was a hard limit they faced and have already fudged on a bit, and will soon loom large if they start facing most any additional delay.

  • David Eastman

    I was reading a response on another site to the eternal question about the booster life, and it appears that “one year stacked” number is not really a hard engineering number, it was something more in the way of “we know there’s a limit, we don’t really know what it is, one year is far more than will ever happen in the shuttle program, so we’ll put that down.” Apparently they’re confident that 18 months won’t be a problem, and beyond that they’ll have to inspect and see what propellant and seals look like, it may be fine, it may be something they can waive or address quickly, or it may require a de-stack.

  • Dean Hurt

    What a friggin waste of time and money! SLS is a royal boondoggle and the bureaucratic class in NASA are a poor representation of the NASA of the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s. You remember, when they were able to actually get things done. I’m just praying SpaceX resists becoming a “flash in the pan”.

  • Mike Borgelt

    One can hope it clears the pad far enough that the launch infrastructure isn’t damaged by the explosion. That might end the boondoggle or will congress go even harder?

  • Jeff Wright

    I think it will fly Orion out to the Moon fine

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