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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

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Virgin Galactic stock crashes

Capitalism in space: For the first time since Virgin Galactic became a publicly-traded company two years ago, its stock on January 6th dropped below its initial offering price.

On Thursday, stock of the space tourism company fell to as low as $11.30 before rising back to $11.90 by the afternoon. When the company merged with a special purpose acquisition company to go public in 2019, its debut price was $11.75.

In the two years in-between, the price was pumped up to as high as $62, during which the company’s founder, Richard Branson, sold off about 80% of his stock, reducing his holdings from 51% of the company to only 11% and walking away with about $1.25 billion in cash.

Right now the company’s future is very much in question. It has delayed all of its commercial suborbital flights until late this year, if then. Meanwhile, Blue Origin is flying commercial suborbital tourist flights, and the orbital space tourism market is ramping up quite successfully. With no ability to enter that orbital market, Virgin Galactic appears to be at a dead end.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • David Reid Ross

    Branson can use some of those billions to wipe away the tears which I’m sure are streaming down his cheeks.

  • Jeff Wright

    What is sad is how quickly Rutan has been forgotten…Rocky Mountain low.

  • Jay

    I am surprised the V.G. stock has not gone any lower.

    If you read the last part of the article, you will see Blue Origin’s stock has gone down 75% to only $7 a share, down from $57. I did not realize it tumbled that much.

  • Rex Ridenoure

    Jay: Blue Origin is not a publicly traded company on the market. The mention of their stock in the posted article is an error.

    No, You Can’t Buy Blue Origin Stock. 3 Space Stocks to Watch Instead.

  • Jay

    Thank you for the correction. If Blue Origin had stock, it would have made bigger news with the delay of the BE-4.

  • Questioner

    I am invested in stocks myself and therefore deal with these topics out of self-interest.

    What amazes me is how quickly companies (can) become public stock corporations today and without actually being able to demonstrate a business model that has been tried and tested over many years and that includes good profits.

    Sure, anyone who buys such stocks should be aware of the risk (which includes total loss). You consciously buy risky stocks, but then the possible profit should also be in a healthy proportion to the risk of loss. But that is not the case here, because even if the business model of private space travel works, in my opinion, the growth of such companies cannot be “arbitrarily” large. The market is limited and will be exhausted after a period of 10 years or so.

  • wayne

    Nassim Taleb:
    “How Things Gain from Disorder”
    (Stanford, 2013)

  • BLSinSC

    After you’ve done it one time wouldn’t you have to drop the “Virgin” part? That’s the extent of my GAS ability with those low flying “space” clowns!

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