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.

Perseverance begins journey with 1st test drive

Perseverance's future planned route
Click for full image.

On March 4th the engineers on the Perseverance science team successfully completed the rover’s first test drive.

Ground teams commanded the rover to drive forward, turn in place, and then back up. The first 33-minute test drive covered just 21 feet, or 6.5 meters,but Perseverance will soon travel much farther. “Our first drive went incredibly well,” said Anais Zarifian, a Perseverance mobility test engineer at JPL.

Perseverance has six aluminum wheels, each with titanium spokes for support, and a suspension capable of traveling over rocks as big as the wheels themselves. The one-ton rover is based on the design of NASA’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, but with some improvements.

The wheels on Perseverance are sightly narrower, have a larger diameter, and are made of thicker materials, Zarifian said. Engineers also changed the tread pattern on the wheels to reduce the risk of damage from sharp rocks, which created dings and cuts in Curiosity’s wheels.

The map above shows the route the science team has presently chosen for Perseverance, a revision from earlier routes created prior to landing. The white dot on the right is the rover’s present position, the blue and purple lines are two alternative routes they are considering for their route to the delta coming out of Neretva Vallis. The yellow route up the delta is especially exciting in that it gets them onto it much sooner than previous plans.

Which route they choose for the initial journey I think will partly depend on which provides the best location to test fly Ingenuity, the experimental helicopter on the rover. Scientists and engineers I am sure are presently poring over high resolution images from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in order to make that choice. At this link, centered on Perseverance’s present location, you can take a look at all those images by MRO by selecting the arrow icon at the top and then clicking on any red box. Because so many photos have been taken there is a lot of overlap, so each click will give you many pictures to look at.


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