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 available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can 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. Note that the ebook is still for sale for $3.99, but that price will go up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

Long March 5B core stage crash window narrows to 12 hours

Predicted re-entry as of July 29, 2022

The Aerospace Corporation has now narrowed its predicted window for the uncontrolled re-entry of the core stage of China’s Long March 5B, launched on July 24th, to twelve hours, centered over southeast China in the early morning hours of July 31st.

The window still covers almost all inhabitable places on Earth. It will also narrow considerably in the next 24 hours, though not enough to make a reliable precise prediction until just prior to re-entry.

Just remember: China will repeat this farce in October, when it launches the next module to its Tiangong space station.


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

The big storms at Jupiter’s poles are coherent and stable

Storms on Jupiter
Click for full image.

After four years of observations by Juno in orbit around Jupiter, scientists studying the storms at the gas giant’s poles have found that those storms are stable, long-lasting features. From the abstract of their paper:

These data have shown cyclones organized in snowflake-like structures. The Jupiter’s polar cyclones are long-lasting features, which did not disappear or merge during four years of observations.

The image to the right, posted by me earlier this week, shows several of these storms, or vortices, at Jupiter’s north pole. Previous work had documented the overall pattern, as described in the paper:

The observed vortices display geometrical symmetries around both poles: circumpolar cyclones (CPCs), organized in a regular pattern, surround a central one. At the north pole, eight circumpolar vortices form an octagonal structure, while at the south pole, five circumpolar vortices are arranged in a pentagonal pattern; both central polar vortices show some degree of displacements to the geometrical pole, about 0.5° for the Northern Polar Cyclone (NPC) and 1°-2° for the Southern Polar Cyclone (SPC).

While this research has found little change in these storms over four years, it is unknown what their long term evolution will be for an entire Jupiter year, twelve Earth years long.


New paper: Glaciers on Mars could have been extensive, despite the lack of expected subsequent landforms

glacial drainage patterns as expected on Mars
Click for full figure.

According to a new paper published this week, scientists now posit that glaciation could have been much more extensive in the geological history of Mars than presently believed, despite the lack of the expected subsequent landforms as seen on Earth.

From the abstract:

The lack of evidence for large-scale glacial landscapes on Mars has led to the belief that ancient glaciations had to be frozen to the ground. Here we propose that the fingerprints of Martian wet-based glaciation should be the remnants of the ice sheet drainage system instead of landforms generally associated with terrestrial ice sheets. We use the terrestrial glacial hydrology framework to interrogate how the Martian surface gravity affects glacial hydrology, ice sliding, and glacial erosion. …[W]e compare the theoretical behavior of identical ice sheets on Mars and Earth and show that, whereas on Earth glacial drainage is predominantly inefficient, enhancing ice sliding and erosion, on Mars the lower gravity favors the formation of efficient subglacial drainage. The apparent lack of large-scale glacial fingerprints on Mars, such as drumlins or lineations, is to be expected. [emphasis mine]

In other words, on Earth the higher gravity causes glaciers and ice sheets to slide, with the liquid water at the base acting as a lubricant. On Mars, the lower gravity slows that slide, so that the water at the glacier’s base drains away instead, causing erosion and the formation of a drainage pattern in the ground beneath the glacier or ice sheet.

The image above, from figure 1 of the paper, shows on the left a graphic of the two types of drainage patterns expected, and on the right two examples found on Earth (D1: Devon Island; D2: Northwest Territories). Orbiter images of Mars have found variations of these types of drainage patterns in numerous places in Mars’ mid-latitude glacial bands, as shown below.
» Read more


Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

Today’s blacklisted American: January 6th rally attendee commits suicide

Mark Aungst, murdered by the Biden Administration
Mark Aungst, murdered by the Biden Administration

Blacklists are back and the Democrats have got ’em: Mark Aungst, a Pennsylvania man who attended the January 6th 2021 election rally in Washington DC and had been prosecuted by the Biden administration for “demonstrating or parading in a restricted building,” committed suicide on July 20, 2022, shortly before his sentencing.

And what was Angst’s horrible crime of insurrection on January 6th for which he was forced to plead guilty and which he was to be sentenced in September to as much as six months in prison and as much as $5,000?

