The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Despite my many essays on culture and politics, Behind the Black remains mostly a site reporting on space and science. Since the modern exploration of Mars is probably the most significant on-going event now in space, it seemed unsatisfactory to only repost one or two of my past articles on this subject, when I have probably have posted hundreds. Instead, this midnight repost will provide links to a bunch, divided into several topics.
Martian geology, shown in cool images
First, we have the many cool images I have posted on Mars, often tied to detailed descriptions of what scientists are now beginning to learn about the red planet’s mysterious geological history. The following are the most important, and will help readers better understand future cool images.
- Well water likely available across Mars
- The glaciers of Mars
- The mysterious slope streaks of Mars
- The Martian North Pole
- Avalanche season at the Martian north pole
- The vast southern highlands of Mars
- The beginning of chaos on Mars
Next, two posts, both focused on the future exploration and colonization of Mars.
- The location for a future Martian colony?
- SpaceX completes 1st round of Starship’s Mars landing site images
Finally, we have my regular rover updates, which essentially began with this March 14, 2016 essay, Pinpointing Curiosity’s location in Gale Crater. I had been dissatisfied with the information provided by the rover’s science team on where the rover was and where it was going. It needed better context, and I decided to provide it.
Once done, this essay made it possible to better understand the rover’s continuing travels, and so I began to report on Curiosity on a somewhat regularly basis. Soon I incorporated the same strategy for Opportunity, beginning with this article on September 2, 2016, based on previous background information posted on March 31, 2015. Below are all previous rover updates. Read them in sequence if you want to gain a full understanding of where Curiosity has been and where it will be going in the future.
- Curiosity update: July 7, 2016: Balanced rock on Mars
- Curiosity update: July 24, 2016: Curiosity’s way forward
- Curiosity update: July 28, 2016: Heading directly for Balanced Rock
- Curiosity update: August 11, 2016: Curiosity prepares to move on
- Curiosity update: August 16, 2016: Balanced Rock at last
- Curiosity update: August 22, 2016: Beyond Murray Buttes
- Curiosity update: August 28, 2016: The alien buttes of Mars
- Mars rover update: September 6, 2016. The first update including Opportunity.
- Mars rover update: September 13, 2016. The first official update.
- Mars rover update: September 20, 2016
- Mars rover update: Sept 27, 2016
- Mars rover update: October 6, 2016
- Mars rover update: November 3, 2016
- Mars rover update: November 14, 2016
- Mars rover update: December 22, 2016
- Mars rover update: January 18, 2017
- Mars rover update: February 14, 2017
- Mars rover update: April 21, 2017
- Mars rover update: May 15, 2017
- Mars rover update: June 23, 2017
- Mars rover update: July 12, 2017
- Mars rover update: August 11, 2017
- Mars rover update: September 6, 2017
- Mars rover update: November 16, 2017
- Mars rover update: December 18, 2017
- Mars rover update: January 16, 2018
- Mars rover update: March 21, 2018
- Mars rover update: April 27, 2018
- Mars rover update: May 23, 2018
- Mars rover update: July 17, 2018
- Mars rover update: November 8, 2018, the end of Opportunity
- Rover update: January 2, 2019, including Yutu-2 on the Moon.
- Rover update: February 20, 2019
- Rover update: April 11, 2019
- Rover update: May 30, 2019
- July 9, 2019: Wheel update on Curiosity
- August 24, 2019 Curiosity’s future travels
- Rover update: October 28, 2019
- November 6, 2019: Sightseeing Central Butte on Mars
- January 13, 2020: Curiosity climbs a hill
- Mars rover update: March 4, 2020
- March 8, 2020: Curiosity reaches highest point yet on Mars
- Rover update: April 16, 2020, Curiosity heads downhill
- Rover update: May 28, 2020, The state of Curiosity’s wheels
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.