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.

Holes in snowy ice on Mars?

Holes in snowy ice on Mars?
Click for full image.

Cool image time! Today we return to the regions surrounding Milankovic Crater in the high northern latitudes of Mars. The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, was taken on June 1, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows a spray of impact craters where the bolides apparently landed in relatively soft material. The location itself is about 10 miles to the southeast of the 74-mile-wide crater, and sits within its rim ejecta blanket.

The label for the image says this is showing “crater modification,” which suggests that the rimless nature of these craters became so after their creation. This location, at 54 north latitude, is in a region of Mars where scientists have found a lot of evidence of near surface ice. For example, within Mikankovic Crater itself they have identified numerous scarps with clearly seen pure ice layers.

If ice is close to the surface here, then the ground could be like soft snow on Earth, especially because Mars’ lighter gravity would not compress that ice as much. Think about what happens when you toss pebbles into soft snow. They fall through, and leave behind holes not unlike the ones we see in this picture. Later, sunlight would begin to modify the holes so that their edges grow outward, once again exactly as we see here.

The overview map below as always gives some context, which in this case has less to do with Mars but with Elon Musk and Starship.

Overview map

This location is about 525 miles to the northeast of the nearest of the four prime candidate landing spots, as indicated by the red boxes, that SpaceX is considering for its Starship spaceship. The white boxes mark the locations of all MRO photos taken for SpaceX’s Starship. The black boxes were earlier MRO pictures taken when SpaceX was planning to send a Dragon capsule to Mars.

In both cases the company has focused on this region because all the evidence tells them that there is ice very near the surface. That it is relatively close on the Martian surface to Milankovic simply acts to confirm that hypothesis.


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