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst said the prosecution had evidence showing Aungst and Bronsburg entering the Capitol through the Senate fire door by the parliamentarian’s office approximately 2:45 p.m. and leaving 30 seconds later. Twenty minutes later they re-entered the building through the Senate wing door, and took photos and videos on their cell phones as they walked through the Capitol and into Senate Room 145.

Bronsburg later posted a video she took in the Capitol on Facebook and when Aungst returned to the bus he showed others his pictures, said Furst.

Neither assaulted a police officer nor stole or damaged government property, the prosecutor had said at a previous court proceeding.

My god, what horrors! This guy walked into the Capitol (the doors being opened by security), took some pictures, and had the temerity to show those pictures to others! Clearly he was part of a coup. That he could only be sentenced to six months in jail was certainly insufficient. Democrats nationwide can now celebrate that this evil insurrectionist is now dead.

Moreover, Democrats must be further heartened because this is the second January 6th protester to commit suicide because of their persecution.

I found these paragraphs from his obituary especially heart-breaking:
» Read more


NASA is apparently withdrawing its permit for Starship launches in Florida

We’re here to help you: In requesting public input into SpaceX’s plans to expand operations in Florida to accommodate launches of its Starship/Superheavy rocket, NASA is apparently withdrawing the permit it issued in 2019, allowing for such launches.

While a Final Environmental Assessment for Starship was issued in September 2019, NASA said that communication with SpaceX will be ongoing prior to a future first flight from Florida.

“NASA will review the risks to the area and programs at KSC [Kennedy Space Center] prior to any hazardous work,” Bob Holl told Spectrum News in a statement. “NASA will be involved in the lead-up of activities prior to the first loading and any static fire events of Starship and coordinate impacts across the spaceport.” Holl serves as the chief of the Spaceport Management and Integration Division in the Spaceport Integration and Services Directorate at KSC.

It appears NASA and the federal bureaucracy have decided that a new environmental assessment is necessary for SpaceX’s proposed new operation in Florida. After a 30-day period for public input, ending on July 29th, NASA will issue a new draft environmental assessment by September, which will then be subject to another public comment period. Then, the agency will issue a final decision in November, either declaring the new work causes no further impact or that a new environmental impact statement is required.

If the latter, expect Starship launches at Kennedy to be delayed several years.

This action continues the increased regulatory oversight on new space activities being imposed since the arrival of the Biden administration. The federal government is now apparently trying to set a new policy whereby any new work by a private company on or even near federal land will require its full approval, and even if given that approval will carry with it strict and endless governmental demands, all designed to slow things down.

The political timing of this new action however is significant, since this decision will occur after the November midterms. If control of Congress shifts significantly into Republican hands, as expected, the Biden administration’s new heavy-handed regulatory approach might face some pushback.


Leaving Earth cover

There are now only 4 copies left of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. The price for an autographed copy of this rare collector's item is now $150 (plus $5 shipping).


To get your copy while the getting is good, please send a $155 check (which includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


Leaving Earth is also available as an inexpensive ebook!


Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.


If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big oppressive tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.

"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

Russia backs off ’24 ISS exit

Russia has apparently backed off its earlier announcement this week that it is leaving ISS by ’24, instead informing NASA officially that it will stay with the partnership through at least ’28, until it gets its own independent space station in orbit.

All this still remains unclear, and still suggests the Russians are playing a negotiating game in public. Nonetheless, it will be no surprise at all if the Russians remain on the station until its lifespan ends, since it is highly unlikely that it will get its own space station launched in ’28, ’30, or even ’50, based on its past history.


Space Perspective unveils design of its Neptune tourist balloon capsule

Space Perspective's Neptune Capsule

Capitalism in space: Space Perspective yesterday unveiled the final design of its Neptune balloon capsule that it hopes to fly tourists to altitudes of almost 20 miles.

The graphic to the right reveals the biggest takeaway from this design: The “splash cone” at the bottom of the capsule tells us that the company intends to land its Florida-launched missions in the ocean, not on land.

