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.

XCOR shuts down

Capitalism in space: XCOR, the company that was going to fly tourists on the Lynx reusable suborbital plane by 2013, has laid off its last remaining employees.

Though years ago I predicted this failure accurately, I do not celebrate it. I would have much preferred to have been dead wrong, and to have seen Lynx built and flying, making money from space tourism. At the same time, I am also utterly realistic about the realities of capitalism. To have big successes you need to also have sad failures. XCOR unfortunately belongs to the latter.


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  • Edward

    I grieve for this loss. I thought that XCOR’s spaceplane design seemed efficient, as the wings provide a far more efficient method of lift than rocket thrust alone. I had hoped to see a spaceplane that launches from a runway as well as returns to a runway. That was innovative.

  • Alex

    Mr. Zimmerman:

    What about XCOR’s upper stage engine contract/work for United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle? Do you have any information?

  • Alex: See today’s post on XCOR.

  • Anthony Domanico

    This is a sad thing. I want Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic to succeed, but if XCOR succeeded it may have ushered in a new era when being a billionaire (or being backed by a billionaire) was no longer a prerequisite to starting a successful launch company. I realize at the time Elon Musk wasn’t a billionaire when he founded SpaceX but he still had made a $100 million initial investment.

    Now my hope is with Rocket Lab to usher in said era.

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