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.

Curiosity’s wheels: a good news update

Curiosity's wheels
Click here and here for the original images.

For the past few weeks Curiosity has been traveling across some of the roughest terrain it has seen on Mars, since landing in Gale Crater in August 2012. The rover is now roving among the high cliffs and foothills at the very base of Mt Sharp, with the ground covered with rocks, boulders, plates of bedrock, and all sorts of protrusions.

On August 1st the rover team used its cameras to do another survey of the rover’s wheels to see how they fared during that journey. The two images to the right compare the same area on the same wheel after the most recent 16 sols of travel. This is the same wheel I have focused on since 2017. Overall, the damage in the most recent picture seems almost identical to the previous picture. In fact, if you compare today’s image with the annotated version of the 2017 photo, found here, you can see how little things have changed since then.

From this one wheel it appears that the wheels are continuing to hold up quite well. The Curiosity team of course needs to review all the images of all the wheels, but based on this one comparison, it looks like their long term strategies for mitigating damage to the wheels is working, even in the rough terrain the rover is presently traversing.


My July fund-raising campaign for 2021 has now ended. Thank you all for your donations and subscriptions. While this year’s campaign was not as spectacular as last year’s, it was the second best July campaign since I began this website.

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One comment

  • pzatchok

    When I first found out about the damage to the wheels I had quite a bit of ill thoughts and comments for the engineers who made them.

    Since them my crow has thankfully not been to bad to eat.

    They are handling things rather well.

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