An enhanced patent pending splash cone, refined from hundreds of digital iterations, to attenuate splashdown for a gentle and safe landing that improves customer experience and hydrodynamics. With water landings considered by NASA as the low risk way of returning a capsule from space, following the gradual, two-hour descent to Earth and a gentle splash down in the ocean, a Space Perspective crew will retrieve passengers, the capsule, and the SpaceBalloon™ by ship.

The company is presently targeting the end of ’24 for the start of commercial flights. It says it has sold about 900 $125K tickets.

The U.S. now has two balloon companies planning similar near-space missions. World View is planning flights from a variety of locations worldwide for a ticket price of $50K, with the first flights occurring no earlier than ’24.


Boeing adds another $93 million charge against earnings for Starliner manned capsule

Capitalism in space: Boeing officials revealed yesterday that they have been forced to add another $93 million charge against earnings for its much delayed Starliner manned capsule the company is building.

This is on top of $410 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and another $185 million in the third quarter of 2021. All together, Boeing has had to cover $688 million in cost growth.

At the moment the first manned launch is tentatively scheduled to occur before the end of this year, with NASA supposedly announcing a firm date before the end of July. This new charge however suggests that the manned launch will not happen until ’23.

Boeing has not simply lost $688 million. It also has lost potential business because of the delays, both from NASA and private citizens. Instead, that business went to SpaceX.


NASA/ESA revise plan to recover Perseverance core samples from Mars

NASA and ESA yesterday announced that the agencies have revised their plan to recover Perseverance core samples from Mars, dropping the launch of a rover to pick up the samples.

Instead, they have decided to use Perseverance to bring the samples to the return vehicle, which will also carry two small helicopters.

In 2030, if all goes as planned, the NASA lander will touch down near where Perseverance is working. The rover will drive over to the lander, and an ESA-built robot arm will extract the tubes one by one and place them inside a spherical container the size of a basketball. In early 2031, a rocket on the lander will loft the container into Mars orbit, where a return craft built by ESA will snare it, enclose it in several layers of shielding for safety, and then head for home. In 2033, a saucer-shaped descent pod will carry the samples down to the Utah desert.

If Perseverance gets into difficulties during its 9-year wait for company, controllers can instruct it to drop its cargo of sample tubes onto the ground, creating a second depot. If that happens, the helicopters come into play: they can fly up to 700 meters, land next to a sample tube—each weighs up to 150 grams—and, with wheels on the bottom their feet, roll over the tube and pick it up with a grabber. On returning to the lander, they will drop the tubes on the ground for the arm to pick up.

The change means that the rover the United Kingdom was planning to build will either be abandoned, or repurposed as a lunar rover.


Update on Long March 5B core stage crash prediction

Prediction of Long March 5B crash

The Aerospace Corporation today adjusted its prediction for the uncontrolled crash of the core stage from the Long March 5B rocket that China launched on July 24th.

According to the new prediction, the core stage will return to Earth during a 32 hour period centered on the early morning hours of July 31st above the Middle East.

The map to the right shows this. As you can see, at present the uncertainty of the prediction means the core stage could still crash almost anywhere.

That China has still done nothing to adjust the stage’s orbit now almost certainly confirms it can do nothing. This further confirms that in the year-plus since its last Long March 5B launch in May ’21, it did nothing to fix this fundamental problem. Moreover, this is the rocket’s third launch, all of which involved a core stage crashing uncontrollably. Each launch was thus a direct violation of the Outer Space Treaty, of which China is a signatory.

Another Long March 5B launch is scheduled for later this summer, to launch the last planned module to China’s Tiangong space station. Expect another violation of the treaty then as well.


The growing revolt against the bigoted left across the entire education community

A little child shall lead them, by James Johnson
“A little child shall lead them,” painting by James L. Johnson.

For the past year and a half in my daily column “Today’s blacklisted American” I have been documenting the oppressive actions of the intolerant left by noting the numerous times its members have aggressively blacklisted, censored, silenced, and destroyed anyone who stands in their way.

Take some time to glance through that full list. Some of the stories are truly horrifying. such as the time a 9-year-old was denied a kidney transplant because his donor, who also happened to be the child’s father, had not gotten his COVID jab.

