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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.


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Perseverance dumps debris shield in preparation for Ingenuity deployment

Dumped debris shield under Perseverance
Click for full image.

On March 21st the Perseverance engineering team released the debris shield that had been attached to the bottom of the rover to protect the Ingenuity helicopter during its journey to Mars, and thus began the deployment process for releasing the helicopter itself.

The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, shows that debris shield on the ground. The rover will next drive away from this spot and find the flat area where the helicopter will be placed on the ground for its April flight.

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.


  • Jay

    Up for sale on eBay in 2064 – One slightly used debris shield, once belonging to the rover “Perseverance”. Minimum bid $100,000. Shipping not included.

    I am looking forward to the flight of Ingenuity and how it will handle the thin atmosphere. I saw that it was built by AeroVironment, my team competed against them many years ago in a technology challenge, and I have no doubts that it will succeed.

  • Mike

    This is a real game changer for exploring. If we can get the engineering down here, we can go big next mission and cover more ground than ever.
    So awesome.

  • Andi

    One would hope that they tested it in a vacuum chamber set to the right pressure so at least they should have an idea how much lift the rotors can generate

  • Jeff Wright

    Debris cover my foot. That’s the oil pan-no wonder it squeaks…:-/

  • Edward_2

    Oil pan gasket leaked.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Andi, it was tested in a vacuum chamber simulating Mars’ tenuous atmosphere, and also suspended to simulate Mars’ lower gravity. There’s no flies on JPL.

  • Cotour

    Just one more example of white male dominated culture beginning to leave their trash and destroy the environment, now on Mars!


    I think we all know what must be done.

  • Star Bird

    Running out of Delithium Chrystal’s

  • Cotour wrote:

    “Just one more example of white male dominated culture beginning to leave their trash and destroy the environment, now on Mars!


    I think we all know what must be done.”

    Yes, yes we do. We must find new worlds to explore (exploit). We must render the Universe more habitable. Even if from a Human-centric viewpoint. Yes.

    And the Prime Directive. Don’t forget that.

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