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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.

 

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Ingenuity to make sixth flight next week

Future travels for Perseverance and Ingenuity

The Ingenuity engineering team announced today that the Mars helicopter will make its sixth flight next week, flying to a new landing spot while taking images for the Perseverance science team.

Ingenuity’s flight plan begins with the helicopter ascending to 33 feet (10 meters), then heading southwest for about 492 feet (150 meters). When it achieves that distance, the rotorcraft will begin acquiring color imagery of an area of interest as it translates to the south about 50-66 feet (15-20 meters). Stereo imagery of the sand ripples and outcrops of bright rocks at the site will help demonstrate the value of an aerial perspective for future missions. After completing its image collection, Ingenuity will fly about 164 feet (50 meters) northeast where it will touch down at its new base of operations (known as “Field C”).

The flight will attempt a new speed record of 9 mph, and will also land for the first time in a spot that the helicopter has not scouted beforehand. It will instead be using data from high resolution images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) combined with its own hazard avoidance system.

Ingenuity will essentially place itself over and in an area where Perseverance plans to go, leapfrogging ahead flight by flight, as shown by the map above (annotated by me from the map available here). The green dot numbered 5 shows the helicopter’s present position, while #6 shows its approximate landing spot after its sixth flight. Perseverance, whose present location is indicated by the blue marker, is generally heading south within the area outlined by the red line, as described during the science team’s an April 30th press conference. The goal in exploring this region is to gain a very robust geological baseline of the floor of Jezero Crater, which scientists believe will be the oldest material the rover should see in its travels.

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.

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