Almost all are examples of the routine intolerance of the left. No one is allowed to think differently from them, act differently from them, speak differently from them, and even feel differently from them. If you dare to step out of line, their answer is to smash their boot into your face, as hard as they can. Once, that smashing was metaphoric. Today it has become literal.

Much of this oppression has been centered in the education community. The racist and Marxist ideology of critical race theory had it origins in the black study departments forcibly established in the 1960s in universities after violent protests. From there, these communist bigots spread outward into departments teaching the soft sciences of education, literature, psychology, and social science. They then moved downward into the high schools, and in the past decade into the elementary schools. Only recently they added to their program the queer agenda, aiming at perverting young children in the most vile ways possible.
» Read more


A Martian slot canyon!

A Martian slot canyon
For originals go here, here, and here.

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

Cool image time! The mosaic to the right is made up of three images produced by the high resolution camera on the Mars rover Perseverance (found here, here, and here). All three were taken on July 24, 2022 and look north to the nearest cliff face at the head of the large delta that flowed into Jezero Crater some time in the distant past.

The rover was about 80 feet away from the feature when the photo was snapped. Though scale in the photo is not provided, using the scale in the overview map below I would guess this slot canyon is several feet wide, with some spots narrow enough that your body would touch both walls at spots. Its height is likely nor more than 20 feet high, at the very most.

On the overview map, the blue dots mark Perseverance’s location, in both the main map and the inset. The green dot marks where the helicopter Ingenuity presently sits. The red dotted line is my guess as to the future route of the rover up into the delta. The yellow lines indicate the area viewed in the mosaic.

Though hardly as deep as the many slot canyons found in the American southwest, that this slot exists on Mars is quite intriguing. Did it form like those southwestern slots from water flow? Probably not. More likely we are looking at a fracture produced by shifts in the entire delta itself, and then later widened by wind.

That the cliff shows multiple layers suggests the delta was laid down in multiple events, and that the fracture occurred after the delta was emplaced. That the layers on either side of the fracture appear to match up strengthens this conclusion. These layers also suggest that the layering is not simply in a series of small events. The layers are also grouped into larger aggregates, suggesting those larger groupings mark longer epochs, each with its own unique conditions.


A crowd of Jupiter hurricanes

Storms on Jupiter
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on July 5, 2022 during Juno’s 43rd close fly-by of Jupiter, and was enhanced by citizen scientist Brian Swift. It shows a group of storms, what planetary scientists have labeled “vortices” near Jupiter’s north pole.

These powerful storms can be over 30 miles (50 kilometers) in height and hundreds of miles across. Figuring out how they form is key to understanding Jupiter’s atmosphere, as well as the fluid dynamics and cloud chemistry that create the planet’s other atmospheric features. Scientists are particularly interested in the vortices’ varying shapes, sizes, and colors. For example, cyclones, which spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern, and anti-cyclones, which rotate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere, exhibit very different colors and shapes.

The image highlights the type of storm Juno scientists are asking the pubic to category in a new citizen scientist project called Jovian Vortex Hunter. You go to its website and go through Juno images, noting and categorizing them. So far more than 2,400 volunteers have marked up more than 375,000 storms.


Another Webb galaxy found even closer to the Big Bang

A galaxy formed only 250 million years after the universe formed

Using data from the first Webb deep field, astronomers have identified another galaxy in that image that apparently was able to form less than 250 million years after the the Big Bang, the theorized beginning of the universe.

Like the distant galaxies described last week, it also appears to have the equivalent of a billion Suns of material in the form of stars. The researchers estimate that it might have started star formation as early as 120 million years after the Big Bang, and had certainly done so by 220 million years.

You can read the actual research paper here [pdf]. The image of the galaxy to the right is taken from figure 4 of the paper. From its abstract:

We provide details of the 55 high-redshift galaxy candidates, 44 of which are new, that have enabled this new analysis. Our sample contains 6 galaxies at z≥12, one of which appears to set a new redshift record as an apparently robust galaxy candidate at z≃16.7.

The speed in which this galaxy formed places a great challenge on the Big Bang theory itself. 220 million years is an instant when it comes to galaxy formation, which has been assumed to take far longer. Either galaxy formation is a much faster process than expected, or something is seriously wrong with the timing of the Big Bang theory itself.


