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.

Virgin Galactic delays next Unity suborbital flight until next year

Capitalism in space: Virgin Galactic announced today that it is delaying its next Unity suborbital manned flight until next year so that it can first complete a planned maintenance inspection and overhaul of both Unity and its carrier airplane WhiteKnightTwo.

The company said Oct. 14 that it decided to move directly intended a planned maintenance period after a recent lab test of materials used on the vehicles “flagged a possible reduction in the strength margins of certain materials used to modify specific joints” that “requires further physical inspection.”

…That decision means that the company will delay Unity 23, a mission for the Italian Air Force that had been scheduled for as soon as mid-October, until after the maintenance period is completed next year. That flight had been previously scheduled for late September or early October but postponed to look into a potential manufacturing defect with a component in a flight control actuation system.

The endless delays at Virgin Galactic, stretching out now for almost fifteen years, threaten this company’s competitive standing. With Blue Origin now apparently able to fly commercially and regularly, one wonders why anyone would risk flying on Unity. Of course, people will, once the ship is cleared for commercial flights, but right now the price will likely have to be less than what Blue Origin is charging to garner business.


I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.

Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.

You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.


  • Doug

    The today show, 2 days ago tried to claim the title, “The new space race.” SCREW the Today Show.

  • Just for a moment, realize we are complaining about a private company’s lack of ability compared to other private companies launching people into space.

    Just saying.

  • Edward

    Blair Ivey wrote: “Just for a moment, realize we are complaining about a private company’s lack of ability compared to other private companies launching people into space.

    We certainly are making a lot of progress, this decade. I would say that is should be very exciting by the end of the decade, but by then we may see it all as just routine.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *