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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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Watching the first SLS launch tonight

At this moment, with weather 90% favorable and the countdown underway, the first launch of NASA’s SLS rocket appears go for a 1:04 AM (Eastern) launch tonight.

You can watch the live stream on NASA TV here, which will begin at 3:30 pm today and mostly be NASA propaganda intermixed with descriptions of the rocket, its payloads, its full mission, and updates on the launch countdown.

NASA’s live stream is now embedded below, beginning at 10:30 PM (Eastern) when actual coverage of the final countdown begins. I would still suggest that you wait until at least 12:30 AM (Eastern) before watching, as those first two hours will still be filled with a lot of NASA propaganda blather.

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.


  • Diane E Wilson

    I’ll bet ten quatloos that it will abort on a hydrogen leak tonight. No way all those seals are still intact after Nicole.

  • Mitch S.

    I’ll take that bet.
    I have a feeling NASA won’t be too fussy about taking some risk. All these delays must be becoming a form of torture.
    Also I have trouble believing some wind gusts could seriously damage a rocket designed to withstand the stresses of launch (especially SLS with the boosters on the sides resulting in loads at angles other than directly below) unless a piece of debris was driven into the vehicle (would have surely been spotted by inspections).

    Though if I lose I’ll have to take a trip to Triskelion because I don’t think banks here exchange dollars for quatloos!

  • John

    That launch window doesn’t work for me. I’m going to bed, somebody wake me up when Marvin the Martian gets his earth shattering kaboom. On second thought, the launch video will likely be posted here.

  • John

    Oh no! The red crew is mobilizing to address a core stage LH2 leak. Anyway.

    I made the mistake of clicking on the live stream.

    If I told them once, I told them a million times, H2 is the lightest element and you gotta have those seals down pat! LH2 is one of those things you need if you have LO2.

    The red crew team is going in! Go red crew team! Highly trained group is going in to tighten bolts. 15minutes of work in a hazardous area.

  • Diane E Wilson


    Yes, this has the odor of Go Fever. I’m sure they have a manager on call for any last-minute launch waivers.

    They really don’t have a way to do close inspections on the pad; they’d have to roll back to the VAB to do that. And the wind force induces stress in directions that are not part of the flight profile.

    Going to be interesting, whatever happens.

  • Yo,

    Red crew, eh? On the original Star Trek, wearing a red shirt was not good for your long term health.

  • “On the original Star Trek, wearing a red shirt was not good for your long term health.”

    Generally true, with a notable exception.

    2213. Still sitting there.

  • CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor

    Watched. Artemis. Done. Last of the classic boosters.

    Like a Cadillac 1969.

  • wayne

    holy cow, there’s a cottage industry regarding this–>

    “Every Single Redshirt Death in Star Trek: TOS”
    “Red Shirts Are the Safest”

    Referencing the rocket launch–
    I sincerely thought it would blow up.
    Watching the NASA feed– extremely disappointed with camera angles and tracking.
    –What’s up with the polling they did?? It’s as if everyone had to raise their right hand and swear everything was ok.

  • Lee S

    I wonder if all the techs are as amazed it didn’t blow up as many here are??

  • Jeff Wright

    Tory Bruno voice on: where are my quatloos Diane? Scotty wore Red too.

  • ” Last of the classic boosters.”

    ‘Oh, cool! Are the boosters landing at Kennedy, like SpaceX?”


    “What about the fairings? Will NASA catch and re-use those?”


    “The central stage?”


    “Uh, what do we get back?”

    The capsule, in about three weeks.

    “Tell me again how this is different than the Saturn V – Apollo?”

  • Diane E Wilson

    Mitch, will you take an IOU for those ten quatloos?

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