Hyundai signs deal with South Korean government research agencies to develop lunar rovers

Capitalism in space: Hyundai today signed an agreement with six different South Korean government research agencies to develop a lunar rover on which those agencies can place their science instruments.

The government-funded research institutes to take part in this joint research are Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and Korea Automotive Technology Institute.

This deal is apparently part of South Korea’s effort to expand its space capabilities, with the government directing and funding the program. This deal also suggests that the government there is also emulating the U.S. approach and using the country’s industry to make it happen.


NASA: Russia has not officially notified it of its exit from ISS partnership

According to the NASA official who runs its ISS operations, Russia has not officially notified the agency of its decision to end its participation in ISS as of 2024.

NASA’s Robyn Gatens, who leads the agency’s ISS operations, told Reuters she “just saw that” on Tuesday morning and that there was “nothing official yet” to confirm Roscosmos was pulling out. Gatens, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., told the news outlet that international agreements required Russia to notify them of any such decision.

This news might simply indicate sloppiness on the part of Russia and its new chief of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov. More likely it indicates that Russia’s announcement is a negotiating ploy, not an final decision.

As I noted yesterday, Russia doesn’t have many options in space if it leaves ISS in ’24. It won’t have a new station ready to launch by then, and it is unlikely China will agree to make it an equal partner on its station.

Meanwhile, it will be difficult (though not impossible) for the remaining ISS partners to keep the station functioning should Russia decide to detach its modules from the station.

Thus, it appears Russia is likely trying to extort cash from the U.S. by this announcement. “Nice station you got there. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it.” Either it hopes to pressure the U.S. to pay Russia to continue the partnership, or to buy the modules outright. And even in the latter case, Russia will likely insist that it continue operating them, with the U.S. paying the bill.

If we had a competent president who thinks of American self-interest first, Russia’s game here would be laughed out of the room. This Russian decision should and could be used to stimulate American industry to replace the Russians.

Our present president however does not consider this country’s interests very important, and so I’d expect the Biden administration to push for the U.S. to buy off Russia. Whether Congress will go along is uncertain. A majority in both houses probably doesn’t care much for U.S. interests either, but that majority is less likely to agree to such a deal, especially considering its hostility to Russia because of its invasion of the Ukraine.


China launches new rocket

The new colonial movement: The Chinese Academy of Science today successfully completed the first launch of Lijian-1, a new four stage solid fueled rocket, placing six satellites into orbit.

The Chinese state press announcement is here. I am using the name of the rocket from this source.

The rocket is an upgrade of a “road-mobile” ICBM, and can place two tons into orbit, making it the largest solid-fueled rocket in China’s arsenal of rockets. It launched from a pad built especially for it at China’s interior Jiuquan spaceport, which means it dumped its first, second, and maybe its third stages on Chinese territory.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

33 SpaceX
25 China
9 Russia
5 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise still leads China 46 to 25, and the entire globe combined 46 to 41.


Mike Oldfield – The Source of Secrets

An evening pause: Actually, this is three pieces, “The Source of the Secrets,” “Secrets,” and “Far above the Clouds.”

Hat tip “t-dub” Tom Wilson.

I’d like one piece of feedback about this video. When you watch it embedded on Behind the Black, is the music interrupted by commercials? That happens when you watch on YouTube. I am curious it this happens when a song is embedded on another webpage.


The very end of an 800-mile-long Martian canyon

The very end of an 800-mile-long Martian canyon
Click for full image.

Cool image time! While most geeks interested in Mars are familiar with Valles Marineris, the largest canyon in the solar system, Mars has other large canyons that while not a big are impressive in their own right. The picture to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, shows us the very very end of one such canyon. Taken on April 19, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), it shows the easternmost spot where Cerberus Fossae begins. From here, this narrow fracture-caused canyon extends another 800 miles to the west, sometimes splitting into two or three parallel cracks, but always oriented in the same direction, slightly north of due west.

