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.

Badlands on the floor of a Martian crater

Badlands on the floor of a Martian crater
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, shows one small section of a 30-mile-wide unnamed crater in the cratered equatorial regions of Mars northeast of Hellas Basin. Taken on July 21, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the science team labeled merely as “Rocky crater fill.”

Being at 17 degrees south latitude, there shouldn’t be any ice features in this crater, and the high resolution image to the right seems to confirm this. All we see is an endless plain made up of innumerable small sharp rock ridges interspersed with small low areas filled with sand dunes. This is bed rock, and if its strange stucco-like appearance was caused by a past glacial era, that era is long gone.

Below is a mosaic showing the entire crater, created from two MRO context camera images.

Mosaic showing entire crater
Click here and here for original photos.

The original images were rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here. The white box marks approximately the area covered by the photo above, though the lack of distinct features makes it difficult to place that box precisely.

At first glance the multi-circular layers inside the crater suggest glacial fill in craters in the mid-latitudes that scientists have labeled concentric crater fill. A closer look however proves this wrong, because that glacial fill normally looks soft and slushy with many erosion features. The circular features here are once again bedrock and hard.

Most likely we are looking at some lava feature, possible impact melt from several superimposed impacts. The volcanic features could also be from flood lava. If you look at the full image of the two context camera pictures you can see other craters distorted as if they had been partly overrun by lava. There are also a lot of other circular features in this region that appear to be either very ancient eroded craters or craters mostly buried by lava.

Exploring of this crater floor is going to require some form of helicopter not unlike Ingenuity. Driving across its rough surface will likely be too difficult. Better to hop from point to point.


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