Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Catching an avalanche on Mars, as it happens

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team today released this really cool image from Mars, showing an avalanche near the North Pole, in progress. The image looks directly down the cliff face from above. At the base of the cliff we can see the dust cloud from the crash of material billowing out away from the scarp.

What impresses me most about this image is that it was taken by an orbiting spacecraft approximately 200 miles above the planet’s surface, moving at thousands of miles an hour. Yet, the camera not only had the resolution to see the cloud of dust, it could snap the image fast enough to capture the actual fall of material (the white wisps down the side of the cliff that are reminiscent of a waterfall).

Also intriguing is the visible steep face of the cliff face itself. I know a lot of rock climbers who would love to literally get their hands (and chocks) on that rock face. And in Mars’s one-third gravity, rock climbing would surely be different.

avalanche on Mars

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