The overview map below provides the context and wider view.
» Read more


Today’s blacklisted American: Pro-abortion terrorists vandalize 77 churches and pregnancy centers in last ten weeks

The apparent goal of the pro-abortion left
Genocide: The apparent goal of the pro-abortion left

Persecution is now cool! Since the leak on May 8th of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Row v. Wade, pro-abortion terrorists have vandalized 77 churches and pregnancy centers without a single arrest, even as these thugs gleefully brag about their violence on social media and are provided aid and comfort by Democratic Party politicians.

From the first link:

KTTH in Seattle reported, “As churches and pregnancy centers come under assault, Democrat State Senator Emily Randall (D-WA26) is celebrating the vandalism of a pro-life billboard in Gorst. “In a pre-produced Instagram video, Randall giddily reports that a pro-life message was decorated by a pro-abortion extremist. She smiles as she tells her constituents that she ‘had to pull over when I saw the decorated/corrected billboard.'”

Democrats have refused to stop the illegal protests at the homes of justices, even after a Democrat tried to assassinate a justice. Life News reported, “House Democrats Block Resolution to Condemn Violence Against Churches and Pregnancy Centers.”

From the second link:
» Read more


New boss of Roscosmos confirms decision to leave ISS in 2024.

Yuri Borisov, the new head of Roscosmos, today confirmed that Russia will leave its partnership at ISS in 2024.

The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov, appointed this month to lead the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. He added: “I think that by that time we will start forming a Russian orbiting station.”

This announcement leaves several questions.

1. What will happen to the Russian modules on ISS? They cannot function on their own, so undocking them means they either must be de-orbited or attached to another station. Since it is more likely a snowman could exist on the Moon than the Russians launching a new station by 2024, the future of those modules must be negotiated.

2. What will the Russians do once out of this partnership? As I said, they will not be able to launch a new station by ’24. In fact, it is more likely they won’t be able to launch one at all, considering the pervasive corruption that permeates all levels of their technological society. It took them almost a quarter century to complete and launch the newest module to ISS, Nauka, with many many technical problems along the way.

3. Will Russia and China forge a closer alliance in space? I expect Russia will try to negotiate a partnership with China on its space station, but I doubt China will agree to any agreement that makes Russia an equal. It isn’t, and China has no interest in making believe Russia is.

4. Will this force an acceleration in the launch of the American private space stations now under construction? Hard to say. If we had a competent executive branch run by a clear-minded president, some action could be taken to help make this happen. The present Biden administration is neither competent nor clear-minded, so I do not expect much from it. Managers at NASA however might be able to push for increased funding to speed development, but even if successful that carries risk. It will make the private stations more beholden to the government, thus lessening their independence.

All in all, a most interesting situation.


Childhood vaccinations in ’20 and ’21 declined the most in 30 years

Surprise! According to WHO data, the number of children receiving effective vaccines for serious known diseases declined in ’20 and ’21, dropping at a rate larger than seen in 30 years.

Data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations children’s charity UNICEF show that the percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (DTP3) decreased by 5 percentage points between 2019 and 2021, to 81% worldwide (see ‘Childhood immunizations decline’). DTP3 is considered to be a marker of vaccine coverage; if children miss these jabs, they’re probably also missing out on crucial vaccinations for many other diseases.

The report found that in 2021, 25 million children missed out on routine immunizations against diseases such as measles — leading to avoidable outbreaks. “If this downward trend continues, we can expect to see more cases, outbreaks and deaths from diseases which are completely preventable,” a WHO spokesperson told Nature.

This article, from the very leftist science journal Nature, notes only that WHO attributes the decline to “supply-chain disruption, diversion of resources and lockdowns.” If fails to mention the loss of faith worldwide in vaccines in general, due to the hard push by WHO and other government health agencies to force the relatively ineffective and possibly harmful COVID shots on everyone.

The vaccines for measles, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough do work, but by lying about the effectiveness of the COVID shots, health agencies worldwide have lost their credibility. They have successfully convinced millions of parents to fear getting any vaccines, even those that really work and can prevent their children from dying.

Congratulations to WHO, the CDC, and all government agents worldwide! You have helped bring out the death of millions of children. Great work if you can get it.


OneWeb and Eutelsat sign merger deal

Capitalism in space: OneWeb and Eutelsat today confirmed stories during the past few days to announce today that the two companies have signed a merger agreement.

