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.


Curiosity’s way forward

Panorama with balanced rock

As Curiosity moves up into the foothills of Mount Sharp the terrain is getting increasingly interesting. The image above is a panorama I have created from three Left Navigation Camera images posted here on Sunday evening. It shows what I think will be the general direction mission scientists wish to send Curiosity. (Note that the top of the leftmost mesa is not as flat as shown, as its top was cut off in the original image.)

Below is a Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image showing Curiosity’s present position from above. I have annotated it to show the general view as shown in the above image. I have also marked on both the location of the balanced rock first photographed on July 7.

Orbital view of Curiosity's position

To get a sense of scale, note that the approximate distances of Curiosity’s last two drives, indicated by the yellow dots, is approximately 80 feet.

It appears to me that they are searching for the best route through and between the mesas that can be seen in the distance to the southwest. The peak of Mount Sharp is to the south, so heading in that direction makes some sense. From what I can tell looking at the orbital image, the best route in that direction seems to take them through the gap that contains the balanced rock. though they may decide that all of this terrain is too rough, forcing them to send Curiosity around to the north and west. Heading to the east of the mesas appears to be a less appealing choice because it puts them too close to some sand dunes that they have been skirting.

If they do go through one of those gaps, however, the journey should get very very interesting, with some very cool images along the way.

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