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.

Mountains, Mesas, and Box Canyons on the floor of Valles Marineris

Mountains, Mesas, and Box Canyons
Click for full image.

Overview map

Cool image time! The photo above, cropped, reduced, and rotated to post here, was taken on March 12, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows a small section of the floor of the giant 2,550-mile-long and 400-mile-wide Valles Marineris canyon on Mars. In fact, this section, as indicated by the black rectangle in the overview map below, is practically in the center of the canyon, at its widest point.

The geology here hints at several Martian processes. The mesas and closed canyons in the north are typical of chaos terrain, where it erosion appears to form along fault lines to create the random intersecting canyons. In other places on Mars, in the mid-latitudes, that erosion appears mostly formed by glacial activity. Here, in Valles Marineris at only 7 degrees north latitude, little ice had been expected.

However, this spot is also in the dead center of a region where orbital data from Europe’s Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) suggests there is a surprisingly large underground reservoir of hydrogen, which is assumed could only exist if it was locked in water molecules.

In fact, at this spot the data suggests up to 40% of the near-surface material might be composed of water (by weight). If so, that underground reservoir of ice could be causing the erosion that is creating this massive chaos terrain.

Meanwhile, the light-colored mountain in the south is the westernmost nose of a 50-mile-long ridgeline coming down from the canyon’s rim, about 30,000 feet higher. Its dendritic nature, like the hollows that form in the mountains of wet regions on Earth, suggest rainfall and water flowing downhill, wearing away these hollows over eons.

Rain however is almost certainly not the cause. Instead, we could be seeing erosion from wind, or maybe dry ice snow that fell long ago when this region was at a higher latitude when Mars’ rotational tilt was different.

Either way, the massive geology here illustrates the monumental nature of this largest canyon in the solar system, as well as the difficulties of exploring it.


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One comment

  • Chris

    The upper part of the photo looks like something biological from under a microscope.

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