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) and key OneWeb shareholders have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of creating a leading global player in Connectivity through the combination of both companies in an all-share transaction. Eutelsat will combine its 36-strong fleet of GEO satellites with OneWeb’s constellation of 648 Low Earth Orbit satellites, of which 428 are currently in orbit.

The deal still needs regulatory approval, but if this is granted it should be finalized by the first half of ’23.


UAE names astronaut to fly on six month commercial ISS mission, purchased from Axiom

Sultan Al Neyadi in training
Sultan Al Neyadi in training

Capitalism in space: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday announced that 41-year-old Sultan Al Neyadi will fly on six month ISS mission, launching in the spring of 2023. purchased from Axiom.

The UAE purchased a seat on the Falcon 9 rocket from Axiom Space, a space infrastructure development company in Houston. This is the Falcon 9 seat that Axiom Space was given by Nasa after the company gave up its Russian Soyuz rocket seat for American astronaut Mark Vande Hei in 2021.

MBRSC did not disclose how much they paid Axiom for the seat, but the agreement includes transport to and from the space station; comprehensive mission support; all necessary training and preparation for launch; flight operations, landing and crew rescue services.

The deal behind this seat is very complex. Essentially, Axiom paid for the seat of Mark Vande Hei’s flight on a Soyuz capsule from 2021 to 2022 (because NASA had no authorized funds to purchase that seat), and got a later seat on a Dragon for an Axiom commercial customer. It then signed a deal with the UAE for Al Neyedi’s flight in late April.

The result is the first long term commercial mission to space.

Al Neyadi has been in training for four years, and acted as the back up astronaut to the first UAE manned flight to ISS, purchased from the Russians in 2019.


Tentative crash date for Long March 5B core stage: July 31st

Predicted crash path of Long March 5B core stage
Click for full image.

Engineers from the Aerospace Corporation have now made the first preliminary calculations and determined that the core stage of China’s Long March 5B rocket that launched July 24th will crash to Earth uncontrolled on July 31, 2022, give or take one day.

The map to the right, reduced to post here, shows all the orbits during that 48 hour period. Note that, except for most of Europe, almost all the high population regions of the globe are in the crash zone.

This prediction is very tentative, and will change as the core stage’s orbit evolves in the next few weeks. It also could change entirely if China has updated the rocket’s engines so they can be restarted at least once to de-orbit the stage properly, as it has hinted it could do. If however the orbit begins to decay without any action by China, then we will know those hints were lies, and that China is once again violating the Outer Space Treaty by acting with willful negligence to threaten harm to others with one of its launches.


Dean Martin & Rick Nelson – Rio Bravo

An evening pause: This medley of songs were performed as part of the Howard Hawks’ 1959 western Rio Bravo. The first song, “My rifle, my pony, and me,” was actually adapted from the main theme by Dimitri Tiomkin from Hawks’ earlier classic, Red River (1948). When Diane and I were watching this recently, I recognized the music, but it took a while to figure out where I’d heard it before.

Both movies are examples of the kind of entertaining and rich films Hollywood used to produce, routinely.


The corruption of medical science is surges on

The modern basis of medical research in the dark age
The modern basis of medical research in the dark age

Three stories this past week clearly illustrate that the field of medical science — based on the philosophy to always seek the truth no matter where it leads — is now teetering on the edge of death, and might already have died.

First we have the revelation that a major 2006 paper on the roots of Alzheimer’s disease is likely fraudulent, its results fabricated.

The investigation uncovered evidence suggesting several instances of image manipulation in the work of Sylvain Lesné, a researcher working at the University of Minnesota and an author of the 2006 study. The paper, which is cited by more than 2,200 academic papers as a reference, launched interest in a specific protein called Aβ*56 [a beta-amyloid] as a promising target for early intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.

…Whistleblower Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, first flagged his concerns about the images to the NIH on January 2022. Science asked two image analysis experts to review Lesné’s published work. They echoed Shrag’s concerns. They identified a total of 20 “suspect papers” authored by Lesné, 10 of which had to do with Aβ*56, per Science.

This discovery might also explain why there has been a 99% failure rate for all Alzheimer drug trials. Most of that work was based on Lesné’s work, specifically on his paper that pointed to amyloids.
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