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Opportunity, now moving to another target 1.5 miles away, has found evidence of drinkable water on Mars.

Opportunity, now moving to another target 1.5 miles away, has found evidence that some of the water on Mars was once drinkable.

Before trekking off last month, Opportunity used a grinder to scrape away the top layer of a light-colored rock for a peek inside. The rock was so lumpy and covered with crud that it took the rover several tries to crack open its secrets. Unlike other rocks that Opportunity inspected during the past nine years, the latest told a different story: It contained clay minerals, a sign that water coursed through it, and formed in an environment that might have been suitable for microbes. Previous rock studies by Opportunity pointed to a watery past on Mars, but scientists said the water was acidic.

“This is water you can drink,” said mission chief scientist Steve Squyres of Cornell University.

More details here, noting that this water comes from an earlier time on Mars, when the planet’s environment was more benign.

So the rover has now sampled both sides of the momentous planetary transition from a wet, benign environment more than 4 billion years ago to a colder, drier, harsher one since then

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

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.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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