Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

Exposed mid-latitude ice deposits found on Mars

Scientists have discovered eight locations on Mars where underground ice appears to be exposed on cliff faces

The scarps directly expose bright glimpses into vast underground ice previously detected with spectrometers on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, with ground-penetrating radar instruments on MRO and on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter, and with observations of fresh impact craters that uncover subsurface ice. NASA sent the Phoenix lander to Mars in response to the Odyssey findings; in 2008, the Phoenix mission confirmed and analyzed the buried water ice at 68 degrees north latitude, about one-third of the way to the pole from the northernmost of the eight scarp sites.

The important thing about this discovery is that, though we have known for several years that water ice exists underground in the Martian mid-latitudes, this is the first time we have identified specific places there it is exposed and accessible.

Unfortunately, the press release does not provide the specific eight locations, except for the one image, which is located in the southern hemisphere in a region called Promethei Terra, far from areas that have been studied much more extensively. I will do some digging to see if I can identify the other seven locations.

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2 comments

  • ken anthony

    We now know that water is both abundant and accessible. It’s time they changed their focus to identifying locations of other industrial minerals. Finding life should not be the focus (that will happen one way or another soon after colonists arrive.) They need to focus on indigenous living resources. They should be creating designs for things they need to build out of local resources, such as airlocks for underground habitats that allow them to keep the fine dust from contaminating the inside of their habitats.

    It’s extremely important they have the right frontier attitude or they will die in greater numbers. They aren’t going to visit. They are going to live.

  • Lee S

    This is anecdotal, so should be greeted with skepticism, but for many many years I have noticed that those dark streaks visible in many mars images all ( or mostly) originate from the same strata in craters…. as a rule, not far from surface level, and usually around a layer of larger rocks and sediment.
    This news comes as absolutely no surprise to me, but I’m pleased that perhaps it will give some insight into the history of Martian water.

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