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 Starship/Superheavy development

Link here.

The article first provides a detailed review of the past year’s effort, which leads to laying out the possibilities for 2022. Key quote:

With the FAA citing its plans to issue the Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the SpaceX Starship / Super Heavy project no earlier than the end of February, SpaceX can claim the review process is the schedule driver. However, [Superheavy] Booster 4 [intended for Starship’s first orbital flight] has yet to conduct a Static Fire test, likely including an eventual full 29 engine firing. Further evolutions of the Ship and Booster are yet to come online, with a plan to go to nine engines on Ship and 33 engines on the Booster, all moving to the Raptor 2 variant.

In other words, there is a lot of work that needs to be done before SpaceX can actually fly that first orbital flight of Starship/Superheavy, and that even if the FAA rubberstamped the approval of its environmental reassessment of the Boca Chica site today, SpaceX would likely not be able to launch that orbital flight for several months anyway.

The article also suggests that SpaceX has made big progress in rethinking the Raptor manufacturing process, and has aimed those changes for the production of the Raptor-2 engine, which will also be about 20% more powerful than the Raptor engines presently being installed.


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  • wayne

    filed under- Musk related stuff:

    Elon Musk recap
    Q&A with Lex Fridman (1-2-2022)

    Lex follows up on his 2 & 1/2 hour long talk with Elon Musk (Lex Fridman podcast #252)

  • Steve Richter

    Environmentalists are working to shutdown Boca Chica.
    ( the environmental segment of the report starts around 10 minute mark )

  • Jeff Wright

    You have to give China this-if these Thunberg Greens tried this crap there-they would vanish. Maybe Elon just needs a “fixer.”

  • Steve Richter

    This SpaceX launch authorization issue is such a gift to the republican party. Do not even have to mention Elon. Or claim him as a republican. Just beat Biden over the head by showing how incredibly important it it that the US stay ahead of China in heavy lift, reusable rocket technology.

  • Questioner

    How little Mars emperor Elon Musk is really interested in real environmental issues can be seen from his behavior in Boca Chica and at the Tesla Berlin location. He doesn’t give a damn about the local nature. His talk about saving the world is hollow.

  • jburn

    NASA launch facilities in Florida coexists quite well with the local wildlife and in many ways protect the coastline from real estate development. It’s worth noting SpaceX is in the process of creating similar launch facilities in Florida in addition to it’s offshore launch interests.

    Looking on a map, of the launch facility in Texas, provides a nice size reference – it’s actually a rather small footprint. And it has less impact on local wildlife than the dangerous and ineffective electrical wind generation towers that clutter the landscape.

  • Questioner


    I listened to one of those interviews with a reasonable biologist linked above. He explained how SpaceX had repeatedly exceeded what the FAA allowed and expanded it arbitrarily and ruthlessly. He also told how Musk kept saying that there was nothing worth protecting in Boca Chica. That certainly annoys the people there.

  • jburn

    It’s my understanding the FAA is not involved in environmental oversight and it seems a desperate stretch on the part of this “reasonable biologist” to juxtapose their roles.

    If significant damage has occurred, it should be easy to document. That’s certainly the case with those dangerous wind turbines which “arbitrarily and ruthlessly” destroy incredible amounts of wildlife. We should focus on getting those shut down if environmental impact is really the issue of concern versus an imagined impact you allude to.

    A vast majority of people in the area welcome the contributions SpaceX brings to an impoverished area of Brownsville Texas.

  • Carl

    The FAA delay won’t slow spacex down much. They will continue building more starship and booster prototypes with improvements on each new model. By the time they have permission to fly, they will be better prepared. They won’t waste this time.

  • Questioner

    It seems crazy. If that works in the long run, I’ll eat a broom.

    “How realistic is SpaceX’s idea of catching the LARGEST rocket ever built?”

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