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A distant cliff and a rocky path forward

Mosaic of Gediz Vallis
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Close-up of distant cliff face
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Two cool images arrived today from Curiosity, as it is about to enter the Martian canyon of Gediz Vallis. The mosaic above, cropped, reduced, and annotated to post here, was assembled from photos taken by the rover’s right navigation camera on August 15, 2022. The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken the same day by the rover’s Chemistry camera, normally designed to take very close-up pictures of nearby features. In this case the science team aimed it at a distant cliff face, marked by the arrow in the panorama above, to get a preview of some of the many layers in that mesa.

And has become quite expected from Mars, the number and types and variety of layers is astonishing. The layer that forms the flat bright area at the center of this image is what scientists have dubbed “the marker layer”, since they have found it at similar elevations in many places on the flanks of Mount Sharp. (See the annotated overview map from a post last week.)

Curiosity’s planned route is to head to the right of this mesa, circling around it to get into the upper reaches of Gediz Vallis. First however engineers are going to have to figure out how to get the rover past the somewhat large scattered rocks on the ground directly ahead, without further damaging Curiosity’s already tattered wheels. At first glance there does not appear to be any clear path.


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 are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also 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.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Jerry Greenwood

    Pictures like the one of the cliff face interest me very much. Knowing that the “photographer “ can’t see the subject to frame it. Like taking a photo in a dark room and framing the shot from what you remember it looked like earlier and 90 million miles away.

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