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.

A dry bedrock Martian crater floor?

A dry bedrock crater floor?
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on June 21, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The location is a very eroded crater at about 26 degrees north latitude. The image shows the crater’s crater floor, with a variety of bedrock-type features, sharp ridges, abrupt scarps, and flat smooth plateaus, with a hint of lobate glacial flows in the image’s southeast quadrant.

At 26 north latitude, it is unlikely that anything here is icy, unless it is very well protected by debris. Most of these features are almost certainly bedrock, though their formation could very well have been shaped by ice in past eons when this location was more amenable to water ice.

The wider MRO context camera image of the entire crater, plus the overview map, give a larger picture, and raise some interesting questions.

Context camera view of entire crater
Click for full image.

Overview map

The white box in the context camera image, cropped and reduced to post here, shows the area covered by the cool image above. As you can see, this crater is very eroded, and in fact looks extremely old.

The black cross in the overview map marks the location of this crater. Sitting just inside the southern cratered highlands and very close to the transition zone and the 2,000 mile-long strip of chaos terrain from 30 to 47 degrees north latitude that I call glacier country on Mars (marked by the mensae regions dubbed Deuteronilus, Protonilus, and Nilosyrtis Mensae), the crater’s very dry look raises a mystery. In these mensae regions practically any image taken by MRO shows soft and flowing glacial-like features. This terrain is filled with ice.

Yet, in this crater, only a few degrees to the south, the crater floor appears entirely dry and hard. Can the transition from glacial bands above 30 degrees latitude to the dry equatorial regions in lower latitudes be this sharp? And if so, why?

This was a question I asked a scientist a few years ago when their research had first identified those mid-latitude bands of glaciers from 30 to 60 degrees latitudes. Why are the bands so specific? Shouldn’t they peter out more gradually? The scientist had no answer.

It could very well be that these glacial bands are the region where the near-surface ice on Mars is petering out. Above these bands the ice is in vast sheets, either in thick layers underground, very near or on the surface. Closer to the equator there is no ice close to the surface, at all. In between however the ice only partly covers the ground, and is exhibited in glacial flows.

All theories, all unproven. We need to go to actually find out.


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