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 successfully inserted in final orbital position at the Sun-Earth Lagrange point

The James Webb Space Telescope today successfully completed a five minute firing of its engines to place it at the Sun-Earth Lagrange point dubbed L2.

Webb’s orbit will allow it a wide view of the cosmos at any given moment, as well as the opportunity for its telescope optics and scientific instruments to get cold enough to function and perform optimal science. Webb has used as little propellant as possible for course corrections while it travels out to the realm of L2, to leave as much remaining propellant as possible for Webb’s ordinary operations over its lifetime: station-keeping (small adjustments to keep Webb in its desired orbit) and momentum unloading (to counteract the effects of solar radiation pressure on the huge sunshield).

Engineers will spend the next three months aligning the segments of Webb’s large primary and secondary mirrors, while they wait for the telescope to cool down to the ambient very cold temperatures required for it to detect the tiny infrared heat emissions from very faint very very very distant objects.


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  • Typo alert: 2nd to the last word: should be “distant” rather than “distance.”

  • Michael McNeil: Thank you. Fixed.

  • Sayomara

    For some reason I always thought Webb was going to the L4 since its stable orbit. The L2 point is unstable thus needing to use fuel to stay in that orbit. I hope they spent a little bit of time thinking about refueling mission during the 15 years they were working on this thing. Be nice to add a decade or more onto the life of this by just dumping in another tank of gas =)

  • Lee S

    I gotta be a little bit proud here of our arian launch system accuracy… ( As a European..) apparently the accuracy of the launch has enabled an extra 5 years of propellant.
    I’m just over the moon that the thing is in place, seems to be working just as planned, and I’m looking forward to first light. As our host has mentioned once or twice… It’s no replacement for Hubble, but by God I’m looking forward to seeing how the universe looked a few hundreds of million years after first light…
    Any bets that it’s stranger than we ever imagined?

  • John

    Sayomara, NASA has a Q&A that discusses Webb and the orbit. Since the thrusters have to be on the sun side of the shield, they will always be drifting towards the sun. If they ever cross the divide and start drifting away, mission over. They also have to have a wide orbit of L2 so the Earth doesn’t block the sun from powering the arrays.

    I can’t wait for the thing to find the faint heat that has to radiate from alien megastructures ; )

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    I made a similar comment on the Pluto post above, but for those avoiding the Pluto debate, I’ll repeat it here.

    The JWST is at L2, so NASA needs to manage the Webb’s orbit.
    And while L2 is defined as a non-stable Lagrange point, it is not very unstable, and takes relatively little effort to stay near L2.

    Can anyone explain what makes non-stable Lagrange points Very Unstable?

  • Questioner

    How James Webb Orbits “Nothing”

    A lucid explanation into the whole exercise of the Webb being put into an around L2 of Sun & Earth!

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Thanks Questioner- excellent informative video!

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