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.

Navigating a rover on Mars

16 photos taken by Perseverance's right navigation camera on May 2, 2022

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

Cool image time! The photo to the right is actually a screen capture of 16 consecutive photos taken on May 2, 2022 by the right navigation camera on the Mars rover Perseverance.

The overview map below gives the context. The red dot marks Perseverance’s position when the photos were taken. The green dot marks Ingenuity’s position. The small white dot marks the spot where the rover’s parachute landed. The yellow lines indicate I think the area covered by the sixteen navigation images.

There is a reason for showing this panorama in this somewhat crude form. The engineers who run Perseverance have programmed its navigation cameras to send back its pictures so that they immediately line up in this coherent pattern. There is no need to rearrange them upon arrival. The engineers thus can instantly see how each picture relates to the others, and thus get an immediate sense of the nearby terrain in which they must plot the rover’s next move.

Perseverance is now in its second science campaign, focused on studying the base of the delta. As the science team studies the delta’s cliff face, they are also studying the best route to continue uphill. To do both, they have begun slowly moving along that face, going from west to east.

The rough panorama above thus shows them the ground ahead as they continue that traverse. I expect the rover’s next move will be to the northeast, once again moving along the base of the nearest cliff. The panorama shows that while the ground in this area has a few ridges, none are so high as to cause Perseverance any problems.


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