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.

Webb deployment resumes, with continuing success

After a day delay to assess the telescope’s earlier operation in space, engineers yesterday resumed the deployment of the James Webb Space Telescope’s sun shield.

First they began tensioning the shield’s first of five layers, completing that operation in about five and a half hours.

Next the engineers proceeded to tighten layers two and three, completing that task in about three hours.

Today they have begun tightening the last two layers. A live stream of this slow and relatively unexciting process (as long as nothing goes wrong) is available from NASA here.

Based on what has been done so far, it appears that the deployment of the sun shield, considered the most challenging part of Webb’s deployment, is going to complete successfully. While the unfolding and deployment of the mirror still must be done, getting the sun shield deployed eliminates one of the great concerns that has kept both astronomers and engineers awake nights for decades.


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  • LocalFulff

    Real astronomers are always awake at night ;-)

  • sippin_bourbon

    In the realm of space based astronomy, night and day no longer matter. The Observatory is forever in a sea of darkness.

  • Jhon B

    If this thing screws up, is there any way to have a rescue mission to fix it? I am not as up on space as most of you and I have no idea if they can stop this thing before it gets to close to the sun for humans and then resume it towards its target.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Jhon B

    No, sadly. The Observatory is on its way to a very distant position, much farther than the Space Station or Hubble.

    The eventual destination is in orbit around L2 point, opposite side side of the moon, plus some.

    There would be insufficient fuel to stop, even if there was, it would require more fuel to go again. There is much more, like the lack of means to carry out such a repair.

  • Milt

    Think of the WST as just another in a long line of largely successful planetary probes like the current fleet of Mars orbiters / rovers, Juno, and the New Horizons Pluto mission. In this case, in addition to conducting cosmological investigations, it will be probing exoplantes, lol. Like its far flung, planet-visiting companions — at least at present — it simply will be too far away to repair, so it has been designed (at great time and expense) to be as robust and resilient as possible. Godspeed, WST.

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