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.


BepiColombo about to make first of six Mercury flybys

The European/Japanese BepiColombo probe will make its first of six fly-bys of Mercury on October 1, 2021, as it steadily adjusts its flight path to enter orbit around the planet in 2025.

The mission is made up of two Mercury orbiters, Europe’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and Japan’s Mio orbiter.

During the flybys it is not possible to take high-resolution imagery with the main science camera because it is shielded by the transfer module while the spacecraft is in cruise configuration. However, two of BepiColombo’s three monitoring cameras (MCAMs) will be taking photos from about five minutes after the time of close approach and up to four hours later. Because BepiColombo is arriving on the planet’s nightside, conditions are not ideal to take images directly at the closest approach, thus the closest image will be captured from a distance of about 1000 km.

The first image to be downlinked will be from about 30 minutes after closest approach, and is expected to be available for public release at around 08:00 CEST on Saturday morning. The close approach and subsequent images will be downlinked one by one during Saturday morning.

The cameras provide black-and-white snapshots in 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution, and are positioned on the Mercury Transfer Module such that they also capture the spacecraft’s solar arrays and antennas. As the spacecraft changes its orientation during the flyby, Mercury will be seen passing behind the spacecraft structural elements.

These will be the first close-up pictures of Mercury since the Messenger orbiter mission ended in 2015.

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2 comments

  • Mark

    Bob – I am scratching my head a little here when you state “ The mission is made up of two Mercury orbiters, Europe’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter and Japan’s Mio orbiter.”
    Is it tricky to deploy two orbiters? Is that common for planetary missions?

  • Mark: The BepiColombo mission is unprecedented, as far as I can remember. To save money they launched the two orbiters linked together, with the plan to deploy them into separate complementary orbits around Mercury upon arrival.

    Though linked probes have been sent to other places, such as the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens lander to Saturn/Titan, this is the first time that two orbiters of about the same capability have been sent together.

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