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.

Watching Astra’s launch attempt tonight

Capitalism in space: Astra has made its live stream available for its orbital launch attempt tonight, scrubbed last night about ten minutes before liftoff.

This will be the company’s fourth attempt to launch a payload into orbit. The first three attempts failed in some manner.

I have embedded the company’s live stream, provided by NASASpaceflight LLC and Astra Space Inc., below the fold.


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  • Localfluff

    I haven’t paid much attention to space flight during the last couple of years. Looking at it now, SO MUCH IS HAPPENING!

    If you who read this were lingering along with space news day by day like I did, and I do now again. Please take a couple of years’ perspective, and it is a huge step for human kind. Again. Perhaps not this single launch, but on the whole it is getting much more intensive now year by year. Spaceflight is the future. It is happening.

  • Localfluff: What is happening now is what I predicted would happen a quarter century ago, in my final chapter of Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8:

    The new century will see a renaissance of space exploration as exciting and as challenging as the space race in the 1960’s. And this rebirth will happen under the banner of freedom and private property, the very principles for which the United States fought the Cold War.

  • Questioner

    Congratulations to Astra for the success. The rocket design, in which the first stage carries the greater part of the propulsion capacity, is interesting.

  • Jay

    Congratulations to Astra on reaching orbit.!

  • Chris Lopes

    The more companies who can do this, the better. This one almost looked like it was launched from someone’s backyard. It had a very low tech feel to it, which is ironic considering we are talking about an orbital spacecraft. Perhaps that’s where the technology is right now. Pretty much anyone with money and know how (Blue Origin excepted) can put things in orbit. Very cool.

  • Questioner

    The second stage, which has a small engine that is pressure fed (no pumps), is unusually small compared to the first stage. This is why the end-of-burn speed of the first stage is here 4.1 km / s (2.7 km / s for Electron). With regard to the second stage and the overall rocket, there are definitely still opportunities to increase performance. For example, why don’t you use a vacuum version of the first stage engine and make the second stage much heavier. It should not add significantly to the overall manufacturing cost, but increase payload capacity and fairing diameter signficantly. What about the engine deal with Firefly? From which rocket production number will the new engine be used?

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